Listen, we all love Giada De Laurentiis' bubbly personality and the shows that she hosts like Giada at Home and Food Network Star. Her expertise in all things food would definitely come in handy when selecting the top restaurants in the Big Apple.
But not all of us college students can afford dining in every one of her NYC faves. Here are some of her top affordable recommendations.
1. Zabar's ($$)
Zabar's has a great variety of food ranging from Kosher NY bagels to smoked fish and deli meats. Not to mention, they have amazing gourmet coffee and tea. They also provide services online, so you can treat yo' self to a care package of original NY bagels and fresh, seasoned deli meats.
Location: 2245 Broadway, New York, NY
2. Brodo ($)
If you're looking for the cutest place to warm up on a chilly Fall day in NYC, Giada recommends Brodo. It's a tiny soup shop, with the yummiest homemade soups. The best part about this place is that you can get your soup on the go, so you can soup, while you shop in downtown NYC.
Location: 200 1st Avenue, New York, NY
3. Roberta's ($$)
Roberta's is on Giada's list because she claims their pizza is everything she craves. They have a variety of pizzas ranging from the Beastmaster (that has tomato, mozzarella, gorgonzola, pork sausage, onions, capers, and jalepeños) to the Crispy Glover (with tomato, taleggio, guanciale, onions, breadcrumbs, and chili).
Location: 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY
4. Eataly ($$)
Next is Eataly, where Giada "loves their espresso and arancini di riso (fried rice balls)!" Eataly also offers a bucatini pasta for $15. Check out this rundown of all the Eataly restaurants to make sure you don't miss out on anything.
Location: 200 5th St., New York, NY
5. RedFarm ($$)
If you're looking for something different, then Giada advises RedFarm on either 529 Hudson Street or 2170 Broadway. She briefly introduces the restaurant as "modern Chinese and dim sum." However, I would add affordable dim sum because all of the dim sum dishes are at or below $16. For other steamy, scrumptious dumpling spots in NYC, look here.
Location: 529 Hudson Street, New York, NY or 2170 Broadway, New York, NY
6. El Toro Blanco ($$)$11-30
If you're hungry for more of a Mexican kick, Giada favors El Toro Blanco. It is a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar that serves fresh multi-regional Mexican cuisine. El Toro Blanco also provides a catering and delivery service through their website.Location: 257 6th Ave., New York, NY
7. Antonucci Cafe ($$)
Antonucci Cafe is another one of Giada's faves, which is a reputable authentic Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side. It is known particularly for pastas and a romantic sidewalk dining setting.
Location: 170 E 81st St., New York, NY
8. Basta Pasta ($$)
Another Italian restaurant Giada recommends is at 37 W 17th Street. Basta Pasta's menu is the perfect lunch spot and Giada always raves about their fish. She emphasizes that it's "cheap and simple" which proves (especially in NYC) that you can come out satisfied with both a full stomach and wallet.
Location: 37 W 17th St, New York, NY
9. Hill Country BBQ Market ($$)
Who would turn down great BBQ? Definitely not me, and not Giada either. It is the definition of comfort food and with a side of mac and cheese, you can't go wrong. Hill Country BBQ Market is Giada's NYC pick for top-notch BBQ located in the Flatiron District. They are known for their high quality meats and simple ingredients, making this place a must-try.
Location: 30 W 26 Street, New York, NY
10. Big Gay Ice Cream Shop ($)
This is not just your average ice cream and froyo shop. The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is super well-known to all New Yorkers to have insane toppings and heaping scoops, so it's no surprise that Giada gave it a try on one of her many visits to the Big Apple. And this place is absolutely #GiadaApproved.
Location: 125 E 7th St., New York,
11. Hundred Acres ($$)
Hundred Acres is a farm to table Mediterranean restaurant with a bar and garden to provide a rustic sanctuary in the bustling city. For their lunch menu, they serve a Finger Lakes Grass Fed Burger with pickles, harissa aioli, fontina cheese, red onion, tomato, and lettuce for just $19. Also make sure to try their $6 spiced fries.
Location: 38 Macdougal St., New York, NY
12. L'Amico ($$)
L'amico is another restaurant with a rustic setting that serves delish Italian food. The kitchen is visible from the dining room and the pizzas are fired in a twin-copper clad wood burning oven. So you know that crust is going to be smoky and crunchy. Be sure to try their wood oven baked eggs made with spicy soppressatta and tomato & eggplant caponata for just $16.
Location: Eventi Hotel, 849 6th Ave, New York, NY
13. Sauce ($$)
Sauce is a Southern Italian Restaurant and butcher shop with a focus on red gravy and red meat, but that doesn't mean their desserts aren't absolutely killer. If our favorite Italian chef loves this place, how can you not want to give it a try?
Location: 78 Rivington St., New York, NY
14. Upland ($$)
Upland is a Californian and Italian style restaurant that is named after the West Coast town that inspired the restaurant's Chef, Justin Smillie. The green zebra pizza with fromage blanc, stracciatella, herbs and garlic oil for just $19 will give you a glimpse of the seasonal tastes of the West Coast.
Location: 345 Park Avenue South, New York, NY
15. Vic's ($$)
In the laid-back neighborhood of NoHo, Vic's Mediterranean-Italian dishes, as well as cocktails and housemade limoncellos are needed in every foodie's life. Take a bite into a mix of crescenza, fresno chilies, and lemon from a slice of their Rapini pizza for just $17. Giada calls Vic's "lighter, Italian food," which means that it's healthy, delectable, and of course affordable.
Location: 31 Great Jones St. New York, NY
So if you are ever hungry wandering the crowded streets of NYC, you can't go wrong with these Giada approved affordable restaurants.