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Best Cheap Asian Food

Hey Guys,

So I'm looking for recommendations for great cheap Asian food. I'm especially partial to Chinese (Szechuan Gourmet is my current obsession) and Vietmanese and love a lot lof heat (though not required). Basically, I'm a little broke right now so the cheaper the better but without compromising quality. My last requirment is I don't want to be waited on. I'm usually by myself so I'm more comfortable with places where I can order at a counter but that still has a seating area.

Thanks for your help!

Szechuan Gourmet
21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

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  1. Specifying a neighborhood would be helpful, but I can give you some ideas for places to eat without being waited on. The following includes a variety Asian cuisines.

    Panya (East Village)
    M2M Mart (East Village)
    Sunrise Mart (SoHo)
    Food Gallery 32 (KTown)
    Woorijip (KTown)
    Nicky's Banh Mi (East Village)
    Banh Mi Zon (East Village)
    Vanessa's Dumplings (Chinatown [and I guess East Village but I wouldn't recommend it])
    Go! Go! Curry (Midtown)
    Xi'an Famous Foods (East Village/Chinatown)
    Rai Rai Ken (East Village)
    Num Pang (East Village/Midtown)
    TKettle (East Village)

    Vanessa's Dumpling House
    118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

    Go Go Curry
    273 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018

    8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003

    Sunrise Mart
    494 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    26 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    12 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

    Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches
    150 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009

    Rai Rai Ken
    214 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

    55 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Num Pang Sandwich Shop
    21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

    Xi'an Famous Foods
    81 St. Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    Banh Mi Zon
    443 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

    Xi'an Famous Foods
    88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

    Food Gallery 32
    11 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

    Num Pang Sandwich Shop
    140 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017

    5 Replies
    1. re: MWinston

      Thanks for the recommendations. I'm looking forward to trying all of these. I didn't specify a neighborhood because I'm open to traveling anywhere in the city. The only place I'v'e been to on your list is Num Pang (which I love). I walk by Xi'an Famous Foods all the time and I always want to try it but it is always packed . . . and I've always been curious about M2M Mart.

      I'll let you know how it goes.


      55 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Num Pang Sandwich Shop
      21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      Xi'an Famous Foods
      88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

      1. re: titleTK

        If you are willing to venture, the Xi'an location on Bayard in Chinatown has the most seating available

        Xi'an Famous Foods
        67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

      2. re: MWinston

        Is Panya still open? When I try to search for it most sources say it is closed. Thanks!

        8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: MWinston

          Just a warning that Nicky's was sold and is now "Vicky's" (seriously). I haven't been since the change to see if its the same sandwich, but definitely new management. I assume the prices are similar.

          Personally I'm a Saigon Banh Mi girl, but Nicky's always did have great crispy bread (though its a smaller sandwich and costs more - not as much as Num Pang though).

        2. Great NY Noodletown is super cheap and tasty. The service is barely discernible.

          Great New York Noodletown
          28 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

          1 Reply
          1. re: H Manning

            Was just going to say that the service at Noodletown is as close to not being waited on as one can get without having actual counter service - always at least a couple people eating alone when I am there and just this weekend we had a pretty sizable lunch for 5 for 40 bucks.

          2. If you want to emphasize the cheap part, the best bargains are in some of the restaurants in the Fujianese section of Chinatown (e.g., East Broadway and cross streets) because this is where the Chinese workers in transit between NY and their jobs in other states hang out. For example I went by Langqi Zhong Hing at 30 Market St . I ordered the egg noodles in peanut sauce for $2, which I expected to be appetizer sized. Wrong--it was a full order of noodles, quite tasty, plus they gave me a cup of soup.

            New Zhong Hing
            30 Market St, New York, NY 10002

            1. For those recommending Vanessa's Dumplings - they're delicious. But Prosperity Dumplings a few blocks away is even better. It's on Eldridge between Hester and Canal in Chinatown. The space is small - maybe 4 stools. But show them a buck and you get five dumplings. I love the fried pork and chive dumplings. And the scallion pancakes for $1.50 or so are out of this world. This spot is one of my favorite finds in all of New York.

              Anyone else been? What did they think?


              1 Reply
              1. re: AdrienneK

                Yep, Prosperity is my go to. I like just about everything I've had there (sesame pancake with veggies, soup, buns) and its all just about $1. Definitely tops the list of high value NY asian foods.

              2. Others may disagree, but Grand Sichuan St Marks (to me) is every bit as good as Szechuan Gourmet and definitely cheaper. I also found it spicier.

                I also love Pho Grand (it was recommended to me by a Vietnamese friend). Tons of food and pretty cheap. Anything involving pork chop is great, as is the salt and pepper squid.

                Also on St Marks, and surprisingly good, is Boka - they do Korean Fried Chicken just like Bon Chon and cheap pitchers of beer, as well as other classic Korean dishes. I make no claim to its authenticity but that chicken is good!

                Zabb Elee on 2nd, not quite as cheap, but in the ballpark with Szechuan Gourmet for some very spicy thai (depending on how you order it - spice level is up to you).

                Xian Famous Foods on St Marks mentioned above is good too - really interesting stuff and full of spice. And its an order at the counter type place, so you'll like that. All the others I've listed are full service.

                And of course Prosperity.