HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Cheap, Group, Late Night, Union Square, Dinner

I'm Manny and I've been following the NYC digest for almost a year now, this is the first time I'm posting and I'm looking for a recommendation.

I need to:

1. Feed 8 people cheaply. No more than $300 including tax and tip
2. Open late. Dinner will be at 10:30pm
3. Walking distance from Union Square

I hope I'm not being too demanding

Thank You

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What day of the week?

    How far in advance are you planning?

    $300 for 8 including tax and tip, but any wine/drinks? Otherwise it comes out to about $30pp?

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for replying !
      I forgot to add that this is for this Saturday night July 7th

      1. re: ghettointlectual

        Some options:
        1. During the day, go to Ippudo and put your name down for later on that night
        2. Motorino may not be too busy by that time of night
        3. One of the many Thai restaurants in the East Village. Maybe Zabb Elee. They're open until 3am.

        1. re: kathryn

          Zabb Elee is open until 3AM now? That's great! They used to say they were open til midnight but they often closed at 11.

          1. re: hungrycomposer

            i had the same reaction: is this recent?...because i walked in at around 11pm a couple weeks ago to get takeout and their kitchen was already closed...

            1. re: Simon

              Oops, misread the hours! That's for their Queens location. Drat!

    2. The timing might be a little tight (they close at midnight), but Vapiano is very close to Union Square, and inexpensive; it's sort of a glorified cafeteria. The food is alright - pizza, pasta, salad, etc. - and it's a big space.


      1. Thank You all for the advice, I think I"m going to do a walk around and look into Ippudo, Motorino and Vapaino and decide.

        Thank You very much

        1. If you are careful about what you order Duke' or Big Daddy's might work.
          Not fancy but good comfort food. Friendly atmosphere.

          1. For a large group on a budget Chinese food is a good choice.
            The Cottage on Irving Pl has good Chinese food and they served free wine the last time I was there. Order 6-8 entrees and share family style.
            Open late too!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Motosport

              i've never been to Cottage, but this is the very first time i've ever heard anyone praise it...all other reports have been negative...is there a dish or two that you can recommend there?

              1. re: Simon

                Cottage has decent food. It's not fine Chinese dining but they are close to Union Sq, inexpensive, open late and serve free wine. Not bad for a group on a budget.
                We usually order a variety of dishes. It's standard Chinese fare.

            2. Timing might be tight on this one too (they close at midnight) but, Saigon Market is a great group place that fits your budget. They have large round tables! Its on 12th and University.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ilovetoeat23

                I'll keep the cottage in mind as a backup, Saigon Market closes too early, I don't expect us to start eating till about 11 because I expect some of the people to show up late.
                Thanks for the advice!

                1. re: ghettointlectual

                  No one has mentioned Coffee Shop yet, because it is unfashionable on Chowhound to admit that it's a decent enough place (although it is). It can get very crowded, especially late on a Saturday night. The prices might stretch your budget. But it's right on Union Square West, and open all night. So you might want to keep it in mind.


                  1. re: small h

                    i don't think Coffee Shop is even close to decent...the two meals i had there were inedible...

                    1. re: Simon

                      I've had upwards of 30 meals at Coffee Shop over many years, almost never because I was heading directly for it. Rather, I've been nearby with people who wanna eat and drink, and the menu has something for almost everyone, and there's a full bar, so there you go.

                      I don't order anything too complicated or challenging. I've had pretty good luck with the seared tuna salad, the quesadilla of the day, the eggs florentine, and the moqueca stew (and here I will out myself as someone who is a sucker for seafood stews, generally, and rarely finds fault with them unless they're really dreadful). Stuff that you suspect might be too sweet will definitely be too sweet, so don't order that. Stuff that is deep-fried will be be greasy, so don't order that, either.

                      As for The Cottage, about which you inquired upthread, the last time I was dragged there, under fierce duress, I ordered a seafood noodle soup, which I thought would be safe-ish. I got a bowl of ammonia-flavored seafood atop a giant noodle clump in a lake of saltwater. I drank a lot of wine that evening (and that was lousy, too).

                      1. re: small h

                        i had fish&chips there sometime within the past year and i couldn't eat more than a couple bites (and i'll eat all kinds of fried fish)...further back in time, i had a similar experience w/ an omelette: just awful...i figured those are simple enough diner dishes...but i'll keep that seafood stew in mind in case i ever find myself there...cheers...

              2. How about Pete's Tavern? It's open late.

                I haven't eaten there in a while, but I remember the food being pretty decent.