Here goes, NYC
Hi, I'm coming to NYC (Manhattan) from Houston for a few days next week. This will be my 1st trip to New York.
I'm looking for reasonably priced good places to eat. By reasonably, I guess I mean under $30/person, though that's not set in stone.
A Brief List of Preferences
Chinese, Thai, Korean
Mexican (tricky, I think Houston has superior Mexican)
I'm staying in midtown Manhattan, but willing to travel.
I've been reading this board for a few days.
I hope this post isn't too generic!
Almost everything Chinese would be under $30/person. Whether you're by yourself or not is actually a consideration in which Chinese restaurants I would recommend to you. For example, my favorite Cantonese banquet restaurant in Manhattan, South China Garden, is not ideal for just one person.
Since you're from Houston, definitely do not have any Mexican food in New York.
There are so many restaurants that could fit into your specifications that any additional preferences in terms of types of dishes you particularly like, which locations you'd prefer, etc., would be helpful.
American - can you elaborate more on what this means to you? Steak, burgers, sandwiches?
Chinese, Thai, Korean - For Chinese, can you specify what kind of Chinese food you want? Sichuan, Cantonese, dim sum, etc.? NYC is strongest in Sichuan but I'm not familiar with Houston's Chinese food scene.
For Thai, what are you looking for? Curry, pad thai, khao soi, maybe larb? Thai is kind of spotty in NYC -- for example there are some restaurants whose pad thai is not good but they have great, more interesting Northern Thai dishes.
Also it's hard to do Korean BBQ for just one person, the best place I know of, Madangsui, has a two person minimum. I'm not an expert on other Korean -- it really depends what dishes/stuff you want.
Food carts, any specific cuisines, maybe something you don't have at home?
Great coffee - depends if you want light roast or dark roast, and drip coffee or straight up espresso or cold brewed iced coffee or fancy espresso drinks.
Bagels - get a smoked salmon sandwich from Russ & Daughters, or go to Barney Greengrass for a sit down experience.
Italian - again, depends what you want. Are you including pizza in this? I'd include Keste and/or Motorino if so. And you can do Po, Otto, or Peasant or a number of other Italian restaurants for that price range, but a lot depends on your preferences: antipasti, pizza, pastas, roasted meats, what are you looking for?
I'd skip Mexican here.
I'm sure there are other cuisines here that Houston doesn't have a lot of, maybe you should spend your time exploring those instead?
Top 3 cheap eats that are NOT street food
541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003
These might also help:
Best Thai - note that Kurve and Rhong Tiam have closed but Rhong Tiam has just opened a takeout location on 21st and Broadway
Best Korean BBQ
Best cheap eats under $10
Please help me eat during a month in new york
Don't leave NY without eating these foods
Pizza in NYC
BTW, I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour, just note that Guss' has closed so sub in Pickle Guy instead:
Best breakfast and brunch:
Top Ten Bars for Beer Snobs
Thanks everyone, great feedback and questions (especially Kathryn of course).
Chinese: definitely interested in Szechuan and Hunan. I lived in SF for 20 years, so fairly picky when it comes to Chinese.
American: both sandwiches and home-cooking/blue plate specials is what I guess I meant. Had never really thought about what American means. Not big on burgers or red meat in general. Which reminds me, any vegetarian suggestions? (Houston is very big on meat in general, so it's weak on veggie.)
Thai: curry; for me, Thai is all about curry.
Food carts: Houston basically has 1 kind, Mexican. I've read and intend to bring a list from NY Mag's "Best 20 food carts".
Italian: definitely pasta.
Neighborhoods: particularly interested in Chelsea and the Village.
Thanks again for helping me narrow things down.
For Sichuan, go to Szechuan Gourmet on 39th and 5th or go out to Flushing to Little Pepper or Spicy & Tasty, etc. Most of the best Sichuan is out in Queens. Manhattan just can't compete.
Same for Thai, you might have better luck out at Sripraphai where they have great green curries and other dishes.
For great sandwiches, Porchetta, No. 7 Sub, 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...
For vegetarian, maybe go to Curry Hill, get a dosa at Chennai Dosa or a meal at Tiffin Wallah. Well within your budget.
For reasonable Italian pasta, I like Po, Peasant, Otto, and Lupa (though I've not been back recently). Heard good things about Apizz and Falai though I haven't been.
In Chelsea, you have a lot of great options like Co aka Company for Naples inspired (but not exactly authentic) pizza, Grand Sichuan International, Txikito or El Quinto Pino for Spanish (though possibly a bit more than you want to spend).
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012
408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
370 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
127 E 28th St, New York, NY 10016
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002
El Quinto Pino
401 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011
21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
284 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001
283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023
No. 7 Sub
1188 Broadway, New York, NY 10001
Oh, Szechuan Gourmet obviates the need to have to leave Manhattan for excellent Sichuan. SG has a more extensive menu than LP to boot.
Not sure if the Fuzhou restaurant explosion has hit Houston but Manhattan has that well covered. This is a reverse Chinese migration (NYC westward) from over 100 years ago (California eastward.) Try Best Fuzhou at 71A Eldridge Street for a taste of Fujian delights.