HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Ideas for two teenagers?

Hi everyone! A friend and I are going to Manhattan next Sunday and we're looking for dinner options. We're both 17, so the budget's kind of small. He's a fan of Italian and I like Asian, but I'll eat anything and he doesn't mind spicy food either. Any ideas, preferably downtown?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. If you want real good Asian on a budget, I suggest you take either the F or 7 train to Queens. Italian is not really cheap anywhere:.sorry, I hope to be wrong! What kind of Asian do you prefer? Chinese (which of 8 major styles? do you care at all?), Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Indian, other? (Japanese seems to be more expensive.) How about Lebanese or Uzbeki? You won't break a bank. Or maybe Colombian or other Latin food? And what's your budget? $5-10? more?

    1. How small is small? That will help people give recommendations. Also, what part of town do you expect to be in mostly?

      1. Keste on Bleecker Street for amazing pizza.

        -----
        Keste Pizza & Vino
        271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        1. Small, like, around $20 maximum? I expect us to be in the Chelsea area but we can travel, just not out of borough. I like Thai best but I also love Korean, Malaysian, Japanese, basically anything. I like Middle Eastern too (I'm Persian) but I think that's a little exotic for him. I'm a lot more sophisticated food-wise than he is so I want something that we can both enjoy.

          18 Replies
          1. re: Skittsie13

            Zabb Elee is within your budget, downtown (East Village), Thai, and spicy. Here's a ridiculously long thread about it:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/774798

            and here's a link to the restaurant's site:

            http://www.zabbelee.com/contents/home...

            -----
            Zabb Elee
            75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: Skittsie13

              Zabb Elee is great and very spicy. But it won't have the pad thai and curry dishes that you and your friend may be used to, if that matters.

              -----
              Zabb Elee
              75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: kathryn

                Honestly, I don't even like pad thai that much, haha. Zabb Elee sounds FANTASTIC. I'd love to try it but I think it could be a bit adventurous for him. Any suggestions for Italian? Much less exciting but probably more his style.

                -----
                Zabb Elee
                75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: Skittsie13

                  Is your budget $20 before tax and tip? Or after?

                  $20 isn't much for non-pizza Italian these days in Manhattan, sadly.

                  Otto may work.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    i had a sadly disappointing meal at Otto the other day. the pizzas just aren't up to par with what is available elsewhere. i've had some very good pasta dishes, but as many bad ones. the vegetable side dishes and desserts remain the the most interesting menu items for me, but i'm not sure if it'll be enough to get me back after this last visit.

                    two weeks ago, i would have made this same recommendation.

                    -----
                    Otto
                    1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: coasts

                      You know, I've never really cared for Otto's pizzas.

                  2. re: Skittsie13

                    Ok. The only Italian restaurant I know of that is a) <$20/pp and b) not bad if you keep your expectations modest is Bona Fides. I've had many cheap meals there over the past, oh, 15 years or so. Your friend will be comfortable with the menu.

                    http://www.bonafidesrestaurant.com/

                    -----
                    Bona Fides
                    60 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: small h

                      Bona Fides menu with prices (couldn't check the restaurant's link earlier due to stupid iPad Flash blindness):

                      http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                    2. re: Skittsie13

                      Malatesta...outdoor seating near the Hudson River in the Far West Village...pastas are usually under 15 bucks...you can share grilled calamari salad and/or a couple pasta dishes...and since you won't be drinking, it'll be the most reasonable and fun Italian meal in town, and close to Chelsea too...

                      1. re: Simon

                        I am often in a similar dilemma as the OP. I don't like Italian, prefer bolder flavored Asian cuisines (in the broadest definition of the term). If I can't get dining partners to split the difference and go for Turkish or Lebanese, Malatesta is a good compromise. Big flavors, nice location and moderate pricing.

                        -----
                        Malatesta
                        649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                        1. re: JungMann

                          I agree - Malatesta is another good choice.

                          -----
                          Malatesta
                          649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                    3. re: Skittsie13

                      this might be too far out of his comfort zone, but how about Indian? you can definitely get a great meal within your budget.

                      1. re: Skittsie13

                        For Italian, I am pretty sure you could do Max in EV for under $20/person.

                        -----
                        Max
                        51 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                        1. re: Skittsie13

                          Have you ever been to Chelsea Market? There's a little Thai place in there that is very good (and very cheap!). It's called Chelsea Thai Wholesale and they sell Thai cooking ingredients, as well as food.

                          If the weather is nice, I would highly recommend getting something there, perhaps a sweet treat from another Chelsea Market shop, and heading up to the High Line for a picnic lunch.

                          Within your budget, and just a fun New York thing to do!

                          -----
                          Chelsea Thai
                          75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                          1. re: loratliff

                            Chelsea Market is an excellent idea. There is also the Italian market right across from the Thai place where his friend could get something as well.

                            1. re: samanthainthecity

                              i like the Chelsea Market idea too...lots of fun options and peoplewatching...

                              1. re: samanthainthecity

                                Yes! Buon Italia has great food too—totally blanked on them for the Italian rec. It's within budget, and there's nothing better than eating on the High Line on a nice day.

                                -----
                                Buon Italia
                                75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                          2. Pepe Giallo has good pastas and eggplant parmigiana as well as some mains in your price range.

                            Plus the restaurant has a really nice garden in back to eat in and is in Chelsea (25th Street and 10th avenue) near all the art galleries, the Highline, Chelseas Piers and a really nice park right beyond the Piers by the Hudson River. Or you can even walk down to the Chelsea Market after you eat (16th and 9th avenue) and get some brownies or gelato for dessert .

                            http://www.pepegiallo.com/

                            -----
                            Pepe Giallo
                            253 10th Ave, New York, NY 10001