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Jun 12, 2012 11:18 AM

Cheap Eats You Want to Brag About

Dear Chownation:

Once upon a time, I lived in NY and could not afford to eat. When I moved away, I came back to eat at all the places that non-New Yorkers suggested one eat at (mostly celebrity chef joints). But now that I'm even wiser, I want to try some great foodie eats that aren't going to wreak havoc on the expense account, but are definitely worth seeking out. I'm not looking for killer slices of pizza or falafel. For example, I wouldn't mind getting my hands on some amazing Korean fried chicken or yakatori. Some ridiculous cured meats or fried fish might also be worth writing home about.

If you were coming to my neck of the woods, I'd want you to not only try a Jose Andres joint, but also dig your mouth and hands into a bushel of blue crabs and some Viet noodle bowls.

So throw some suggestions my way.

Greatly appreciated.

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  1. Have you checked out the Real Cheap Eats site?

    What neighborhoods will you be in?

    How cheap is cheap? $10? $5?

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I'll drop up to $40 on myself. But I want to make it go a long way -- not just on oysters and a glass of St. Emillion. I loved my meal at Craft and DBGB, but I'd rather have something memorable and maybe try a few dishes that I can't get in another town... at least not done as well or with as much availability.

      1. re: henmonster

        $40 for food only or including alcohol? It's easier to give a recommendation for a price point when you include only food.

        Recently I had way too much food at Mission Chinese on the Lower East Side, and definitely spent less than $40pp for food only.

        You may also want to look into the Sunday Suppers at Public and Marc Forgione.

        1. re: kathryn

          Let's start with food only. But if there's something amazing out there that includes a cocktail, I want that.

          1. re: henmonster

            If you're a cocktail fan, you may be interested in the happy hour specials at Lani Kai and The Randolph on Broome.

            1. re: kathryn

              I find the amount of pleasure derived at The Randolph's happy hour depends greatly on who is behind the bar, particularly if you go off menu.

          2. re: kathryn

            okay, trotter and eel in one dish plus flying ninjas on homepage makes Mission Chinese a serious contender. great prices and good eats. that's exactly it.

      2. Cuban sandwich at Sophie's

        Falafel at Alfanoose

        Banh mi at Ma Peche

        Ramen at Ippudo

        Crispy cumin lamb at Szechuan Gourmet

        Everything at Yunnan Kitchen

        Everything at Il Laboratorio del Gelato

        DKA at Dominique Ansel

        1. You should also consider posting this query to the Outer Boroughs board and also doing a search there.

          1. roast potatoes and pork at Porchetta, cocnut shrimp sandwich at Num Pang. Ribs at Georgia's, Salmon Croquettes at B&H Dairy, Burgers at Big Nick's, Potato pizza at Grand Daisy, Meatballs at the Meatball Shoppe, Scallops with mango at Haru Hana in Ktown ( i'll be ridiculed for this one, since it is Japanese in Ktown and a chain but it is run by Korean people and the dish is delicious.

            1. While it may not be unique enough to be "foodie," Coppelia is one of my go to places when I want a sit down meal but don't want to spend much:


              I'd argue that by NYC standards it's actually under priced (they often don't even charge for coffee at breakfast).

              I recently went to the Bowery Diner for the first time and felt the menu was pretty interesting and everything was reasonably priced:


              I lot of restaurants have excellent prix fixe deals, but they often apply to only specific days/hours.