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What are your cheap must-do's when you go to New York?

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 
So I'm looking for suggestions for what I should do over my 8 day stay in NYC. Aside from shopping in Soho, eating local delicacies and catching a couple of bands I haven't really started to dig and research.

I've got a hostel bed just west of Central Park on 101st along the #1 subway, not that I'm restricted by the Manhattan area.

Couple categories I'll track for general info

Food (hole in the wall, street food, $10 and under)

Chicken and Rice
Doughnut Plant
Cafe Habana
Katz
Eisenbergs
Hagi
Meatball Shop
Flushing Golden Mall
Joy Burger Bar
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Culture (museums, markets, ethnic neighbourhoods)

Central Park
MoMa
The Met
Guggenheim
Natural History Museum
Brooklyn Chinatown (Cantonese)
Flushing Chinatown (Mandarin)
Chelsea Market
Union Square Market
Williamsburg Bridge

Shopping (exempt from the cheap/budget, but places similar Uniqlo are a plus)

Uniqlo
Blue in Green
Century 21

Have more written down at home, will update tonight
post #2 of 111
I never saw the attraction to Gray's Papaya. Maybe it's just a price thing that people like. Avoid most pizza places, epecially if they have any combination of "Ray's" "famous" "original" "authentic" and "New York". Go to a place like Luzzo's instead.

also, consider having a drink at the bar of nicer restaurant instead of full tables and meals. This is what I do half the time and after a long day nothing beats a glass of wine and some snacks.
post #3 of 111
Thread Starter 
Any decent pizza by the slice in town?
post #4 of 111
Seems like you are going for the budget route. A few things that came to mind:
-Try to get a hostel below 96
-Don't waste your time at Eataly
-Agree that gray's papaya is not that great, maybe as a between meal kind of thing
-You could check out chicken and rice
-The met's ticket is "recommended", you can donate $1 and still get in
-Moma is free on friday, there will be a line but its free
-Although the tix is around $30, i suggest going to empire state or Rockefeller and check out the view, i think its worth it
-mcsorley's
-Broadway (there are a couple of ways to score cheap tickets)
-mamoun's
-Jazz at lincoln center is $5 cover on thursdays after 11pm
-Joe's on W4 and 6 is alright pizza, artichoke next to1oak serves good drunk pizza (get the artichoke)
post #5 of 111
post #6 of 111
The halal cart on 53rd and 6th. Quality has declined a bit but it's still worth it. Pro tip: Go across the street. Same owners. No line. Get a combo platter (chicken + lamb). A little bit of hot sauce goes a long way unless you really like spicy food. Some people drench the entire platter in white sauce but refrain from putting too much. I always stop by Strand Books whenever I'm in Union Square. Usually end up leaving with a book. My go-to drunk/high munchies: Artichoke, Hop Kee, Wo Hop, Mamoun's, Kati Roll, 53rd and 6th, L&B (overrated but worth it if you're already that far into brooklyn) Groupon has a deal on bicycle rentals right now if you're into that
post #7 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by changy View Post
Seems like you are going for the budget route. A few things that came to mind: -Try to get a hostel below 96 -Don't waste your time at Eataly -Agree that gray's papaya is not that great, maybe as a between meal kind of thing -You could check out chicken and rice -The met's ticket is "recommended", you can donate $1 and still get in -Moma is free on friday, there will be a line but its free -Although the tix is around $30, i suggest going to empire state or Rockefeller and check out the view, i think its worth it -mcsorley's -Broadway (there are a couple of ways to score cheap tickets) -mamoun's -Jazz at lincoln center is $5 cover on thursdays after 11pm -Joe's on W4 and 6 is alright pizza, artichoke next to1oak serves good drunk pizza (get the artichoke)
awesome stuff, very helpful with scheduling out specifics on days tips for getting into the guggenheim or natural history museum for cheap? i get in at 7am on a red eye on Sunday, staying on the upper westside, what's the first thing i do once i've arrived in manhattan at 8 or 9 considering i wont be able to check in until after noon or so
post #8 of 111
this thread is relevant to my interests....


