I'm going to be staying in New York City from the 22nd through the 26th of May and I was wondering if I could get the experts opinions on some good, unique food in the city for a budget that won't budge. I'm talking $5-10 a meal. $15 maybe $20 max. I'm staying in a hostel on West 88th and the closer the better but I'm willing to travel to the outer boroughs so long as its within a reasonable walking distance from a subway stop.
Specifically, I'd like to find some really good authentic Chinese, Mexican, and soul food places. A good deli with sandwiches that don't cost $16 is also something I'm interested in Suggestions for other types of food that I can't typically find at my home in the woods of Maine would work too but bear in my mind that my traveling companion is a picky eater with somewhat unadventurous tastes. Basically a meat and potatoes type of fella. Given that we're college students, suggestions for bars in the area are also welcomed.