Why go: Only the aged slabs of beef at BLT Steak can match the succulence of the meats at these order-at-the-counter, cash-only Pakistani diners, and those cost five times as much. Bone-in chicken, meaty lamb chops—all are marinated for 18 hours, threaded on metal rods, and grilled slowly over a charcoal flame.
What to get: Any of the kebabs; any of the karahi, fiery dishes laced with ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and chilies; lahori choley, a chickpea-onion curry every bit the equal of the meats; hot naan direct from the tandoor; gulab jamin, honey-covered mini-doughnuts; mango lassi, heavy on the mango.
Best for: An exhilarating takeout alternative to pizza and rotisserie chicken.
Insider tip: Ravi II is closed on Mondays, but not the original Ravi.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats Restaurants here