Cheap group dinner
I'm trying to plan a dinner for a friend who's visiting, and am looking for suggestions on where to go. The group is 10-15 people, all young 20s, and all looking to spend as little as possible (preferably <$50pp including drinks). I'm looking for somewhere downtown with a cool, fun atmosphere - no cuisine preferences except no Mexican. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated - thank you!
Under $50pp for food AND drinks will be tough. What about tax and tip?
If it's $50 ALL IN, then that's only about $39 for food and drink before tax and tip. You'd probably end up at a burger, Chinese, pizza, or BBQ restaurant, most likely.
Otto will be $40pp for food if you dine before 7:30pm or after 10pm. If you want prime time (7:30-10pm), you have to get the "deluxe" package at $55pp.
For Boqueria, the Flatiron location says they do groups up to 10, so you'd have to book the Soho one. It's $40pp for a chef's selection of tapas.
In Union Square there is "The Cottage" Chinese restaurant that serves free wine with dinner. It's decent, reasonably priced Chinese food. Big tables for a "Family Style" dinner.
Meatball Shop would be perfect IF you can get in with a group your size. Not the best food you'll ever have, but certainly good, and fun, and cheap. They don't take reservations, but perhaps if you call they can advise you whether you're likely to get a table if you show up early. Also, I think I read that their new 9th Avenue location has a second dining room downstairs, so they may be more able to accommodate you at that location.
[Edited to add: I just read on their website (http://www.themeatballshop.com/) that the Meatball Shop does accept reservations for groups of 8-12 at their Brooklyn location. I suspect that has not been updated since the opening of their 9th Avenue location, so I certainly would inquire about whether your group can be accommodated there.]