Downtown's Cheap Eats
by Julie Besonen, 09/14/2011
Joe's Pizza (left) photo by Phil Kline; Village French Toast from Polonia, photo by Kyle Dorosz
To welcome back students—and everyone else who craves good food at a great price—we're celebrating seven favorites that are within walking distance from many of downtown's campuses and reflect the area's rich history. Since the mid-1800s, downtown Manhattan has been a refuge for immigrants, artists and political anarchists, fleeing famine and oppression and boldly seeking the American dream. Waves of émigrés from Ireland, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and China built new lives in crowded tenements and stirred their cuisines into the melting pot. Today, ethnic eateries can help maintain a healthy diet, though we can't deny the charm of the recession special at Gray's Papaya—two franks and a beverage for $4.95. Deals can also be found at Vanessa's Dumpling House, Thai favorite Zabb Elee and the East Village's Mark and Meatpacking's Bill's Bar & Burger, both for better-than-fast-food burgers. Think how lucky you are: all of downtown is your dining hall.