|Quoting Mason (Thread starter):
the last thing I want to do in NY is waste my time with a bunch of touristy garbage. What are everyone's favorite restaurants, or other food establishments (markets, shops, carts, etc.)? Remember, points for cheap, authentic, and overall wow-factor.
I understand what you mean. I lived in Brooklyn for almost 4 yrs. That doesn't make me a expert critic or a Native New Yorker however my old line of work was sales. That line of work I ate out frequently so I feel the places I'm listing are favorites by Native New Yorkers I traveled more than some New Yorkers ever have in they're own city. Some New Yorkers have never been in to New Jersey or out of the city or even in some cases out of the Borough.
I don't have much info on Manhattan unfortunately Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan is as touristy as you can imagine. So maybe someone else can give you tips on that part of the city. Most of my reviews are in Brooklyn I always felt that when you get away from Manhattan you see what the real New York is like.
One of my favorites is a Mom and pops place called John's Deli at 2033 Stillwell Ave Brooklyn, NY-the best Italian Hero's in Brooklyn. Try the Hot Roast Beef sandwiches w/ a side of gravy. The locals love this place and it's easily accessible by the subway.
Best Sicilian Pizza in NYC (ask for the squares) is L & B's Spumoni Garden. They also have indoor dining with great pasta dishes and make great Ice Cream most notably the homemade Spumoni Ice Cream. It's also no more than 2 blocks from John's Deli.
Nathans Famous Hot Dogs at Coney Island- If you want fun but see The Original Nathans Hot Dog restaurant its also where they have the world famous Hot Dog Eating contest. Order a Hot Dog and Cheese Fries, and a Beer.
A really popular place for a big cheese pie is Grimaldi's Pizzeria they use tomatoes from Italy it's kinda pricey for a pizza but well worth it I have tried them 3 times. They are right underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn next to the promenade that has a great view of Manhattan.
A really good bakery is Mona Lisa bakery you have to see this place it's big and has awesome Cannoli and other pastries, great Coffee & Espresso in the Bensonhurst part of Brooklyn.
Best cheesecake in NYC is Juniors http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/
Casa Calamari really good Italian food and handmade Pizza they have great pasta and above all else awesome fried
Calamari in the Bensonhurst part of Brooklyn.
Rocco's Calamari a awesome buffet of Italian Food in the Bayridge part of Brooklyn-
Jimmy Bronx Cafe in the Bronx is pricey but has great Paella and other things. there are lots of hot Latina women in this place.
From my experiance food will be cheaper in Brooklyn but you have to get there by someone driving or train also Manhattan has a lot of nice restraunts I'm just not too familiar with most of them except the well known ones.
Most of these places are within subway riding distance http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm
Hope this helps
[Edited 2008-01-28 19:03:33]