How is lombardis pizza?
post #9 of 111
I second chicken and rice (or third) definitely get the lamb/chicken combo and go to the cart on the southeast corner. During the daytime the southwest corner cart is a different crew. look for the yellow hallal bags and sweatshirts/tshirts. also hagi sake bar and grill (52?) right around midtown. it's in a basement, its open until 4 am. They have sake and they have a grill. yakitori, yaki soba, hamachi kama, so good. they've raised their prices a bit but it still comes out to about $20 a person when you stuff yourselves. ippudo ramen (8th? it's close to strand) lombardi's is good, i'm just not terribly picky about my pizzas Levain bakery - best fucking cookies ever. they're like 1/4 lb and mostly uncooked but hot and gooey inside. 72? and central park westish. it's not a dealbreaker but if you're around madison square park, check out shake shack. if you get ice cream don't waste your time on shakes, go straight for a concrete. also, highly highly suggest the shack stack or whatever it's called with the deep fried breaded cheesy portabello shroom burger and beef patty combo. also, patrossian has a cafe, unless you're looking for caviar, and they have the best almond croissants.
post #10 of 111
You sound like you're keeping it real (really real), so here are some dirt cheap options. I spent 15 years in New York, 4 as a student, and love a bargain.

- The pretzel croissants at City Bakery on 18th and 5th. They are a revelation.

- The liang pi noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods, 88 East Broadway in the base of the Manhattan bridge. I think they're like $2.50.

- 5 fried dumplings for $1 at, well, Fried Dumplings on Mosco Street, deep, dark Chinatown.

- Forget Grey Papaya, it's gross. Instead go to Rudy's Bar and Grill on 9th and 44th where the hot dogs are also gross, but they're free.

- Also with free food, the Crocodile Lounge on 14th and 1st. Free pizza with a drink order. The pizza is not good, but it is free.

- Wander West Chelsea (20th-27th west of 10th avenue) around 6:30/7 and you're bound to run into a gallery opening with free food and or drinks. You may have to talk your way in, but you'll get to see some cool stuff and drink as much white wine as you want.

- The best tourist option in New York: The Staten Island Ferry. Takes you right past the statue of liberty, you get great views of new york harbor, and it's free.

- I'd also check out Century 21 for shopping. Be prepared to do battle.
post #11 of 111
Thread Starter 
haha it's not like i don't have money to spend, it's just that i'd rather spend it on good food or shopping and having a good time
post #12 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaychiz View Post
Katz

Katz is >>>$10

Quote:
Originally Posted by steviecakes View Post
The halal cart on 53rd and 6th.

+100
post #13 of 111
Why Joy Burger? Go with Burger Joint (57th street) or Shake Shack (a couple of locations).

Also... walking the Williamsburg Bridge is pretty cool. I did that for the 1st time last year. Start on Delancey... walk bridge... take left on Bedford. And before you walk the bridge.. go to Doghnut Plant

http://www.doughnutplant.com/

I like to go to the little flea market in Chelsea on Saturday/Sunday... just to look thru boxes of weird stuff. 25th street (maybe 26th) right off of 6th ave. Walk up 6th and take a right at the CVS. If the weather is nice.. you could also sit in Madison Sq Park or across from Flatiron building and people watch.

If staying near Columbia..they have that huge slice of pizza @ Koronet. Here is a photo of a slice as compared to a dollar bill (frame of reference) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slice/17640360/

Be on the lookout for happy hour specials and lunch specials. Those will be your best deals in nyc from a food perspective.

Thai food? I like this place. $8 prix fixe lunch special is awesome. UWS location is the one that i go to. http://www.landthaikitchen.com/westside.html Amsterdam/81st
post #14 of 111
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Check out the New York Public Library. Free entry, building is worth seeing and they have some exhibits that are usually interesting. Just off of Grand Central.
post #15 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106 View Post
Katz is >>>$10

it's just one of those you sort of have to do
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