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Budget Dinners for 5ppl -- Less than $40 per person, not including drinks?

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Seeking Budget Dinners for 5ppl -- Less than $40 per person, not including booze beverages.

My mother, 2 cousins, maid of honor and I will all be meeting in NYC to go wedding dress shopping.

My mother will graciously be picking up the tab for the dress, the hotel and our dinners --- so I don't want to bankrupt her with pricey meals!

We will be in town Thurs night 7/21 - Sat night 7/23.

A few notes:
-- I know its restaurant week, but I'm looking for general options not with prefix menus.
-- The first night we will be tired from traveling so something near our hotel in SOHO for Thurs 7/21
-- My family is from LA, so no Mexican food (Spanish food, is cool, though)
-- I will be squeezing into dresses in the mornings so lighter, organic fare suggestions get a PLUS!

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I want to make this a fun and enjoyable experience to show my family I appreciate their love and support!

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  1. Does that $40pp include tax and tip? It's best to give a food-only figure per person.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      $40 per person is food only. The figure doesn't include drinks, tax or tip.

    2. Tapas at Boqueria in SOHO for Thursday.

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      Boqueria
      171 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

      2 Replies
      1. re: thegforceny

        I have definitely gone over 40 pp at Boqueria just on food; you can definitely do it under, but many menu items will just be unviable.

        For the soho meal, one I just thought of is Antique Garage- which I think is a fun place for a group of your size.

        There are some great options that will fit easily in your budget in Chinatown. Congee Village or Congee Bowery is a great family style option that has a lot of variety. Nyonya is malaysian so it's a little more interesting and still will work with your price range.

        Ippudo as well is a nice sitdown atmosphere, and while it's pricey for Ramen, that still is well within your budget. I also think a sitdown burger place would definitely work, like The Smith, Resto, or something along those lines, but might make the dress fittings less fun.

        Good luck! There are many fantastic options so I'm sure you'll have a great time!

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        Nyonya
        199 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

        Resto
        111 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016

        Congee Bowery
        207 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

        Congee Village
        100 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

        Boqueria
        53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

        The Smith
        55 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

        Ippudo
        65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

        Antique Garage
        41 Mercer St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: InfoMofo

          Thanks for the ideas -- my dress shopping will be done by Saturday night -- so I'll be in the mood to eat eat eat!

      2. In Soho I'd recommend:

        Caffe Falai - casual Northern Italian, on the lighter side, great house-made pastas served true Italian style (i.e. not big honkin' "Italian-American" portions), fresh seasonal antipasti and secondi. Seems to be a popular spot for model-types so I suspect it meets the "lighter fare" requirement. (Not that I'd know a model from a bus driver, but my gf has pointed them out on more than one occasion when we're eating there...)

        But if you happen to find yourself craving heavier fare, for more rustic Italian there's Osteria Morini, down the street. I'm not a huge fan but many others here quite like them - OM trades in much heartier "put you in a food coma" Italian fare, which I often dig, but I found it all a bit heavy and one-note, personally. YMMV. CF is also a nicer location, IMHO, with big picture windows and outdoor seating if you want it - good for people watching, etc. But those are two generally well-liked casual Italian places in the 'hood.

        Depending how much you were going to eat - if you're not going to for a full app, entree, and dessert each - maybe just doing an entree/pp and splitting a few apps and/or desserts - it opens up your options. The Dutch or Hundred Acres to the West and Public to the East (technically in NoLita) could all be good. The two former are creative New American, the latter a more eclectic fusion - much more creative than one usually thinks of "fusion" food, though. They're a great brunch option for Saturday, as well. (Actually, they're all decent brunch / lunch options)

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        Caffe Falai
        265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

        Public
        210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

        Hundred Acres
        38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012

        Osteria Morini
        218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

        The Dutch
        131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

        1 Reply
        1. re: sgordon

          Thanks for the ideas-- I'm looking over menus now & drooling!