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08-16-2007, 10:48 PM
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Churrascaria Plataforma is good, but by no means unique (there's at least one Churrascaia in Montreal, too), and it's very expensive: last time I was there I paid $83 and we kept it on the cheap side.

Cheap eats? It's not that easy to eat too much on the cheap in Manhattan these days. Depending on what area of town you're in, these are my recommendations where you can get a meal (maybe not 3 courses) for less than $30. I usually go out downtown, so this list reflects that.

Lower East Side:
Paladar (latin/carribean food);
Pink Pony (French/diner);
Falai (Italian, terrific, might be too $$$);
Azul Bistro (Argentine steakhouse);
'inoteca (wine bar/light food);
Bereket (cheap, good döner kebabs, etc.);
Stanton Social (actually, too $$$, but oh, so good, small plates);
Katz's Deli (one of the last real delis, an absolute New York must).

East Village:
Café Mingala (Burmese, also in the upper east side. Amazing food for the money, and a lot, too: recommend the Mango Chicken and the Mo-Goke Pork);
Lucien (too expensive, really, but some of the best French food for the price in town);
Café Mogador (good inexpensive Morroccan);
Tuck Shop (cheap, delicious Australian pies, another location on 48th St.);
Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches (cheap, small place. Not many seats, but really recommend it -- try the iced Vietnamese coffee);
Max (inexpensive Italian place that serves big bowls of home-made pasta, sister restaurant to Frank and other places called Max in the Upper West Side);
Lavagna (slightly more expensive, more refined Italian);
Sunburnt Cow (fun Australian bar/restaurant);
Holy Basil (my favourite Thai in Manhattan);
Avenue A Sushi (good cheap sushi);
Momofuku Noodle Bar (really good);
Momofuku Ssam Bar (sandwiches on steamed buns, also great);
Great Jones Café (hardly authentic Cajun, but I love this place);
Telephone Bar (good pub food);
Zum Schneider (German restaurant/bar, the owner is a great guy).

Soho/Tribeca/Financial District:
Hamptons Chutney Co. (Great for Lunch, giant dhosas);
Kelley & Ping (also good for lunch, cool noodle place);
Grace (bar/restaurant with consistently great food);
Lombardi's (the first dedicated Pizzeria);
Adrienne's Pizza Bar (Financial District. It's in the family, so I have to plug it! Also check out Ulysses and Financier if you're down there).
Carmine's (near the seaport, best chicken parm I've ever had);
Joe's Shanghai (great soup dumplings).

West Village:
John's (my favourite pizza in New York);
Joe's (on Carmine Street, another great pizza place);
Corner Bistro (cheap, many people's pick for best burger in NYC);
Cuba (I know the guys who work here, great atmosphere);
Indian Bread Co. (Good fast Indian);
Kathi Roll (similar);
Maamoun's (one of the better falafels in town, but you have much better in Montreal);
Extra Virgin (everything revolves around olives);
'ino (panini bar);
Otto (Mario Batali's pizza place);
Paris Commune (bit too $$$, nice brunch atmosphere, though);
Cornelia Street Café (great brunch);
Palma (opposite Cornelia Street, also great brunch);
Chez Claude (on W4th St., not a restaurant, but really good pâtisserie and good coffee).

Union Square/Chelsea/Irving Place/Gramercy/Murray Hill:
Coffee Shop (good late-night place);
Bar Jamon (wine bar/tapas);
Craftbar (cheaper place next to the excellent Craft; also checkout 'wichcraft sandwich chain);
Bao Noodles (Offshoot of excellent east village Vietnamese, Bao 111);
Half King (out of the way, but good pub for food);
Rodeo Bar (lots of fun);
Blue Smoke (not cheap, but decent BBQ).

Midtown (restaurants around here are usually overpriced):
Jean-Georges Nougatine ($25.00 3 course prix-fixe lunch from a Michelin-starred restaurant: perhaps the best deal in New York, make a reservation, not on Sundays);
Eatery and Whym (good Westside sister restaurants);
PJ Carney's (surprisingly good pub food if you happen to find yourself on 57th and 7th Ave.);
Cafe BXL (Belgian place off of Times Square, friend owns it, good beer);
Tuck Shop (again!).

Upper West Side:
Shun Lee Café (great pricey Chinese place's cheaper neighbour);
Flor de Mayo (two locations, the best Latin Chinese places in town);
Le Monde (part of a chain of similar French resto's, the best of those).

Upper East Side:
Café Mingala (again!);
Uva (nice Italian wine bar);
JG Melon (one of the best burgers in town, challenges Corner Bistro);
Trata Estatorio (decent lunch deal, not bad Greek);
Serafina (nice Italian chain, not cheap);
Le Payard (resto is $$$, but a great pâtisserie).

OK, sorry, I got a bit carried away there. I've been to all these places and can vouch for them, though. Others might be better, but these are all good.

Last edited by 007: 08-16-2007 at 10:58 PM.
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