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Jun 24, 2010 08:07 AM

please help me eat during a month in new york

i've traded apartments and am heading to new york during august. i know, i know, it will be hot, but i have work to do and the place has AC and is steps away from union square farmer's market.

I'm on a tight budget, but still intend to eat at least one delicious foodie meal a day. I'll probably throw a couple of fancy places in, but generally am looking for the cheaper, local secrets. I'm looking for foodie musts, at least thirty of them. It doesn't matter uptown or down, even other boroughs, if i'm eating out, i want to make it count. cool places to have drinks would be great, too.

I spend a good bit of time in new york every year, so I've eaten at lots of great places. On the cheap side, love Porchetta, baogette, all the chang joints (i'm even starting to like the dessert place, though it took me a while), chikalicious, mile end, the sub joint in the ace hotel,cafe at moma,etc


110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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  1. First off I'd recommend you check out Hester Street Fair (and Brooklyn Flea) if you haven't been yet. Luke's Lobster, Sigmund Pretzels, First Prize Pies...

    If you're into sandwiches, I might try to do a banh mi tour. If you like Porchetta and No. 7 Subs, why not try Defonte's, Lamazou, This Little Piggy, Despana's takeout counter, Salumeria Rosi (takeout), Di Paolo's (takeout and porchetta available only on weekends I think), Sunny and Annie's, Crosby Connection...

    Where are you coming from, BTW? And what's the absolute most you'd spend on a single meal including tax, tip, and drinks? As for a cool place to have a drink, what's your budget, and are you typically more interested in beer, wine, or cocktails?

    For fancier places on a budget, I would hit up the prix fixe lunch deals at Eleven Madison Park, Del Posto, and/or Jean Georges. See also Serious Eats' great lunch column:

    Midtownlunch.com is also a good resource for checking out the best of the best of cheaper eats in Midtown.

    Anything jump out in the following threads?

    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:

    Cool, cheap eats in Manhattan. .

    Looking for Best Cheap Eats in Manhattan

    Angeleno in NYC looking for cheap eats

    Top 3 cheap eats (not street food

    Best cheap eats in New York City
    Everything under $10!

    408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    Eleven Madison Park
    11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

    370 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

    Jean Georges
    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

    Del Posto
    85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

    Crosby Connection
    284 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

    Salumeria Rosi
    283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

    Luke's Lobster
    93 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

    Sigmund Pretzel Shop
    29 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

    No. 7 Sub
    1188 Broadway, New York, NY 10001

    Hester Street Fair
    Essex St Hester St, New York, NY 10002

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      i live in LA and travel to exotic places often. last trip to new york, in may, meant to get to the new flea market for some of your food carts, but was rushing back from hudson and had to choose between eating and getting to the gym before a romantic weekend. chose the gym, alas.

      as far as drinking goes, i'm more interested in places where i can meet interesting people, i.e. men, specifically straight creative types (though men who appreciate creative woman also work) with good jobs.

      won't be going out for solo hundred dollar plus dinners often, but if there is somewhere i shouldn't miss, why not tell me about it, you never know.

      for some guidance, the now closed tailor provided me with one of the best meals i've ever had. for some reason the entire restaurant was empty the whole time i dined, solo, which was kind of embarrassing, but several years later, i dream of that chocolate crusted steak and the zucchini cake i had for dessert.

      I'm giving myself $1500 for the month. i'm alone, so super fancy places, unless i meet a fabulous guy, probably aren't going to be that fun by myself. last month, lunched at craft, loved the breadsticks, hated the chicken liver mousse, frisee salad was a bit greasy, but, oh, those breadsticks. also lunched at dbgb's which was fine. loved the ice cream for dessert. had dinner at way expensive and not so good restaurant at the bowery hotel. on a date and glad i didn't have to pay because it was so ordinary and we basically spent $250 for food i don't even remember. oh yea, and loved the drink i had at the ace hotel, though the mob scene was a bit much.
      thanks for all your suggestions.

      1. re: jrnlmkr

        A good bar in your area is Lilly's on 17th. Nice turn of the century classic bar feel to the place and they have traditional Irish music sessions on saturday afternoons. Not sure if you could meet guys there on a regular basis but hey I go there.....

        1. re: jrnlmkr

          Tailor was wonderful. I went there on a date. She chose, and it was an incredible meal. Didn't want a second date, but I wanted to go there again. Sadly, it closed before I made it back. It's incomprehensible to me that Tailor closed and WD-50 continues to exist. Tailor managed originality with sensuality while WD-50 is purely intellectual. A friend who knows how much I like innovative Catalonian cuisine, I'd love WD-50. He totally missed the boat.

