So here are my current 7 best restaurants where you'll finish saying “Yum!” AND you will still have some money left in your pocket. They're the kind of place you can go to over and over with friends or visitors and not have to worry that everyone will have a tasty meal and a good time.
Last week I wrote about the Best 3 Bagel places in Manhattan which gave rise to an awesome discussion about other places I recommended throughout the city.
This time, I'm also going to count down, because who counts up from 1!? What was I thinking last week!?
Chinatown, “Longtime restaurant serving Chinese eats in bright, no-frills digs amid customer photos. Open [really] late [like 4:30am late].”
This is the kind of place where you walk in and you think, “Jeepers, Josh, is this really where you're directing me to go!?” The description “no-frills” is definitely accurate as this place is all about food done simply and food done well. Why waste time and money on décor!?
West Village, “Casual, cash-only Italian trattoria with seasonal specials, homemade pasta & simple decor.”
This one is a delicious little one that will make you feel just like a local as you squish into the small little bustling restaurant. Worth waiting for, because the food is delicious and can even handle a little group!
6. J.G. Melon
West Village, “A comfy atmosphere attracts a laid-back neighborhood crowd to this pub famed for burgers.”
One of the famed burgers going around town and one that you will dream about when you lie in bed on the colder nights. The burgers are what you go there for, so be sure to have one.
5. Ivan Ramen
Lower East Side, “Creative homemade noodle soups & izakaya-style small plates served in a colorful space with a patio.”
Sure, it's still the middle of summer, so you're not thinking about where to get a nice bowl of hot ramen, YET! You will crave this when it gets colder, so add a star to your Google Map right now!
4. Joe's Pizza
Union Square, “No-frills counter-serve establishment serving New York-style slices & pies since 1975.”
What kind of affordable list of food is complete without a pizza place!?
3. San Marzano
East Village, “Italian spot offering different shapes of pasta to pair with many sauces, plus apps, panini & wine.”
If you've come along to Dinner with New Friends, you're familiar with this one. A huge range of pastas and paninis that cater for everyone. The sangria is delicious and the atmosphere of the place will carry you into a fun evening!
Williamsburg, “Bare-bones outfit supplying handmade dumplings, steamed buns & other Asian faves, plus bubble teas.”
This was introduced to me by some close friends and we now treat is our go-to whenever we meet up. The Williamsburg one is by far the best but the others are also fine. Choosing between the chicken noodle soup and the pork sandwich is the toughest part (and that's if you're not having the dumplings already)!
East Village, “This cozy venue offers tacos, burritos & other low-key Mexican eats, plus beers & cocktails.”
This. This is my favorite place. My spiritual home of tacos. It's incredibly cheap. It's incredibly tasty. Get the guacamole, even if you're allergic to avocados. It's worth it. It's so creamy. HOW DO THEY MAKE IT SO CREAMY!?