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Apr 11, 2010 03:03 PM

Top 3 cheap eats (not street food)

Going to NY for a week beginning of May. Would like suggestions for inexpensive ($25 or less pp/no drinks) late afternoon/early evening, preferably ethnic, sitdown restaurants. I currently have Cafe Katja and perhaps NY Noodletown on my list. Prefer south of Rockefeller Center.


Cafe Katja
79 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. If that includes tax and tip you have lots of options. Does it?

    6 Replies
    1. re: JeremyEG

      I wasn't taking tax and tip into consideration, just the food. But if included, so much the better!

      1. re: FLnow

        You can do almost any Sichuan Place. I like Grand Sichuan in Chelsea. Also, Saravanaas for Southern Indian (wonderful). I had a really nice meal recently at BCD Tofu House in Korea Town. The BBQ might push you over the $25 but that's not what's best there anyway. Not sure if you consider Italian to be Ethnic but you could easily get a pie at any number of the new and him pizza places. Keste is my favorite so far but many like Motorino and Co. as well. $25 is a lot without drinks. Are you open to going to the outer boroughs? Many more ethnic options.

        81 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

        BCD Tofu House
        17 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

        349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: JeremyEG

          Thanks for the suggestions thus far. How about Chinatown? I went to Amazing 66 two years ago and wasn't impressed. Liked a downstairs hole-in-the wall better (can't recall name now, but it's on Mott St.) Food is more important than atmosphere and trying to afford tourist spots. I'll leave the outer boroughs and LI to my friend who grew up in Queens and now lives on LI. Will likely get pizza on LI. Brooklyn, SI, and Bronx are not an option.

          Thanks again!

          1. re: FLnow

            One of my favorites is Mandoo Bar, a korean dumpling house (made in front of you) in midtown. So yummy!

            Mandoo Bar
            2 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

            1. re: foodsnob14

              I doubt I will be in that area. Right now, I know I'll be in the Rockefeller Center area, LES, Village, Chinatown, and UWS.

            2. re: FLnow

              I meant to say I'm trying to avoid tourist/very commercial spots.

      2. Pho @ Pho Bang. My fav place, tho there are plenty of other opinions. A bowl of Pho Tai is $7 so that leaves plenty left over to get the pork on shrimp chips or the amazing spring rolls. Love this place, too bad I moved.

        Pho Bang
        157 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

        1. Aroma Kitchen and Wine Bar does a prix fixe on Sundays for $25

          1. Momofuku ssam bar. Or the noodle bar.... although either might cut close to the price limit.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mjm1218

              Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. More welcome. How about NY Noodle Town?

              1. re: FLnow

                i like it, and it certainly fits the cheap bill.

                last time i was there, 4 of us ate two of the roast meats over rice plates (5 bucks each for one roast pork and another soy sauce chicken, both excellent, dont ignore the scallion oil that comes with them) a singapore chow fun, and a combo noodle dish of some sort (the kind where the noodles come out somewhat hard but with the sauce/gravy the whole dish eventually kind of soggs out, in a good way?). 26 bucks before tip with a couple of cokes.

                its not light (the sing. chow fun is delighfully greazy) its not super clean (this was a week before they were shut down by the dept o' health - dont worry they fixed everything and are back at it ;) but it is good and cheap.

                depending on how the chinese food is where you come from id rank it as somewhere between a really good call and a must-go, but again it depends on what you can get where you are. (looking at your posting history - and handle - im guessing your from florida, in which case id be suprised if you could get something like it)

                another strong strong strong recommendation would be for ippudo ramen. especially if you are going on the early side, getting a table has rarely been a problem for me before 6/6:30 - the lines get crazy later in the evening. its heavily discussed on this board but i will say that the akamaru modern may be the best bowl of soup ive ever had in my life, like liquified pork in a bowl, and i could eat the soft boiled eggs they float in it forever (if youre an egg love id recommend getting an extra one in your soup). not cheap for ramen, but doable at your budget, even with a shared order of the pork buns or other appetizer.

            2. Manhattan Chinatown? For Cantonese, South China Garden (formerly Cantoon Garden, lots of threads under that name). The Yeah Shanghai at Mott on Bayard has quite good Shanghainese food. Old Sichuan on Bayard has good Sichuan food and some very good Shanghai-style dumplings. Much discussion of all on this board.

              South China Garden
              22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

              Old Sichuan
              65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

              1 Reply
              1. re: buttertart

                Thanks very much, Tex and Buttertart. I will check all those out. I've been in FL for years now and have yet to find decent (authentic) Chinese food. I'll be flying to the city next Monday! Can't wait!