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NYC weekend - College Budget Edition

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My friend and I will be visiting NYC next weekend. We've both been to NYC - I used to live there - and would like to steer clear of tourist traps.

In addition we're now both unemployed, recent college grads; we're foodies (one of us is a vegetarian, but will eat meat on a "cultural experience basis") - we love ethnic food - but on a very tight budget.

We've combed through the obvious cheap eats columns, but a lot of them are all over the outer boroughs, and many are not even that cheap (we'd prefer most meals under $10pp, maybe one around $20 - yes we know, this is difficult). Can you chowhounds give us some recommendations?

We'll be staying in morningside heights, which we know is not a culinary wonderland by any means - obviously we'll be spending a lot of time downtown.

We also wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and get pizza. Grimaldi's is obviously an option, but we'd like something a little better that isn't a total shlep across Brooklyn. We thought about Lucali's but it's twice the price of Grimaldi's! Suggestions?

Thanks all!

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Grimaldi's
47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10010

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  1. For Brooklyn pizza suggestions, you'll need to post on the Outer Boroughs board.

    If you're looking for eats more in the $10 range, take a peek at Real Cheap Eats. Everything on this page is under $10.
    http://realcheapeats.com/nyc/manhattan/

    Also have you looked at Midtown Lunch? Nothing is ever over $10, and they have a downtown and Flatiron section as well.

    Last year's reader's poll picks:
    http://midtownlunch.com/2011/01/07/be...

    Flatiron Lunch archives
    http://midtownlunch.com/category/flat...

    Downtown archives
    http://midtownlunch.com/downtown-nyc/

    BTW I hope you like Chinatown:
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0...

    IMO it is better to start on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, and walk back to Manhattan, and eat a cheap lunch/dinner in Chinatown. Then go do Motorino's $12 salad and lunch deal on a weekday. Another option is Keste's $6 lunchtime special (to go only). You can try two of the best and most popular pizzerias in town and stay in your price range, if you go for lunch.

    http://www.motorinopizza.com/ev-lunch...
    http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/06...

    As for other non-pizza options, you'll probably want to look into:
    Fried dumplings
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0...
    Banh mi
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0... [note: I had the winner the other day and while it was good, I wasn't a huge fan of the pork floss in there
    ]Arepas at Caracas Arepas Bar or other
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784199
    http://www.caracasarepabar.com/manhat...
    Falafel at Taim, Azuri, etc.
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...
    Hot dogs at Crif Dogs - I'm a fan of the Deragon dog
    http://www.crifdogs.com/menu

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    Taim
    222 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014

    Caracas Arepa Bar
    93 1/2 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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

    Crif Dogs
    113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

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

    Motorino
    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003