If there is a mini world on this vast planet, we all have to agree that’s New York. Where else do you come across languages from all the continents being spoken in the same lane? Even people who have lived here for decades feel to date that there is still something that needs to be explored in this city. If such is the scenario, then it is but natural for this microcosm to offer all sorts of interesting palates right from pasta and pizzas of Europe to kebabs of Asia. Again with so many options, let’s filter them to tailor our budget to some extent. Find out more about the pocket-friendly places to eat and drink in New York.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor
NY got its first dim sum house here in the 1920s and had several owners. Try its ultra-fluffy oversize roasted-pork bun for just approximately $2, the flaky fried crepe egg roll for around $4, and tender stuffed eggplant for just $4 packed with the spicy shrimp-and-squid mixture. Again, its ambiance is reminiscent of a China town with checkered tablecloths covering Art Deco tables. A classic poster of a Chinese superstar can’t be missed.
Your search for good Vietnamese food ends here. Comfortably embedded in a realistic, warehouse expanse of Ridgewood Queens, this haphazard cottage from skater-bros Jacky and Jimmy Tu, dishes out palates of finest Vietnamese cuisine. The meals revolve around the restaurant’s namesake bún which is soft knots of vermicelli noodles. They pop up in all the dishes such as shrimp-and-pork–crammed summer rolls for around $10 and layers of seared eggplant and zucchini at around $13, furthered with dill and fried shallots. It is closed on Mondays.
One of the best BBQ joints in the city, you will not feel disappointed here even if you are a vegan. You still can salivate over their simply magical sweet-potato casserole bedecked with pecans (small size is for $3) with brilliant celery and cucumber pickles that are a hit. Or just load up your plate with the gigantic Brontosaurus Rib for $23 – the crispy, blackened beef is roasted for quite some hours over charcoal with the sprinkling of various condiments towards the end. You may also try their meaty baked beans, stimulated with burnt ends.
If you are a fan of Indian cuisine, this is your one-stop-shop for all spicy foods. Masala means spices in the Asian lingo. Savor their spicy Kebabs with other healthy Indian BBQ fares. Expecting silence here might be a bit of an aberration though as it is meant for chats, gossip, bitching, mingling – all in a befittingly Bollywood ambiance. Want your drink free, like them on FB! Try out Fish fry at just $14, Paneer Tikka i.e. cottage cheese cubes marinated in house spices and sour cream at just $12, Tandoori Chicken at a cool $14.
New Yorkers take their pizza quite seriously, so zeroing in on the right place is a big task. Luckily, some self-taught pizza connoisseurs have found out that Best Pizza is at its best when serving this coveted dish. Here, you pay for the artisanal pizza. It is best served fresh: pay around $4 for slices of piping hot cheese‘za, a whole dollar cheaper than many others in the vicinity. Put down another $4 and try a leopard-spotted whitish cream slice stuffed with sesame seeds and caramelized onions and gush it down with a $3 Mexican Coke.
Holiday Cocktail Lounge
This six-decade-old East Village mainstay has its barstools that have seated the charming Joey Ramone, Allen Ginsberg, and Sinatra – to name a few. Three years after the bar shut and renovated, its old charm is still visible – duct-taped booths transacted for green banquettes and neon beer signs for gold sconces. While $5 Geneses lasted the revamp, the cocktail list has been altered. The ‘I Know You Are’ for $13 is a standout. Opt light with the Mortally Afraid of Madam for $13, a creamy whiskey concoction.
Peoples Improv Theatre
You are young and want to experiment, then you are in the right corner! This import from Chelsea, a crosstown dramatic east-side location offers a great mainstage proscenium stage with a black box in the cellar and an inviting bar. Cheap shows – $1 for students – with free jams entertain the young and lively. The goofiness sure permeates throughout the mob. The post-grad crowd is so boisterous as to make it a fun night out. Ups your festive mood. If you feel suffocated here, refresh yourself at a big bar area on the side and get yourself some pizza and popcorn.
New York caters to all-young and old and people from all backgrounds. When you have made a home away from home, New York never alienates you. Live up to the charms of this busy city and eat and drink to your heart. Now that you have pocket-friendly options, there is no time to wait.