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Mar 5, 2014 06:04 AM

LES seafood suggestions?

Visiting the lower east side with my wife on Saturday, and we are on a tight budget. Would appreciate any help finding a decent place for seafood that is inexpensive. I have heard that Tiny Fork and Lobster Joint are worth trying. Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. How tight? What's the budget per person before tax, tip, alcohol?

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Around $25pp if that's possible.

      1. re: alehrfeld

        I've got an excellent tip for you. One of the best Seafood restaurants in Manhattan is called Upstate. It is on the southern tip of the East Village right next to the LES, easy walk. You cannot miss.

        1. re: AubWah

          The problem with Upstate is that it is primarily serving craft american beer. That is why I have not taken a seat ever there.

          A more balanced offering for beverage in the beer realm, at a seafood venue, can be had, on the Lower East Side.

          Any suggestions.

      2. The two people I know who've been to Lobster Joint had little good to say about it. I would like you to try this place:

        and tell me how it is. Tiny Fork's menu pulled me in one day, but the hideous crowd pushed me right back out.

        3 Replies
        1. re: small h

          I was looking for Tiny Fork today. Looks like The Derby is now in that location. Did I miss it?

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Nope, Tiny Fork is closed -- The Derby is its replacement.

        2. Is that $25 before tax tips and drinks, or after?

          I'd probably lean Asian on that budget. If you like spicy, try Zabb Elee on 2nd Ave - nothing's over $11 on the whole menu. You could have a pretty good feast for that price. A Yum Mama Talae (egg noodles with shrimp & squid) a Som Tum Korat (papaya salad with pickled fish) and maybe a Pla Dook (catfish in tamarind) - the whole thing would set you back maybe $40 after tax and tip, and you'd be plenty sated with food.

          Going a little further South (and less spicy) there are some good Chinese options - Congee Village has, like, 800+ menu choices, lots of seafood among them, and while they're not among the top rank of Chinese seafood places, they're reasonably priced, and the place is garish and fun.

          1. Lobster Joint is excellent and a good bargain. If you are not big eaters you could share a lobster roll. They give you a massive amount of fries.
            Grey Lady is excellent but not cheap.
            In Chinatown you will find inexpensive restaurants serving seafood.

            3 Replies
              1. re: loratliff

                SO just went to Grey Lady. Said it's a bar with a restaurant. But the food is better than bar food. Really good music. I'll find out more about the food and report back. He did not use the word "excellent."

            1. Fuleen in chinatown (very close to les) has a seafood focused menu and would be within budget

              8 Replies
              1. re: Ttrockwood

                I like Fuleen but it's more of a gritty, grungy, time warp Triad hangout.

                  1. re: scoopG

                    Based on the other places OP mentioned, I don't think a gritty Chinatown experience is what they are after. It doesn't get any better than Upstate for what OP is after

                  2. re: Ttrockwood

                    Thanks, guys, for all of these excellent suggestions! I knew that Chinatown would be a good option for budget-conscious seafood, but my wife simply won't go. She considers it too "adventurous". Thankfully, my son is happy to accompany me for soup dumplings anytime I ask. Upstate is probably her choice, based on what you've suggested here. Does anybody know if this place is still open for business (their website appears to be down):

                    Thanks again.

                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      I love Fuleen (they're probably my favorite Cantonese seafood place in Manhattan at the moment) but I find it's better a.) with a group, since most dishes are family-size and b.) on a larger budget, which is probably why I didn't mention it in my initial post - many of the seafood dishes are $20+ to begin with. They're better than Congee Village, for sure, I just find dining as a two-top on the cheap easier there than at Fuleen. But it's certainly doable.

                      I don't find them so grungy - gritty time warp, sure, but it's clean. And to paraphrase Motosport, that only makes it better!

                      1. re: sgordon

                        Its definately better with more people, just figured the OP would get more lobster pp for the budget than on a lobster roll.
                        The time warp chinatown environment is a defining NYC experience IMO, too bad its off the table for the OP's needs this trip.