          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

          1. re: StevenCinNYC

            You do realize you've been resurrecting old threads, don't you? OP has come and gone on all of them.

            1. re: thegforceny

              Is that bad? I found these threads and found them useful and relevant. I really like Chowhound--lots of insightful, helpful, and friendly people, but I don't visit very often. I search for one thing and find a bunch of other things, some of which are on older threads.

              1. re: StevenCinNYC

                IMO it is. Others not. I don't see the value in posting about a closed restaurant in response to a visitor that has come and gone. Just me.

      2. Follow all the cheap eats guides, go for late in the day lunch specials, keep tabs on publications doing their one million and one best sandwiches lists, or whatever is the new hype (Porchetta and Baogette would fall into that category for most of us) but then take a look at some of our tried and true budget classics (such as Veselka or Ukranian Home). Torrisi Sandwiches, the Schnitzel truck, any of the better pub style burgers, Papusas from the Red Hook ballfields or Brooklyn Flea, Lan Sheng for lunch specials or stick to lo mein, Defonte's, and an endless list out in Brooklyn/Queens (there's another board for that).

        On a $10-25 budget you can eat really well. It sounds like you have about $40 to play with. That means you can allow yourself a couple splurges to the fancy places at lunch too. Beverages will obviously kill your budget if you're not careful. Even the iced coffees at $2.50 a pop can add up, but when the heat kicks in, you'll need to buy something iced to survive.

        http://www.pulsejfk.com/ and midtownlunch are two of many sites to follow free food offers, and other promotions.

        As for drink specials, Back Forty has a nice happy hour, and I believe a reverse happy hour, with a limited bar menu including sliders. It's a little cramped at the bar, but worthwhile.

        144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        Back Forty
        190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

        Lan Sheng
        60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

        2 Replies
        1. re: sugartoof

          i went to torrisi and was not as impressed as i'd hoped to be. had the fresh turkey sandwich and i thought the meat was really wet and had a weird texture. it actually felt like you could wring water out of it, like a kitchen sponge. also, it was a bit pink for my taste. my friend had the special, i think eggplant parm, and loved it, but we both left our soggy zucchini in the monkey dish it came in. i did appreciate that the place was full of men and would recommend it as a great place for date hunting.

          1. re: jrnlmkr

            It's not a place I would still suggest at this point. I think your description is accurate.

            The flavors still blend together well, but my ambivalence for the turkey evolving more and more into a turkey roll, has made it hard to go back. I'm also frustrated that no matter how I order, it comes close to $11 for a turkey sandwich without a side.

        2. I love Num Pang near Union Square for cheap Cambodian sandwiches.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ManhattanLawyer

            randomly, i ended up at num pang and loved it. my rule for this trip was supposed to be, one restaurant, one time, but i'm on visit number six to num pang and, except for really tough brisket one time, it has been lovely. bonus,the sweet clerk, fresh off the boat from florida, remembers me each time and announces in a loud voice, "this is your _______ time here."

            1. re: jrnlmkr

              6 times!

              Which sandwich are you partial to now, should you head back for that 7th trip?

              1. re: sugartoof

                mackerel and yam were my favorites. hated the brisket, it was really tough and embarrassing to eat in front of my date. every time i took a bite, the meat, which should have been tender and falling apart, came out of the bread in a huge unwieldy chunk, leaving me with a large piece of cow hanging out of my mouth. it had a nice spicy kick, though.
                the portobello mushroom was good, but didn't scream order me again. i loved the pickles, not so much the watermelon juice which was kind of chunky and mealy instead of smooth and refreshing.

                there was a weight to the sandwiches which made them feel substantial and important. not at all like banh mi i ate in vietnam which were float away light and hardly filled with anything. i didn't see any sandwiches in cambodia. however, most of my three days in siem reap was spent with head in the toilet food poisoning after eating happy pizz--so bad it surprises me i'm willing to try anything labeled cambodian.

                1. re: jrnlmkr

                  If you haven't gotten the tiger shrimp, that's the one that does the trick for me every time.

                  We eat at Num Pang consistently and consider it a better value and taste proposition over Boulud. (Yes, I really did just say that. What can I say? We might have ordered poorly that night.)

                  Num Pang Sandwich Shop
                  21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                  1. re: jrnlmkr

                    Thanks. I had good luck with the brisket, which was tender for me. It's a serious chunk of meat that wouldn't be fun to eat if it was undercooked.