Aussie meat pies are a meal unto themselves and at ~$6 that's hard to beat. Not to mention an awesome calories/$ ratio.
Where Do NYC Startups Eat?
I saw @ceonyc's "A Dinevore list that can get you funded: Where do New York VCs eat?" and thought... "If I had a paycheck, I might eat out at some of those places, too..." with the exception being Shake Shack... I'll pony up for Shake Shack anytime (the calories/$ ratio is awesome!). Charlie's list is great for the hope of a chance encounter with a VC, but what about our side of the story? So here's a list of good eats on the cheap in NYC for the times when you've got to eat out... who knows? Maybe the VC's will start hunting us? ;) Enjoy, my fellow students, bootstrappers and startup people! [Note: This list is by no means comprehensive. I'm sure I'm missing plenty of cheap Chinese lunch specials... but I'm not missing their after-effects.] [Note #2: "Cheap" is relative. By my standards, these places are still more expensive than I'd like and your best path to Ramen profitable is to literally eat Ramen.]
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2 Corner Bistro $ Hamburgers331 W. 4th St., Manhattan, NY
Are you done stalking Google engineers at the Port Authority Building with your business plan for world domination? Head South for a Bistro Burger - at $6.75 (which includes some crispy bacon) - the calories/$ ratio is awesome. Add McSorley's on tap and you've got yourself a night. Fun place, though it can be packed. No worries... that's just more people to pitch to! p.s. - keep your eye out for the NYCEBC meetup group here.
3 Yatagan Kebab House $$ Middle Eastern, Turkish104 Macdougal St., Manhattan, NY
Instinct brought me here... students are "broke," so let's hunt for deals near NYU. Case in point, this falafel joint that does a hearty falafel sandwich for $2.50. Just land a seed investor? Get 2! [Note: Why Yatagan versus the more famous Mamoun's Falafel that is a 1/2 block away? Hype = people = long lines = time suck for an entrepreneur. Yatagan is just as good and a lot faster, just like your startup!]
4 Baoguette / Pho Sure $ Soup & Sandwich, Asian: Southeast120 Christopher St., Manhattan, NY
5 The Meatball Shop $ American Traditional, Italian, Soup & Sandwich84 Stanton Street, Manhattan, NY
For a big night out in a trendy restaurant, go with the Meatball Shop. It's hip enough that the <$10 meatball sandwich entrees won't seem like you're being cheap to your girlfriend who wishes she was at Balthazar. If you can afford it, try the ice cream cookie sandwiches, too! Hat tip to @ScotterC and @AlexisTryon for turning me onto this gem.
6 Il Corallo Trattoria $$ Italian, Pizza176 Prince St., Manhattan, NY
7 Calexico $ Mexican, Food CartWooster St. nr. Prince St., Manhattan, NY
A diesel Carne Asada burrito for $8? F* yeah. This truck cranks out the best Mexican in NYC (according to TimeOut NY). Tip* - Plan on waiting 20 minutes or so for your burrito, but don't fret! You can spend that time at the Apple Store around the corner stealing internet access or practicing your pitch upstairs at Apple School a la Steve Jobs.
8 Lucky Strike $$ Bistro59 Grand St., Manhattan, NY
Another "cheap-fancy-trendy" place. If you actually managed to land a hot date on your $0 salary, take her to Lucky Strike where their comfort food menu shouldn't run you North of $20/entree despite its SoHo location. Tell her you're not drinking because you've got a meeting in the AM. Maybe she'll follow your lead and just drink water!