The Best Cheap Eats in NYC

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If you’re planning a trip to NYC and you want to eat all of the best meals in NYC on a budget, you’ve come to the right place! I grew up just 30 minutes outside of the city, and lived in New York for most of my life. As a budget friendly entrepreneur, you can bet that I’ve  This guide will be your friend, with a list of the best places to eat in NYC on a budget. Of course, if you’re visiting NYC, you’ll want to check out my local’s guide to NYC. The cheap eats in nyc spots on this list are sure to keep you (and your wallet) happy, with all meals under $10. 

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The Best Cheap Eats in NYC

Cheap Eats in NYC: Lower East Side

Souvlaki GR 

Transport yourself to Greece in the heart of NYC’s Lower East Side. This spot might be affordable, but it isn’t lacking on ambiance and decor. Souvlaki GR is perfect for a casual date night, especially when you’re looking for something budget-friendly. Plus, the exterior is super cute, making it one of the best Instagram spots in NYC

Cost: Order one of the pitas, with an option of Tzatziki or Spicy Feta. Pitas range from $6.50 to 9.75.

Address: 116 Stanton Street 

Cheap Eats in NYC: East Village

Tortaria 

Tortaria tiny spot near Union Square is famous for their fast service and strong margaritas. The margaritas might tip you over your budget, but there are plenty of affordable and filling dinner options. Be sure to snap an Instagram worthy shot outside. 

Cost: $10 for a Milanesa de Pollo Torta, among other delicious options 

Address: 94 University Place 

Taqueria St Marks Place 

Located on NYC’s famous St Marks Place, Taqueria is a fun option for a casual date or group dinner before a night out. 

Cost: $3.50 per taco and quesadillas starting at $4.95

Address: 79 St Marks Place 

Mamoun’s Falafel 

Mamoun’s Falafel is an awesome option for the best cheap eats in NYC. They have sandwiches, signature sandwiches, and plates. Everything on their menu is delicious, so you can’t go wrong ordering. There are a number of locations, both in NYC and around the country.

Cost: Under $10 for their delicious falafel wrap, one of my favorite cheap eats in NYC.

Address: 30 St. Marks Pl

Arepa Factory

The Arepa Factory is a perfect take-out dinner spot for a cheap, hearty meal. These delicious Venezualan dishes are a must if you’re visiting NYC on a budget. 

Cost: Just under $10 for any of their arepas. Del Corral is a favorite, with Del Campo a great alternative for vegetarians. 

 

Thailand Cafe 

Delicious Thai food in the heart of the East Village. Come during the summer months and snag a seat by the open doors. Linger a bit and enjoy their $6 cocktail happy hour, available on weekends as well. 

Cost: $10 lunch special entrees with classics like Pad Thai, Cashew Nut Stir Fry, and a variety of curries. 

Address: 95 2nd Ave 

 

Cheap Eats in NYC: Chinatown

88 Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles

If you’re in the mood for a big plate of steaming dumplings, then this is the spot for you. Definitely one of the best cheap eats in NYC. The place could use a bit more ambience, but it’s hard to beat the price and quality. This is a cash-only establishment so make sure to hit the ATM before sitting down to dine. 

Cost: $4 for a plate of steamed or fried pork dumplings 

Address: 40 Bowery 

Plate of dumplings from Chinatown, NY

Vanessa’s Dumplings

Vanessa’s Dumplings is another classic NYC cheap eats restaurants. Grab some dumplings to-go for dinner before a big night out in NYC.  There are four locations across the city, but the Chinatown location is definitely my favorite. The other locations are in Long Island City, Chelsea, and Williamsburg.

Cost: An order of 4 fried dumplings starts at $2.00, and an order of 8 boiled dumplings starts at $4.00. 

Address: 118A Eldridge Street

Best Places to Eat in NYC on a Budget: Astoria

Astoria is by far one of the most underrated neighborhoods in NYC. Just 10 minutes from midtown Manhattan, a quick ride to Astoria will reward you with some of the best restaurants, bars, and cafes in NYC. If you’re planning on adding some of my Astoria recommendations to your NYC cheap eats list, be sure to check out my full guide on the best places in Astoria.

