Donburi-ya on 47th Street between Lexington and Third. It’s the McDonald’s of Japanese food. It’s quick, it’s cheap, and it tastes good. Get the sankandon, a big rice bowl with shrimp and fried pork and eggs for $11.
I just moved to Chinatown, but in the East Village, where I used to live, I love the veggie special at Crif Dogs on St. Marks Place. Downtown Bakery on First Avenue between 4th and 5th is authentic Mexican, and anything there is amazing. Daphne’s on 14th Street between Second and Third has really good spicy jerk chicken. The best all-night sandwich spot is Sunny & Annie’s deli on Avenue B at 6th Street. My friend and I think they put drugs in the sandwiches because you crave them.
I must confess, I really don’t have many cheap-eats favorites myself. But I do have three kids who love to munch on the go all around town. Or we’ll have takeout. It’s usually from the local KFC store (on Lexington). Chinese comes from Joe’s Shanghai or Hunan Balcony. And my personal favorite is Wolf’s “Chicken in the Pot.” Absolutely delicious!
Adam “MCA” Yauch
I like Yonah Schimmel Knish on Houston, and West Side Coffee Shop on Church between Lispenard and Canal. You’re out of your mind if you don’t love that place. I’ve been there, like, a thousand times. Get the arroz con pollo and fried fish.
I’m a vegan, and I’ve been going to Curry in a Hurry for about fifteen years. If you’re an American looking for Indian food, this has to be the best. I go through a juice fast and eat dal and my green-vegetable juice there every day for two weeks. The curry eggplant is great, the spinach—they make it special for me, without cheese. It works as well as any fancy restaurant for business meetings, since you’re not getting distracted all the time. Other restaurants may be fancier, but they don’t have as much heart. I’m a soul man. We know soul food when we taste it.
Hot dogs are one of my favorite foods, and you just can’t beat a Nathan’s.
Illustrations by Andy Friedman