On the Cheap: New York City Top Eats

On the Cheap: New York City Top Eats

Not on a limitless food budget in New York City? Well, you've come to the right place. However, just because you're trying to eat on the cheap, doesn't mean you shouldn't have the opportunity to savor some of New York City's finest food and restaurants!


New York City is dangerous: you may never be able to enjoy your "run of the mill" delivery pizza back home once you've had a slice of New York City's infamous pizza. Pizza is a great cheap eat in New York City.

Go Ethnic

Consider some of the numerous ethnic eating options around town. European-style cuisine tends to be more expensive than Asian-style (unless you're craving sushi), but you're free to check out the prices on posted menus or ask to look at a menu before you sit down -- all the while enjoying the bustling atmosphere and the experience of New York City's amazing diversity.

Street Vendors

From falafel and schawermas, to barbecue and sausages, New York City street vendors serve up tasty, cheap meals to locals every day. Just follow the crowds (and your nose) to discover something delicious.

Our Recommendations

1. El Almacén

A rustic re-creation of an old-fashioned Buenos Aires general store, favorite Pan-Latino dishes are the flavorful entraña, or skirt steak ($18), short- rib tacos drizzled with chimichurri ($9), lightly breaded calamari in a lulo-citrus vinaigrette ($9), and the textural miracle that is avocado fries, wedges of the buttery fruit coated in panko crumbs and deep-fried ($5). Yum!

2. The Brooklyn Star

At the Brooklyn Star, Joaquin Baca's first solo effort, Baca ventures deep into regional-American cuisine with a concise menu of small and large plates, all exactly what you'd be amazed to find at the end of a dirt road in Mississippi or an off-the-beaten-path stretch of Williamsburg. Warm flaky biscuits, collard greens, ham hocks, and skillet baked cornbread round out the faire. Liquor license—and PBR on tap—pending.

3. Hunan House

Perched across Northern Boulevard from the historic Flushing Town Hall, this often spicy, sometimes sour style shows a predilection for pickled peppers, chopped and strewn liberally, and a deliciously heavy hand with the cumin. Favorites are the pork crusted with crunchy rice powder, meticulously wrapped up tamale-like in lotus leaves, and steamed until tender ($14.95), and smoky niblets of duck hacked on the bone and intermingled with chewy dried turnips and small, shrunken white peppers that looked like semi-dried grapes ($17.95).

4. Stand

Trendsetting restaurateur Jonathan Morr has recreated the burger joint into a hip new NY place to be seen. The signature burger here is seasoned with tasty herbs and served with sweet fried pickles. Considered the best in town.

5. Tabla's 10

At the original Tabla, the six-course tasting costs $89, but at Tabla's 10, every dish on this small-plate menu, available Wednesday nights in an upstairs alcove, costs less than $10. By "dish," the kitchen sometimes means "tasting," as in the $4 chickpea-battered and chipotle-spiked squash blossom. However, there is no stinting on flavor, especially in the "beef rolad," a braciole-like cylinder of tender meat stuffed with bacon and braised in a subtly spiced curry ($9).

How to Find Your Own Cheap Eats in New York City!

Step 1

Purchase a budget NY City guidebook or two in advance of your trip or surf the web before you arrive; many guides include restaurant listings in a variety of price ranges.

Step 2

Find out about the best places to try out local specialties. The manager or concierge at your hotel should be able to provide you with a list of suggestions.

Step 3

Try some New York-style pizza for a quick, cheap and tasty meal. You will find many street vendors selling some of NY's finest!

Step 4

Buy a local newspaper or magazine as soon as you arrive, check out "New York Restaurants," or other local publications for restaurant listings and reviews.

Visiting another city? Check out our restaurant listings for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle

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