Napoli’s Pizza and Pasta 

This mom and pop Italian shop is more than worth the trek “all the way to Astoria”. With all of the classic Italian dishes ringing in at under $10, this is a prime example of one of the best cheap eats in NYC.

Cost: All of pasta dishes stick to the $10 and under budget, with many of their main dishes making the cut as well. Do yourself a favor and order the Chicken Parmigiana ($9.95), the Spaghetti Aglio e Olio ($7.50), and the Penne alla Vodka ($7.95). 

Address: 33-02 35th Ave, Astoria, NY

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King Of Falafel & Shawarma

This is a local spot located right off of the Broadway N/W station in Astoria.

Cost: The falafel sandwich on fresh pita, with fresh veggies and tahini, is priced at $6.99. If you’re looking for something a bit heartier, the beef and chicken shawarma wraps are only a few bucks more. 

Address: 30-15 Broadway, Astoria, NY

Sunrise Chinese

Sunrise Chinese is the definition of cheap, delicious NYC take out. While there isn’t much ambiance for a dine-in dinner, Sunrise Chinese is perfect for a good night of take out. Plus, just about every entree on the menu is under $10!

Cost: $6.25 for lo mein, $7.50 shrimp with broccoli

Address: 33-20 Broadway, Astoria, NY

 

Cheap Eats in NYC: West Village

Joe’s Pizza 

No cheap eats in NYC guide could be complete without a pizzeria. If you’re looking for the best places to eat in NYC on a budget, pizza is always a good bet! Joe’s is a classic NYC haunt, with locations all over the city including the West Village, Gramercy Park, and Williamsburg. 

Cost: $3 for a classic “plain” slice or $3.50 for a Sicilian slice 

 

Saigon Shack 

Right in the hustle and bustle of West Village’s Macdougal Street. This Vietnamese eatery is always busy, with servers dishing out endless banh mi and steaming bowls of pho. 

Cost: The classic pho just makes the $10 budget cut, at $9.95 a bowl. The classic banh mi is a steal at $5, but the lemongrass chicken banh mi priced at $9 is a delicious option as well. 

Address: 114 Macdougal Street 

 

Thelewala NY

Thelewala is an awesome option for cheap Indian food in the West Village. Plus, it’s located right next door to Saigon Shack, so it’s a good backup if the line there is too long!

Cost: All of the Calcutta Nizami rolls are priced between $6-7

Address: 112 Macdougal Street 

 

Check out my guide to the Best Instagram Spots in NYC here! 

 

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10 Comments

  1. July 12, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    MMMM great list and I love that it covers so many different ethnicities, that’s VERY New York. Huge fan of arepas so I’ll have to try Arepa Factory next time I’m in town.

    • tavernatravels
      Author
      July 13, 2019 / 9:52 pm

      There are literally SO many different types of cuisines in NYC, I love it!

  2. July 12, 2019 / 7:43 pm

    The Arepa Factory has been our list forever and we never seem to make it there! Someday!!!

    • tavernatravels
      Author
      July 13, 2019 / 9:51 pm

      Omg its SO good! Definitely check it out and let me know what you think!

  3. July 12, 2019 / 8:52 pm

    I’m headed back to NYC soon on a very different budget from when I lived there so I really appreciate this helpful post!

    • tavernatravels
      Author
      July 13, 2019 / 9:49 pm

      Its always great to have great, cheap spots to hit up!

  4. Kay
    July 12, 2019 / 9:47 pm

    Food in NYC is unmatched!!! I’m drooling already – I can’t wait to go back!

    • tavernatravels
      Author
      July 13, 2019 / 9:51 pm

      You’ll have to let me know when you’re here 🙂

    • tavernatravels
      Author
      July 13, 2019 / 9:48 pm

      Thanks! There are SO many delicious places!

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