Price Hikes: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

It’s been a month since I posted the Price Hike list, and not surprisingly a lot more places have raised their prices… but a few haven’t.  Let’s start with some good news…

Aoki, Midtown NYC

In a total shock, the 3 rolls for $10 takeout sushi deal is still available at Aoki on 48th btw. 7+8th.  I thought for sure when I wrote about this in April they would pull a Del Frisco’s but, in a delightful surprise, the best sushi deal in Midtown is still available.  Just remember, you have to take it to go.  It’s $11 for 3 rolls if you sit in the restaurant.  2+ months and counting…

Kwik Gourmet, 5th Ave, Prices
Photograph by nycblondieandbrownie

Now the bad… plenty of places have raised their prices recently, but it’s always more upsetting when it happens at a Midtown Lunch standby.  All three Kwik Meal carts have tacked 50 cents on to most of their items.  The falafel on pita is already on the small side, and for $4.50 I’ll have to think twice about buying two (a standard Kwik Meal order.)

The ugly, after the jump…


I swung by Ambrosia (on 45th btw. 5+6th) yesterday to see if there was anything new going on at their Korean stand in the back.  What I discovered was totally shocking…  the bi bim bap with meat is now $10.95.  The vegetarian version was raised to $8.95 (a complaint that was posted last week), but I didn’t realize the meat version was so expensive!  It explains why there was no meat in my $9 bi bim bap the last time I went, so I guess it has probably been this way for awhile… but I certainly didn’t realize it.  Shocking.  I haven’t been to Cafe Duke in a minute, but it looks like I’m going to be returning very soon.

Got any news of your own to report?  Post it in the comments, or email me at


  • Aki Sushi (36th St., btwn. 7th and Broadway) lunch special, 3 rolls and salad for $10, is up .55 cents now, but still a nice deal in my book — good size, 32 or so options and plenty of seating.

  • Also wanted to add: Just yesterday my coworker and I were analyzing the menu for Ambrosia (one of the many critically important things we do to pass the day) and we were in awe at the prices, and that was before we knew they’d been raised! Bleh, guess we won’t be noshing there.

  • Though this is not Midtown Lunch, went by Rosario’s yesterday and to our horror, the sandwich of the guy in front of us was on a tiny roll (same prices)! But then it was my turn and either the guy recognizes me or likes me or whatever, and mine was on the same standard hero/hoagie/long bread thingee. And delicious. Oh, I have a picture for you too! I’ll post to Flickr so you can see it (it’s not of my sandwich)

  • I don’t know what the price jump is exactly but Cafe Zaiya had a note last week that their prices were rising.

  • Yvo, you scared the crap out of me!!!! Thankfully, I had a friend run down to Rosario’s to confirm that the bread has NOT changed—your boy in front of you must have either asked for the small roll or order a sandwich that came on the small roll!!!!! Not to post rumors like that!!!!! Try and give me a heart attack, when that is the job of the sandwich!!!!

  • I do love me some Kwik meal, but seriously…$5.00 for a chicken pita?! The chicken pita from the cart on 53rd and 6th is $4.00. I’ll admit that Kwik meal has a better lamb pita on account of the real lamb, but their chicken pita doesn’t taste $1 better to me. Any chicken pita aficionados care to way in?

  • @dahl: I was at Zaiya today and didn’t see any difference in prices for a beef bowl (5.75) and an onigiri (1.95) – though maybe I’m mis-remembering what it used to be.

  • OH NOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    I was just inspired by this entry to head to Aoki for the Zach Special (eel and avocado roll, spicy crunchy tuna roll, and shrimp tempura roll w/soup) and THEY RAISED THE PRICE TO $11! Goshdarnit! (The 2-roll special is still $8.)

    Still, the rolls are much better than average and it’s still well worth the price imo. Plus, the spicy mayo was free.

  • Or weigh in, even.

    Speaking of $1 stuff, what’s the deal with the guy on 7th on the side of Carnegie with the $1 hot dog/pretzel sign? $1, really is that the going rate? What’s the catch?

    I saw him after leaving the pizza joint on 7th between 57th and 58th, alas, too stuffed to indulge (or even think about a tubesteak). They make an awesome, mozz/ricotta/meatball slice. The meatball is squished, effectively used as a sauce substitute and the ricotta, although sparse, makes an excellent foil to the garlicky meat mess.

    Over the last 2 days I’ve seen no fewer than 5 people eat a slice from the crust in!!! First I watched curiously as a trucker ate his Jiannetto’s that way, I shrugged my shoulders and thought it an anomaly. Today, I saw two pre-teen brothers work their way in from the crust handle… I chalked that off to the result of inbreeding and genetic mutation. I glance over to the table on the right and sure as shit this little hottie (far to cute to be anything but co-worker to the knuckle-scraper she was with) is delicately palming the slice from the bottom and nibbling her way TOWARDS the point (as if not folding the thing wasn’t sacrilegious enough). As I got up from the table shaking my head I see some old geezer brandishing plastic knife and fork and a crustless slice in front of him (having already devoured it). What gives? I’m thinking this is some massive conspiracy either that or the pods are very well concealed.

    Could not help put think of Dom Deluise’s lecture on managing one’s plate in “Fatso”.

  • Just went to Aoki for the first time and I have to say that it was well worth it! Quality selection, fresh fish AND fantastic reasonably priced sushi in midtown- can’t beat that! Plus, I’ll make up the dollar by foregoing my afternoon Starbucks for the free stuff in the office…

  • @stevenp – That’s crazy! I was there yesterday and they assured me it was still $10 if you took it to go. What a bunch of bs. There was a commenter a while back who said they charge you the extra $1 if you order the shrimp tempura roll. I wonder if that’s the deal…

  • It might be that, as I did get the tempura. But the display menu outside had an “$11″ written over a whited-out number, and the original $8 by the 2-roll combo. Or is that the sit-down price? Nowhere did any menu say that tempura was $1 extra.

  • Yeah… the whited out menu has been there for awhile- but that’s for sit down. The take out menu that you get inside, still says $10

  • Ah, sorry for the panic then. I did not know there was an extra charge for tempura, which apparently wasn’t in effect when you wrote your original review. (And it is not indicated anywhere on the menu!) The take-out menu does say $10 for ANY three rolls, and shrimp tempura is listed there.

  • Bossman’s comments are captivating.

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