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[Photographs: Laura Togut]

Tuck Shop

Multiple locations in the East Village and Chelsea Market ( map) tuckshopnyc.com
Cuisine: Australian
Veggie Options: 2 pies, 2 rolls, several sides
Cost: Pies $5.50-6, rolls $3.50, sides $4

Tuck Shop is one of those places I can't help but love. Their pies are hearty, satisfying, and cheap enough for an everyday meal. And better yet—even though they specialize in Australian meat pies, they've made an effort to have several vegetarian options on the menu.

Their vegetarian chili pie ($5.50) comes with a heaping spoonful of pico de gallo on top, and plenty of hearty beans and vegetables inside. Mild-mannered as it looks, it actually has a spicy kick. This is a great rustic savory pie if you like a bit of heat.

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Along with their selection of pies they also serve rolls, which frankly are a lot like their pies... except roll-shaped. They have a relatively new roll on the menu: spinach ricotta ($3.50). It has a much better balance than your typical spinach-cheese specimen—not too cheesy and not too spinachy; surprisingly tasty.

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Finally our side dish—chilled curry cauliflower ($4)— may have actually been my favorite dish of them all. Slightly oily, slightly sweet—I may or may not have tried to mop up the remaining puddle of curry oil with my last bits of pie.

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Depending on the location you can also get a variety of Aussie imports (Tim Tams!) and even uncooked pies to bring home, although I much prefer the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the store. Unlike many of my other favorite holes in the wall there's never a line, and the people behind the counter are always some of the nicest, friendliest people to ever hand me a plate (with or with out the accent!). Really, what's not to like?

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