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May 5, 2010 08:05 AM

Help with Ideas for visit this weekend.

My husband and I will be taking the train down from Boston this weekend (Friday morning to Monday) and are looking for some reasonably priced places to eat in the city that won't require reservations. For lunches and dinner I am thinking $15 a plate or less (not including drinks, etc). We are staying at 45th Street and Madison Avenue. I am hoping to get some ideas for breakfast near the hotel (diners or bagel type places). For lunch and dinner we open to most parts of the city (Midtown, LIttle Italy, Greenwich Village, Upper East/West side). For lunch we are hoping to some decent sandwiches (keeping in mind that we don't eat meat) and for dinner some good Italian and Mexican although we are open most cuisines. Thanks in advance for all of your help!

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  1. Okay - I have been doing a little research and have come up with a few ideas:

    Tulcingo Del Valle for Mexican for dinner one night.
    Motorino for pizza in the East Village for lunch or dinner one day.
    Malatesta Trattoria in the West Village for Italian for dinner one night (although we sort of wanted to do little Italy - is there anything you might recommend over this in Little Italy?)

    I am still looking for breakfast type places near the hotel (the Roosevelt on 45th and Madison Ave) and possibly some sandwich places (although I am starting to wonder if there are any deli's that might have something for a vegetarian) or someplace to grab a good slice of pizza. We are really hoping to make the best of this trip as it will probably be our last for awhile (baby #1 is due at the end of September). Thanks again!

    649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

    9 Replies
    1. re: mocooks

      We just went to Motorino for the first time. They have a lunch special Mon-Fri: Pizza + salad or dessert for $12.

      Motorino Photos here:

      I always appreciate Kathryn mentioning my LES tour. A couple of points. The first stop, Katz's, is all about the pastrami. Since you don't eat meat, I wouldn't bother eating there. Instead, start the tour at Russ & Daughters. Guss' Pickles has closed. I will be revising the tour within the next few weeks and substituting The Pickles Guys, on Essex St. Also adding a few other stops, one of which is Sugar Sweet Sunshine, on Rivington St., for cupcakes.

      1. re: RGR

        Oh, RGR! We just ate at Meatball Shop this weekend (corner of Stanton and Allen) and it was great! We tried all of their meatballs on sliders, and had 3 of their Ice Cream Sandwich combos, and everything was fantastic. Even had one of the better Arnold Palmers I've had since leaving the South.

        Anyway, you should check it out and think about adding it to your LES tour.

        1. re: a213b

          Glad to hear you loved the Meatball Shop, a213b. It has been getting pretty much universal praise, so I will definitely check it out for possible inclusion on the tour.

        2. re: RGR

          RGR - thanks for the information on the Montorino lunch special. Can you tell me a if the pies are individual sized or are they large enough to share? And I am assuming the lunch special is $12 per person right?

          1. re: mocooks

            Just wanted to say that I think the pizza at Keste is better than Motorino...

            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              I will look into it. It looks to be near NYU and I am pretty sure were were going to be in that area one afternoon. As for the pizza, are they large enough to share or do you typically get your own? Any specific recommendatiosn?

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                I really think it comes down to a slew of conditions on any given day as to which will be better on said day; that being said, if you took the Platonic Form of each place, for me, Keste would be the better of the two.

                That being said, you will almost assuredly be very pleased with Motorino.

                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

              2. re: mocooks


                There is only one size pie at Motorino -- I think12". They are cut into 4 large slices. We each had 2 slices + sharing the salad and were satisfied for lunch. I'm sure there are some people who could eat the entire pie themselves.

                With regard to the cost, I just asked my husband and he said that the check was under $20. (He had two Cokes; I drank tap water.) Obviously, they charged us for only one lunch special. So, that means $12pp would apply if each of you gets your own pizza.

                We have not been to Keste yet. It is the Village on Bleecker St., not too far from NYU.

                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: mocooks

                  I usually eat 3/4th of a pie, my husband can put away a whole one, but that's without ordering anything else.

                  Our two favorites are the spicy soppressata and the crimini and olive white pie, but we haven't tried the current special: ramps!

                  I prefer Motorino's pie as it's a bit lighter and smokier, whereas Keste is a bit more traditional and wet.

                  349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            2. Here are a similar cheap eats threads from a few days ago which may help:

              And another from a Midwestern CH visiting:

     is also a good resource for checking out what is nearby.

              Don't leave NY without eating these foods

              Pizza in NYC

              For even more cheap eats, try out some street food:

              I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour:

              1. Ess-bagel on 51st and 3rd Ave is a nice walk if the weather is good or walk down to 30th and Lex to Penelope for breakfast. If you want a great cheap breakfast Scotty's Diner on Lexington and 39th is a good choice.
                Also within walking distance:
                Sip Sak, El Rio Grande, El Parador or Ali Baba will have meatless entrees.
                For great sammiches you can't beat DeFonte's sandwich shop. They have lots of meatless heros.

                Sip Sak
                928 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

                El Parador
                325 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016

                El Rio Grande
                160 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016

                Ali Baba
                126 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                Scotty's Diner
                336 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016