CHEAP EATS
Love Miso? You'll love Ramen Misoya

As full-time ramen connoisseurs, we make it our mission to discover the best—and only the best—ramen places in the city. The East Village is heaven for authentic ramen and now Ramen Misoya is carving a name for itself right around the bend in St. Marks Place.

With the big ramen guns making headlines like Ippudo, Totto Ramen and Terakawa, it's undeniable that all these places are exceptionally good and yes, rivalry still runs strong in the New York ramen scene. But what sets these places apart from each other are the broths and noodles. Ramen Misoya focuses on three types of miso for its broths: kome, mame and shiro. Known as the standard miso, the kome is made of rice and is rather rich in flavor and aroma. The mame miso is dark-colored and produced from beans, infused with distinct sweetness and contains the richest texture among the three. Finally, the shiro miso is a light-colored miso that is slightly less intense than the kome.

CHEAP EATS
Cocoron

Eating soba is an art in itself. It’s not complicated, but certain measures should be taken to ensure the best experience.

Soba — literally translating into buckwheat in Japanese — is often served chilled with a dipping sauce, because unlike other noodles, soaking soba in hot soup will change the noodles’ consistency. But that doesn’t mean that soba can’t be served in hot broth.

Tucked in the Lower East Side, Cocoron aims to offer healthy Japanese home cooking that will lift your spirits, inducing the “heartwarming” feeling that its name translates into. The space is small and the tables are packed closely together — typical of Manhattan restaurants — but the dark walls create a calm, comfortable ambiance.

DAILY BITES
Pok Pok Phat Thai's Pad Thai

The Lower East Side is amazing for its never-ending plethora of cheap, tasty dishes. When we discovered Pok Pok Phat Thai over the weekend, we couldn’t keep this to ourselves. We just had to share the goodness! Located on 137 Rivington St, this tiny outlet offers authentic Thai food, with marble counters protruding from the walls to serve as tables. Photos of Thai artists from decades ago consumed the walls, dating the restaurant back to an older period. It was a clean, cozy setting, nothing too overwhelming.

Pad thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes. It is also one of Pok Pok’s best-sellers. It would be a pity to go all the way to one of the city’s favorite pad thai spots and not try the signature dish. That would be like jetsetting to Asia and settling on McDonald’s. The pad thai arrived in all its steaming glory, garnished with chives, eggs, dried shrimps, peanuts, bean sprouts, chili powder and lime halves on a layer of banana leaf. Asian dishes are usually colorful, and the pad thai did not lack in visual appeal.

RESTAURANT 101
Baumgart's Cafe: A Blast From The Past

Those who think New York has everything New Jersey has (plus more) are greatly mistaken. Where else can you order a burger, fries and sesame chicken all in one restaurant? In addition to turnpikes, New Jersey has one of the most unique restaurants around: Baumgart's Cafe.

Located in Englewood, New Jersey, Baumgart's Cafe serves multi-national fare, combining chinese food with classic 1950's cuisine and decor. Sip their famously thick and creamy milkshakes at the counter or sit in a booth and order their tender yet crispy sesame chicken, a favorite of the locals. Whether it's just you and a friend or twenty of your nearest and dearest, Baumgart's has something to satisfy every craving. The best part: every portion size is generous and prices are reasonable, something that has become a rarity today.