The basics

Pizza, burgers, dogs, soups, salads and sandwiches-we pick the best of the old standbys (with street eats, too).



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Cheap Eats 2007: The Thai beef salad at Rice
The Thai beef salad at Rice

Photo: Nicole Braun


Just south of Union Square, this Japanese izakaya offers a serene spot adorned with faux maple branches sprouting out of the walls and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. What's even more Zen-inducing than its rustic decor is an entre-sized starter of tofu salad ($6), which marries crispness—romaine lettuce, radish slices and cherry tomatoes—with the silkiness of warm, nutty tofu slices. A sprinkling of a light citrus-and-miso vinaigrette balances out the pairing and is ideal for the dressing-averse. 806 Broadway between 11th and 12th Sts (212-388-1884)

Carnivores, you won't be sentenced to nibbling like a rabbit if you opt for this protein-packed meal at the Pan-Asian chain: Marinated meat grilled medium-rare stars in the Thai beef salad ($6 for a small), which also includes iceberg lettuce, pickled carrots and lemongrass dressing. Trounce carbphobia by adding short-grain sushi, basmati, brown or sticky rice to the mix at no charge. 292 Elizabeth St between Bleecker and E Houston Sts (212-226-5775); 115 Lexington Ave at 28th St (212-686-5400); 81 Washington St between Front and York Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-222-9880); 166 DeKalb Ave at Cumberland St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-858-2700)

Bread & Olive
Both health-minded folks and those with healthy appetites can agree on this mod Middle Eastern joint's warrak enab, stuffed grape leaves ($7) with salad. Rice, tomatoes and parsley fill each tasty parcel, and free pita bread rounds out the meal. 24 W 45th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-764-1588); 20 John St between Broadway and Nassau St (212-385-2144)—Helen Yun

Click to next page for street food.

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