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The Essential Guide to NYC Cheap Eats

The Essential Guide to NYC Cheap Eats
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Are you planning a visit to NYC? Eating on the cheap will save you plenty, and there are some great places to pick up tasty food for under $10. You don’t have to pay a fortune to enjoy delicious food, so give those glitzy restaurants a miss and tuck into the bargain cuisine that’s loved by locals.

To help you find the ready-made foods that will get your taste buds begging for more, we’ve consulted reviews from NY locals and residents. We can’t possibly include all the little gems we dug up, but feel free to add your personal favorites to our list. We’ve also compiled a list of general tips and tricks – feel free to contribute!

Where to Find Cheap Eats in NYC

  1. Azuri Café: Fabulous falafels and more.
  2. Bahia: If you’ve never tried pupusas before, start here.
  3. Beyond Sushi: Vegan sushi? You bet! And at low prices too.
  4. Beyti Turkish Kebab: Excellent kebabs and vegetarian options too.
  5. Brazil Aroma: A great place for a very cheap but excellent buffet.
  6. Budapest Café: The Hungarian crepes are renowned.
  7. Buff Patty: A Jamaican establishment loved by locals.
  8. Café Kashkar Café: For noodles, soups and dumplings.
  9. Café Zaiya: Be there early for your Japanese-style meal. It’s a favorite at lunch hour.
  10. Casa Adela: Puerto Rican cuisine at its best.
  11. Christina’s Polish Restaurant: A full cooked dinner for under $10.
  12. Dhaulagiri Kitchen: A taste of Nepal in the middle of NYC.
  13. Don Pepe: Simply huge tortas. Be hungry.
  14. Ecuatoriana: An Ecuadorean restaurant, their soups are a meal in themselves.
  15. El Comal: Serves Salvadorean set menus.
  16. Gloria’s: Curry goat roti anyone?
  17. Grotto Pizzeria: Get pizza by the slice.
  18. Hong Kong Dim Sum: The rice noodle rolls are very economical and yummy.
  19. Hyderabadi Biryani & Chat: Spicy Indian cuisine for a song.
  20. Karczma: The borsch (a specialty soup) is highly recommended.

The Essential Guide to NYC Cheap Eats

  1. KuKu Canteen: A big favorite with university students.
  2. La Salle Dumpling Room: The place to go for Chines comfort food.
  3. Lakruwana: If you’re really hungry, then the eat all you can buffet on weekends will be a great deal.
  4. Margon: Just the spot for Cuban cuisine.
  5. Mitchell’s Soul Food: Famed for fried chicken
  6. Papa’s Kitchen: Filipino cuisine and non-stop karaoke!
  7. Patacon Pisao: Venezuelan street food in a sit-down restaurant environment.
  8. Pho Bang: Tasty, healthy Bun Cha Ha Noi.
  9. Red Bowl Noodle Shop: If you want a local favorite, you just found it!
  10. Sky Café: Indonesian food with plenty for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
  11. Spicy Lanka: Great halal cuisine and a pleasant interior.
  12. Spicy Tibet: Famed for its tongue dishes, it also has plenty of other options.
  13. Swell Dive: Filipino tacos you’ll love.
  14. Taqueria Diana: Fabulous nachos.
  15. Taste of Lahore: Indian cuisine with plenty of veggies.
  16. Teremok: Russian food that’s taking the city by storm.
  17. Toad Style: Try the pulled jackfruit sandwich.
  18. Tortilleria Mexicana: Amazingly cheap tacos.
  19. May Wah: Down to earth chicken and rice with a twist.
  20. Yummy Kitchen: Big portions of great food at low prices.

How to Eat Out on the Cheap in NYC

The Essential Guide to NYC Cheap Eats

  • Plan ahead: When planning your day, check out your dining options ahead of time. You’ll get good advice on TripAdvisor, and you can also ask around to find out where locals feel you’ll get a good deal. NYC doesn’t have to be an expensive city to visit if you know where to go!
  • Split the meal: Helpings are enormous! Find out if you can order portions to share. A lot of sit-down restaurants are quite happy to let you do so.
  • Follow the students: Spots near colleges and universities usually offer good food for lower prices. Ask the students where they like to eat out.
  • Try some great street food: Vans and stalls offer great street food at cheap prices.
  • Visit ethnic neighborhoods: There are many ethnic restaurants catering for expat New Yorkers and their descendants craving a taste of home.
  • Get off the main drag: Going slightly off the beaten tourist track will lead you to great places with lower prices.
  • Check out the delis: You can pick up a full meal for very reasonable prices at most delis.
  • Visit Smorgasburg market: Head for Brooklyn Bridge Park on weekends and shop your way around a great selection of food stalls.

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The Essential Guide to NYC Cheap Eats

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

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