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Currently viewing the category: "Union Square"
Almost everything on the shelves of Breads Bakery is an ode to truly great bread, each loaf a testament to quality ingredients and serious craft. If you’re only looking for a small bite of greatness, the bakery has you covered with a full assortment of pastries and savory baked treats for single servings. The Jerusalem Baguette, a slightly sour take on a French baguette, heightens the pleasure of a crackling crust with a coat of toasted sesame seeds. The simple but forward flavors make a surprisingly good match for a cup of strong coffee.
Supper at this 24-hour Cuban-American diner will set you back $20, but an affordable selection of breakfast plates is available all day. Coppelia’s Huevos Rancheros, served over a deep-fried corn tortilla and flavorful moros (black beans and rice), are especially good. Sparing no detail, the two fried eggs atop are splashed with a tart salsa verde and garnished with pickled onion, crema and queso fresco. The impeccable contrast of textures and flavors makes this a noteworthy (and addictive) spin on a Mexican classic.
You could have breakfast all day at this modern 24-hour Latin diner, but that means you’d miss out on the Pan con Lechon, a toasted and pressed sandwich to rival the more famous Cubano. The roast pork and garlicky mojo would be enough on their own, but the addition of crackly chicharrones pushes the porcine quotient over the top, while pickled red onions cut all that richness. If you like additional heat, be sure to ask for the house hot sauce, made powerfully spicy by habanero peppers.
Offering tasty, fresh tacos for under $4, Dos Toros brought a little slice of Bay Area Mexican food to Union Square. The carnitas (pork) are seared and slow cooked, leaving them juicy and flavorful, with the right amount of salty kick before being wrapped in corn tortilla along with toppings of your choice. The meat is purposefully left mild, so feel free to be adventurous with Dos Toros’ tangy homemade sauces.
11 Carmine St. at Bleeker St. (Map)
New York, NY 10014
- $8.00 for 8 pieces
New York City’s only Peruvian street cart is Morocho Peruvian Fusion, run by chef Miguel Samanaz. The anticuchos (skewered and grilled meat) are a delight for adventurous carnivores. Tender veal hearts, rather than standard beef hearts, are made even more tender and flavorful by a long marination in Peruvian aji panca peppers, soy sauce and oregano. Served with purple potatoes, the steroidal hominy known as choclo and a huacatay sauce made from Peruvian black mint, it’s a fine street-side meal.
Morocho Peruvian Fusion
1 Union Square West @ West 14th St.
New York, NY 10003
- Photography by Robyn Lee
Editor’s Note: Since this dish was added to Real Cheap Eats, its price has risen past $10.00. It’s still a part of the guide as a part of our “grandfather” policy.
Num pang—Cambodian sandwiches similar to Vietnamese bánh mì—are the star at this tiny West Village sandwich shop, which is packed during weekday lunch hours with both students and suits. The hulking coconut tiger shrimp sandwich features a half-dozen head-off shrimp on a toasted baguette with pickled vegetables, a spicy-sweet Sriracha mayo and toasted coconut flakes. The shrimp are juicy and jumbo, griddled to be crisp on the outside but tender within. The result is a rare combination of high-quality seafood with a bargain-bin price tag.
140 E. 41st St. nr Lexington Ave. (map)
New York, NY 10017
75 9th Ave. at 15th St. (map)
New York, NY 10011
1129 Broadway at 26th St. (map)
New York, NY 10010
Not to be confused with tourist trap The Stage Deli, Stage Restaurant is a tiny postage stamp-sized diner in the East Village that has been knocking out breakfast classics since 1980. Unlike most every other diner these days, Stage makes everything from scratch. The corned beef hash doesn’t come from a can, but is made daily from fresh corned beef. Served with two eggs, toast and potatoes, an order costs barely over $5 and is packed with beefy flavor. Best of all, it’s available all day long.
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- $3.85 for 1 scoop
This ice cream shop offers classics like vanilla, strawberry and mint chocolate chip, but the main draw is a selection of Asian-inspired flavors, including wasabi, ginger and black sesame. If you’ve never had taro-flavored ice cream before, this is the place to try it. Made with fresh taro and taro-flavored powder, the ice cream tastes like vanilla and sweet potato—subtly starchy and floral.
Taboonette, an offshoot of full-service restaurant Taboon, serves “pocket food” (pita sandwiches) with a chef’s sensibilities. While it’s hard to go wrong here, the moist, slow-roasted pulled pork is arguably the best deal in the house. The meat’s deep flavor is complemented by a sweet and tart apple slaw, and garnished with chipotle mayo, crunchy bits of fried pork skin and a pinch of cilantro. The whole thing is available on a saffron-seasoned rice plate (shown above) for those who want to break the $10 limit.
This hefty sandwich, beloved in Israel and with roots in Iraq, always includes fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus, salad and tangy mango umba. Other than that, anything goes. At University Pita, the huge array of condiments is part of the appeal. The tangy, shredded red cabbage, sumac-onion chutney, spicy harissa and minced jalapeño chutney are all good bets. With two layers of condiments cushioning the key ingredients (one layer above, another below), this sandwich is a glorious mess of flavors and textures. -Anne Noyes Saini
21 East 12th St. at University Ave. (map)
New York, NY 10003