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Inexpensive lunch and dinner near Central Park West

I live in Boston but I'll be in NYC this Fri-Sat for an interview. I'm staying in Central Park West (near 63rd St) and I'm looking for some casual and quick lunch options near my hotel. I'm a poor medical student so I'm looking for something on the inexpensive side (around $10 for lunch). I'm open to all types of cuisine, except chinese food. Later on I'm going to an event at a bar (on the west side near 80th st) but I'm not sure there will be much food there so I'm hoping to grab a light and quick bite to eat beforehand. Again, I'd like to keep it on the cheaper side (but willing to spend a little more than lunch). Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. $10 for lunch - does that include tax and tip? Maybe pizza or a falafel....?

    1. Carnegie Deli, 854 7th Avenue at 55th Street, for a classic NY experience. The sandwiches are mile high and shareable.

      Le Pain Quotidien, 7 East 53rd Street, is a Belgian bakery/cafe which serves soup, salad and sandwiches. It is a healthy, inexpensive option which serves quiche, eggs for breakfast, Belgian waffles and wonderful in house baked bread along with nice cafe au lait.

      Bouchon Bakery, 10 Columbus Circle, 3rd floor, 60th Street at Broadway has a wonderful quiche, and ham and cheese on a baugette along with yummy pastries.

      As a former Bostonian, good luck with those places.

      Bouchon Bakery
      10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

      Carnegie Deli
      854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      4 Replies
      1. re: TravellingFoodie

        There's a much closer Le Pain Quotidien, I believe on West 65th (or West 66th), between CPW & Broadway.

        The YMCA on West 63rd Street has a small cafe inside called "63 bites". The location would be convenient to your hotel. Prices are reasonable. I've eaten there only a couple of times. There's even a dining area where you can bring your food to eat. The surroundings are a bit drab, but if you're pressed for time it could be a decent option that should allow you to stay in your budget


        1. re: uwsgrazer

          You're absolutely right about Le Pain between CPW & Broadway.

        2. re: TravellingFoodie

          One of those mile-high Carnegie Deli sandwiches (one of the cheaper ones) will set you back $16 before tax and tip and the plate sharing fee is another $5.

        3. Lansky's on Columbus &71 great deli, great value!
          agree with Bouchon Bakery

          Lansky's Old World Deli
          235 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

          1. Yo, Boston!
            Walk up to Zabar's and sit in the tiny cafe next to the store for lunch.
            Or, around the corner, go to Barney Greengrass.
            It's 20 blocks or so from the hotel, but you're young and strong, I know you can do it.

            Dinner? Burger Joint inside the Meridien Hotel on 57th & 6th.

            I'm Boston-based, too, but with NYC roots & med school savvy.


            Barney Greengrass
            541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

            Burger Joint
            118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

            2 Replies
            1. re: scotty27

              Across the street from the Meridien is Angelo's Coal Fired Pizza.

              1. re: scotty27

                I like the Zabar recommendation! We don't really have anything like it in Boston either!

              2. There's a Maoz on 70th near Bway. It a terrific place for an inexpensive lunch. I love all the toppings they have for self-service. (Oh, it's a falafel joint and they also have pretty good Belgian style fries too.) And there is seating there.

                2047 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                1. Gray's Papaya on Bwy and 79th has a "recession" special: 2 hot dogs and a drink for $3.00. Or was it $3.50??

                  You could also check out Big Nick's burger Joint on 77 and Bwy. Open 24/7 and good and cheap.

                  Big Nick's
                  70 W 71st St, New York, NY 10023

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Motosport

                    Gray's! Brilliant. Got to love it.

                    1. re: scotty27

                      Once a year I get a stroke of brilliance!! I guess I'm done for 2011.

                    2. re: Motosport

                      Gray's Papaya is on Broadway at 72nd, not 79th, and I think the special is up to $3.50

                      Gray's Papaya
                      2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                    3. You can go to Bouchon in the Time warner center. Very close to where you live and you can get some good pastries or a sandwich which will be a couple of dollars more than $10. I like the roast pork sandwich.



