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"Best" takeout for FiDi/Battery Park (delivery/seamlessweb/pickup)

I've lived in the Financial District for 5 years now, and have come to accept that there are simply 0 reasonably priced Chowhound-worthy restaurants (under $30/pp) down here for delivery. Ok, we have SHO Shaun Hergatt with a great $30 lunch prix fixe, but that's fine dining, and doesn't count as takeout. (To be honest, I think they're the only restaurant that is Chowhound worthy in the Financial District/Battery Park area). This post is dedicated to what is the best we can get for takeout in these 2 neighborhoods, with the understanding that none of the restaurants on my list is technically Chowhound-worthy. Would greatly appreciate recommendations from those who live/work down here. Where are your go-to delivery restaurants? Is there a better alternative to the places on my list? I'm not interested in hearing about great Tribeca/Chinatown restaurants unless you can confirm that they've been able to deliver within a reasonable time limit (under 35 minutes).

Here's where I order from. *** indicates restaurants that are near Chowhound worthy:
- Alfanoose*** - Good falafel, babaganoush, hummus, salad. Good value.
- Inatteso*** - Amazing fresh pasta.
- Doyer's Vietnamese - Cheap porkchop/beef over rice. Quite good grilled shrimp with thin rice noodles. Ok pho. They're in Chinatown, but delivery is extremely quick.
- Merchant's NY Cafe - Good lobster club sandwich. Most other items are overpriced.
- Sushi a la kawa - Barely edible, but the alternatives are even worse. I assume most of you will try to recommend Haru, but I find them terrible as well. Overpriced for below average sushi.
- Lili's Noodle Shop - Edible Chinese. Although I wouldn't recommend the Americanized items on the menu.
- Soma by Nature - Not bad bibimbap and soondubu for a fast-food joint.
- Sandwich House - Very good sandwiches with fresh ingredients. Great pasta (not Inatteso quality, but very good for the price).
- Little Big Place (Tribeca) - Decent shrimp tacos.

P.S. Am desperately seeking recommendations for a good:
- Pad thai - Cannot stomach the ones from Bennie's/Lemongrass Grill/Bunrasa/Lili's/Doyer's. I'm currently making my own because the alternatives are very very sad.
- Banh Mi - Currently trekking to Chinatown to Paris Sandwich, or walking up to Mangez Avec Moi Express in Tribeca (they don't do delivery). Baoguette doesn't quite do it because their hours are super limited, closing at 5pm.
- Bubble tea - Ho Yip has ok ones come summer time, but would love to know if there's something even better. (The ones from Lili's are inconsistent, and the ones from Doyer's are too sweet).

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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  1. Oops, let's not forget the great Financier Patisserie for pickup of pastries, macaroons, great croque monsieur, and charcuterie box for 1.

    1. Greetings from a BPC resident: I think your list pretty much sums up the state of affairs down here. You didn't mention the South Cove options (Liberty View and Kaijou); the SO likes LV's pad thai better than Lili's (admittedly not saying much) and finds Kaijou way better than Kawa and Haru. I think we're outta luck on the banh mi; LV doesn't make bubble tea. I like Se Jah Meh on Greenwich for Korean; our neighbor down the hall likes the new Indian joint next to Ten House, but I haven't been there yet.

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      Kaijou
      21 South End Ave, New York, NY 10280

      5 Replies
      1. re: Andy T.

        Andy T. - Thanks for your response. I'm so happy to hear from a fellow downtown resident! I haven't tried Liberty View - is it better than Lili overall for things other than pad thai? The last time I ordered from Kaijou was in 2008 and didn't think their fish was fresh at all back then, also their sushi rice was too mushy . Although if your SO thinks they're better than Kawa, I'd like to give them another shot. Perhaps they'd improved since I'd written them off. For Korean, I prefer Soma by Nature over Se Jah Meh mainly because Soma's prices are more reasonable. If price isn't a concern, I think I'd still choose Soma over Se Ja Meh. Then again, I haven't ordered from Se Jah Meh since they moved to the new location. Did they improve? The only advantage of Se Jah Meh is that they give you banchan. But I can buy that in K-town and just keep in my fridge. Please continue to add to this thread if you discover any new worthy restaurants. Thanks again!

