Monday, May 25, 2009

Best Bargain Dining in NYC (S. of 30th St)

Whether you are visiting or a local, these places rank tops on my list of NYC restaurants below 30th Street for great food at a reasonable price.

You can really get taken for a ride as restaurants go, and I have heard way too many friends visiting from out of town describe less than stellar dining experiences when left to their own devices (well, it was right by our hotel..blah, blah). News flash---If you look around and all the patrons seem like they hail from Kansas (sorry, Kansasites) get the hell out of there. Only eat in neighborhoods where people actually live (nothing with the word midtown or financial in it), and don't even think about going to Chili's or Red Lobster.

For those of us living in NYC on a budget who also use our ovens for storage (busted! know you have shoes, books or winter clothes in there!), these restaurants are the perfect spots to grab dinner with friends...and most do takeout too.

Pepe Giallo on 10th Ave. at 26th St. - Charming little Italian place with cheap, yet delicious, pasta entrees. Ask to sit in the back garden: it's the best spot in the place. Only one CC per check so bring your cash if you are with a group.

Le Grainne on 9th Ave. at 21st St - French Bistro food for much less than Balthazar or Pastis. Salads are perfectly dressed, and I just love the croque monsieur. Avoid the line at Magnolia and jump across the street to Billy's Bakery to grab something sweet apres dinner.

Tomoe Sushi on Thompson between Bleecker and Houston (only open for dinner). The fact that there is a line out the door every night speaks volumes. Get there early or late or expect to wait....haha that rhymed. Ridiculously fresh sushi at a great price. Only accepts Amex or cash.

Cubana Cafe on Thompson St. between Prince St. and Spring St. I love this basement restaurant. Great food, fun latin music, and a perfect atmosphere to get the night started. Be sure to order a side of the roasted delish. Cash only.

Olive's on Prince St. at Greene St. Great to stop in and grab a sandwich and lemonade. Lovely little take out lunch place.

12 Chairs on MacDougal at King St. - Love this place for lunchy-brunchy-breakfasty things.

Finally, for Sunday dinner go to Extra Virgin on West 4th Street for the spaghetti and meatball special. It is $20 and enough to fill up two people. Don't miss out on the pistachio crusted goat cheese salad favorite in the city!

Am I missing your favorite place?? Leave a comment below and let me know!---haha more rhyming. :-)

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