Reader Mail, Letter #8472 (Cheap Eats New York)

Occasionally, I answer reader mail on the blog. Today I received the following message:

Dear Adam,

My friend and I are from D.C. and are heading off for college in the fall. We’re both avid readers of your site and really into food/cooking. We’re coming up to NYC for 2 days at the beginning of August and we’d like to know what places are MUST go-tos (preferably) that are cheap, as we’re poor college kids); we want to hit all the classics for pizza, bagels, etc. What are your suggestions?


D & M

Dearest D & M,

Thanks for writing! My first piece of advice is a bit of a cop-out but it’s what I’d do myself if I were in your situation: check out New York Magazine’s list of New York’s Best Cheap Eats. It’s an excellent resource and one that I use all the time. In fact, many of the places I’d recommend to you are on that list: Di Fara for pizza (here’s my write-up), Momofuku, The City Bakery (for a pretzel croissant), Katz’s of course (though it’s a little hot for piles of meat), Hummus Place, Taim, and so on. If you want to know specific Amateur Gourmet haunts I recommend to you Murray’s Bagels (I get an everything bagel (sometimes I ask for it soft, cause they can be a bit overdone) with lox spread, tomato and onion with a Tropicana orange juice), Joe: The Art of Coffee for coffee drinks (you’ll probably see me there), and, if you can afford it, lunch at Pearl Oyster Bar ($22 for a pretty dreamy lobster roll). And, now that I think about it, if you can pool your money before you come it may be worth it to lunch at one of New York’s four-star bastions of fine food. For example, both Le Bernardin and Jean-Georges have fixed price lunches. Le Bernardin’s is much more expensive (it’s $64) than Jean-George’s (which is $35, I believe) but both offer extraordinary New York dining experiences, ones you’ll never forget. Enjoy your trip and let us know where you ended up!


The Amateur Gourmet

7 thoughts on “Reader Mail, Letter #8472 (Cheap Eats New York)”

  1. Adam, thanks so much for getting back to us! We’ll be sure to report back on our cheap eats adventures.

  2. I don’t know why, but this cracks me up. “Dearest D&M…” Haha. You must know that posting this is going to make you the next Dear Abby! Good advice though! :)

  3. A don’t miss is HUMMUS PLACE with three locations in NYC. On St. Mark’s by 1st Ave in the East Village; on MccDougal in the West Village, and on the upper west side. They serve the best hummus, like you’ve never tasted it. And, along with their other dishes like Shashuka (eggs cooked in vegetables)and health salad, you have a fabulous, nutritious, and fairly cheap meal.

  4. When my husband and I visited Adam in New York, he took us to Murray’s Cheese, one of the best cheese shops ever.

    This is a different Murray from the bagels. I mean, it most likely is. It’s a different shop, anyway.

    If you’re looking to buy a few ounces of some really special cheese, they let you taste before you make a decision. And they are very knowledgable and nice and good with recommmendations, even for cheap college students. Why not buy some cheese and bread and go picnic in a park somewhere?

  5. caracas arepa bar in the east village is great for inexpensive and tasty venezuelan food! they have a luscious coconut shake.

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