        1. re: Noodle fanatic

          FWIW, Liberty View is definitely better than Lili's overall, grading on a scale and all. I think Kaijou is worth another shot; let us know what you think! I never went to SJM when they were east of Broadway, but the SO (who works downtown) thinks they've improved (banchan included) with the move. As an aside, just tried the newly expanded Texas BBQ on Fulton and they're just as "meh" as ever.

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          Kaijou
          21 South End Ave, New York, NY 10280

          Liberty View
          21 South End Ave, New York, NY 10280

          1. re: Andy T.

            Lol, I'm surprised a chowhound would set foot in a place called Texas BBQ! ;) We really are tremendously deprived down here. Is Kaijou better dining in or picking up, or does it not matter? I'm trying to find the least painful way of giving them another shot. Am scared, but willing to try. Thanks again for your feedback Andy T.

            1. re: Noodle fanatic

              We always take out from Kaijou (since we live a block away) but the outdoor dining facing the Statue of Liberty always looks real tempting. Re Texas BBQ: just because I read CH doesn't necessarily mean I have good taste ;) ! For ex, my two Manhattan food obsessions of the moment are the chicken with black bean sauce at Ho Yip (which you mentioned) and the half chicken platter at Chirping Chicken on Amsterdam. Not hound-y at all :( ...

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              Kaijou
              21 South End Ave, New York, NY 10280

              Chirping Chicken
              355 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

              Ho Yip
              110 Liberty St, New York, NY 10006

              1. re: Andy T.

                I haven't tried Ho Yip, but their daily specials menu (the non-Americanized items) are traditional Chinese dishes that you'd find at a regular Hong Kong home-cooked dinner or afternoon lunch box. e.g. Eggplant with minced pork. Not sure if those items are written in English or not. Will check the next time I happen to be in there, but for the most part, I make my own Chinese food now. (I'm from Hong Kong, so I normally wouldn't choose to eat Chinese when I go out in NYC since most places aren't that great. That said, there are a few that I go to in Chinatown when I'm too lazy to cook.) Pretty sure Ho Yip's food will be too greasy. My standards are way way high.

                I'm still scared to try Kaijou after reading its recent seamlessweb reviews. Although Kawa has poor reviews on seamlessweb as well. I think I'm going to continue making my own or drag myself out of the house the next time I have a sushi craving. It's really a waste of $ to order from the places down here because for the same price, you could get a much higher grade of fish at a renowned sushi restaurant. Should not continue to allow these restaurants to profit from their terrible sushi.

      2. Sophie's Cuban Cuisine is pretty decent.

        1. I recommend Jaya, which is Malaysian. We ordered via seamlessweb on Monday- had the Silk Road Tofu (excellent), Malay Chow Fun(excellent), and Shrimp Sambal (just OK). I see they have quite a few noodle dishes, so you may be able to satisfy your Pad Thai craving. If not, the Malay Chow Fun really is worth a try. As a reference, to me Lili's is just acceptable and Doyers, is OK, but not great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mr_seabass

            Agreed that Lili's barely acceptable and Doyers is ok. We're seriously deprived down here. Restauranteurs take note and come save us! Glad to hear Jaya delivers down here. I quite like their Roti Chanai (Indian pancake with curry) for $2.50, and although their Hainanese Chicken Rice is not amazing, it's pretty good for $4.50.

          2. For sushi, have you tried Tokyo Bay? I was pleasantly surprised - it was very good. I am not sure if they deliver outside Tribeca or not.

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            Tokyo Bay
            183 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

            2 Replies
            1. re: mr_seabass

              Yes I've tried Tokyo Bay - I actually order from them when I'm craving ankimo (very good for a delivery joint). Although their sushi is very inconsistent. mr_seabass - which types of fish/sushi have you ordered from them that you would endorse? (E.g. at Sushi a la Kawa, I can count on the salmon nigiri or salmon sashimi to be ok, but the salmon in the sushi rolls could be hit or miss since they normally use a different cut for the roll and that cut isn't as consistent; also their spicy scallop roll is ok.) Would also like to know what specific items from Tokyo Bay you would recommend. Thanks!

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              Tokyo Bay
              183 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

              1. re: Noodle fanatic

                rolls: spicy salmon roll, spicy girl special roll, fire dragon special roll;
                sushi: fluke, salmon, tobiko, uni, unagi. NOT Tamago - it is hit and miss.