New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Best Cheap Meal

The Polish & Slavic Center Cafeteria
177 Kent St., nr. McGuinness Blvd., Greenpoint; 718-383-5290
It’s not exactly the Google cafeteria, but what this community- center canteen lacks in steam-table style, it makes up for with cheap, delicious home cooking. Everything here is made from scratch, and no bulging plate of grub costs more than $9, with most dishes hovering around the $6.50 mark. Chef Monika Trznadel—who incidentally looks absolutely nothing like the beetle-browed women who traffic in junior-high tater tots—specializes in the kind of rib-sticking stuff you’d expect to find on the bill of fare at a Polish lumberjack camp. We’re partial to the white borscht, the pork meatballs, the Gorski mountain cutlet (thick breaded pork with a fried egg on top), and the cheese blintzes. Main courses come with mashed potatoes and gravy, a choice of salad, and a cup of the cherry-flavored juice called compot. There’s also enough offal here (tripe stew, pig’s feet, tongue with gravy) to feed a small army of Mario Batalis.


Order the Issue Today

Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

Order This Issue

Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).