B & H Dairy
127 2nd Ave (St. Marks / E 7th)

It’s easy to miss B & H Dairy as it occupies a narrow storefront in one of the best cheap eats stretches of NYC. This isn’t a trendy flavor-of-the-month, B & H has been around for a long, long time and has the authentic lunch counter decor to prove it. The waitstaff is equally no-frills, but the food is quality stick-to-your-ribs fare that Jewish grandmas have been turning out for centuries. Spud and I both ordered big bowls of mushroom barley soup ($4), which comes with a half loaf of delicious challah and a heaping order of sauerkraut-mushroom pierogies ($6), each the size of a chicken breast. The menu is mostly classic hearty dishes: over-stuffed sandwiches, potato pancakes, blintzes, etc. While they call themselves vegetarian, it’s really only in the Kosher sense, as they do have tuna fish, whitefish and smoked salmon. Another great rec from Time Out’s Cheap Eats.