                      1. You've gotten lots of excellent advice here, though much of it asks you to walk a bit (worth it!) or pay a bit upscale. Just for an inexpensive, but decent, option very local to where you will be staying, there is a Goodburger on 8th Avenue between 57th and 58th, just south of Time Warner.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: CatoUWS

                          I'll second that. I've been to the ones near Union Sq and Lex Ave. Both good.

                        2. If you're up for walking, head west to Hell's Kitchen, where there are lots of good inexpensive options. Wondee Siam for Thai, some good Ethiopian and Afghani places, the little Greek grocery that makes awesome phyllo-wrapped things. Further west is the great hole in the wall Mexican place on 10th ave behind the Mexican grocery store. Sorry--names are escaping me, so I hope others will help out.

                          Sullivan St Bakery and Grandaisy Bakery have awesome pizzas (more like thinly sliced roasted vegetables on awesome bread than traditional pizza) and the sandwiches at Grandaisy are tasty. From Grandaisy, you'll be close to Grom (great, but expensive gelato) and Jacques Torres (awesome hot chocolate).

                          Shake Shack is also an option.

                          Wondee Siam
                          792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: rose water

                            The Mexican place is Tehuitzingo, on 10th @ 47th.

                            695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                            1. re: rose water

                              Tehuitzingo is a good bet if you're looking for inexpensive Mexican. If you want the pizza from Sullivan St, I believe you can still get it at Zabar's, as well, if you find yourself in that area. I am assuming you are interviewing at Roosevelt, which is not far at all from Time Warner, so in that respect, Bouchon is a good bet. However, it is somewhat pricier for what you get (somewhat small portions for savory, though the baked goods/sweets are large) than if you venture further into Hells Kitchen/Ninth Avenue territory. The Greek grocery referred to above is probably International Delights (quite a bit south, around Port Authority), though there is also Poseidon Bakery. Other spots include Azuri Cafe (middle eastern), Afghan (2 different kebab spots), or thai, as noted above. Zigolini's may be a fun spot for dinner if there is someone else you could cajole into sharing a pizza (Neapolitan style pizza, usually around $15/pie) There is also Two Boots Pizza for an entirely different take on pizza, which would give you a by-the-slice option. Keep in mind that this is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of spot, as it is somewhat untraditional, with oregano in the crust, funky toppings, etc.
                              No matter what, enjoy your time. Interview season can become a grind, but much better when you can have fun exploring the city while you're at it!

                              695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                              Azuri Cafe
                              465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

                              Poseidon Bakery
                              629 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                              1. re: orthorunner

                                Thanks for filling in the gaps, JoanN and orthorunner. I was thinking Poseidon. In the area, sourdough dark chocolate chip twists from Amy's Bread are a fantastic snack.

                            2. Thanks for all the suggestions! Looks like there are a lot of great options close by!

                              1. Istanbul Cafe is a good Turkish place on 57th St. between 8th (the downtown extension of Central Park West south of Columbus Circle) and 9th. You can get a doner kebab sandwich there.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Pan

                                  Looks as if Istanbul Cafe's new name is ABA Restaurant.

                                  Their lunch and dinner specials look like a good deal. How's the place inside, is it nice enough to dine-in?


                                  1. re: uwsgrazer

                                    I forgot about the name change. Yes, it's pleasant inside and has some decor.

                                2. How about Nanoosh on B'way between 68th & 69th? Right price, right neighborhood. I've never been, but I have a friend who has lunch there often who says the food is very fresh, very good.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    Nanoosh is terrible. Hummus Place or Gazala's, both a few blocks away, are far better.

                                    380 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

                                    1. I ended up going to Lanksy's Deli on Columbus and 71st. (I had tried to go to Bouchon Bakery but it was closed temporarily). Lanksy's was delicious..I had the delicious matzah ball soup and grilled cheese pastrami. Very satisfying on a cold snowy day! On the way back to my hotel I also stopped at Magnolia Bakery for some cupcakes.

                                      Bouchon Bakery
                                      10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                                      Magnolia Bakery
                                      200 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023