25 Tasty Places to Eat for Cheap in NYC


Support Cheapism: Do your shopping with our retail partners.

View as:


New York restaurants are infamous for being expensive, with multi-course tasting menus costing hundreds of dollars per person. Still, by exploring the variety of cuisines and fusion food on offer, residents and visitors can sample some of the city's best for just a few bucks.


161 N. 7th St.

Brooklyn, NY 11211

Neighborhood: Williamsburg

Phone: (718) 218-7607

This hipster magnet serves cheap falafel and shawarma sandwiches until the wee hours of the morning. Although loyal patrons were dismayed when Oasis raised prices at the start of 2015, it's still only $4 for a fresh, crispy, fried-chickpea sandwich with all the veggie toppings you can squeeze in.


39-07 Prince St.

Queens, NY 11354

Neighborhood: Flushing

Phone: (718) 359-1601

Web: spicyandtasty.com

Flushing is home to thousands of immigrants and hundreds of cheap restaurants. For a taste of Chinese, check out Spicy and Tasty. The Szechuan fare here is exactly as advertised: spicy and tasty. More than two dozen dishes are just $6.50 at lunchtime on weekdays.


2090 Broadway

New York, NY 10023

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Phone: (212) 799-0243

Web: grayspapayanyc.com

For the quintessential New York hot dog, head to Gray's Papaya, where a frankfurter with spicy mustard costs $1.25. Got a bigger appetite? Order the Recession Special: two franks and one drink for $3.50.


168 Bedford Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11211

Neighborhood: Williamsburg

Phone: (718) 388-281

Web: peterssince.com

Even upscale restaurants are serving comfort food these days. But why pay upscale prices when you can sate your appetite here? Peter's Since 1969 is the place for large servings of hearty, straightforward food. Rotisserie chicken, two sides, soup, and bread costs less than $8 at lunch.


198 Grand St.

New York, NY 10013

Neighborhood: Little Italy

Phone: (212) 941-1541

Web: banhmisaigonnyc.com

Vietnamese food in Little Italy? Yes, indeed. Bánh Mì Saigon offers one of the city's best bargains with its cheap, flavorful sandwiches. The foot-long bánh mì Saigon (pork) sandwich is $4.50.


727 Manhattan Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11222

Neighborhood: Greenpoint

Phone: (718) 389-3676

Web: peterpan-donuts.com

Anyone who has ever been to this beloved Brooklyn doughnut bakery comes back for the quality. The low prices are just the icing on the éclair. The specialty here is the cake doughnut, which comes in many flavors and is touted by many customers as the best they've ever had. Doughnuts start at $1 a pop.


67 Mott St.

New York, NY 10013

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Phone: (212) 964-0540

Web: bigwongking.com

It might take longer to read the menu at this cheap New York restaurant than to eat whatever Chinese dish you've ordered. Among the more than 100 options at Big Wong King are duck congee for $4.50 and wonton soup for $3.75.


7523 Third Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11209

Neighborhood: Bay Ridge

Phone: (718) 748-5600

Web: tanoreen.com

Eat enough Middle Eastern appetizers and you don't need to spring for a main dish. At Tanoreen, you can have your fill of tasty and cheap dishes such as eggplant with tomato and basil or grape leaves stuffed with lamb starting at $7.


126 Rivington St.

New York, NY 10002

Neighborhood: Lower East Side

Phone: (212) 995-1960

Web: sugarsweetsunshine.com

Do you have a giant sweet tooth and a small budget? Skip the "Sex and the City"-inflated prices at the cupcake place across town. At Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery, scrumptious flavors such as pistachio, peppermint chocolate, and red velvet sell for $2.25 each or $1.25 for the mini size.


4508 Fifth Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11220

Neighborhood: Sunset Park

Phone: (718) 871-7627

This cash-only joint in Sunset Park has delicious, super-cheap Mexican fare and a BYOB policy. Tacos Matamoros serves large chicken, beef, or pork tacos for $2.50 each. With those prices, the $8 burritos feel like a splurge.


41-28 Main Street

Basement Stall #36

Queens, NY 11355

Neighborhood: Flushing

Web: xianfoods.com

The competition is hot for the best budget Asian noodles in New York, but Xi'an Famous Foods is a serious contender. Try the hand-pulled noodles starting at $6.50 or a spicy cumin lamb burger for $3.50 in the Golden Shopping Mall food court. If Flushing is too far away, there are eight other locations and real-time traffic meters on the chain's website.


763 Ninth Ave.

New York, NY 10019

Neighborhood: Theater District/Hell's Kitchen/Midtown West

Phone: (212) 698-9008

Web: empmamanyc.com

It's hard to beat the quality for the price at Empanada Mama. Among the many varieties of the namesake dish are cheese steak and Viagra (seafood). Some can be made with corn flour instead of wheat or oven-baked instead of fried. Prices start at $3 per piece.


7104 Grand Ave.

Maspeth, NY 11378

Phone: (718) 476-9680

Web: wankarestaurant.com

This traditional Peruvian restaurant in Queens is famous for its chicken. The lunch special includes meat, rice, beans, and soup, authentically prepared, for $7.50.


32 St. Mark's Place

New York, NY 10003

Neighborhood: East Village

Phone: (212) 777-0600

Web: 2brospizza.com

Slap a buck on the counter at 2 Bros. Pizza in the East Village, or one of 10 other locations, and a fresh, steaming slice is yours. For a full meal, grab two slices and a soda for $2.75.


30-17 30th Ave.

Queens, NY 11102

Neighborhood: Astoria

Phone: (718) 267-6300

Web: peteysburger.com

As you'd expect, Petey's Burger turns out juicy and affordable burgers. Made from scratch, they're often likened to California's beloved In-N-Out burgers. Prices start at $3.99, and it's $5.99 for a double dripping with American cheese. Add hand-cut fries for $3.22.


215 Avenue A

New York, NY 10009

Neighborhood: East Village

Phone: (212) 780-9204

Some of the best cheap burritos in New York are found at this Mexican deli and grocery in Alphabet City. An enormous burrito filled with meat, cheese, and mouthwatering sauces costs only $6.


118A Eldridge St.

New York, NY 10002

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Phone: (212) 625-8008

Web: vanessas.com

Dumplings cross culinary boundaries. If it's the Chinese variety you crave, turn to Vanessa's Dumpling House. A full plate loaded with dumplings costs $5 or less and delicious sesame pancakes are $1 each.


46 Eldridge St.

New York, NY 10002

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Phone: (212) 343-0683

Web: prosperitydumpling.com

There's no shortage of cheap dumplings in this neighborhood. Prosperity Dumplings features deliciously cheap fried pork and chive dumplings for $1 each. Customers can also take home a bag of 50 frozen dumplings for $8. Make sure to hit the ATM first: It's cash only.


11 Madison Ave.

New York, NY 10010

Neighborhood: Flatiron

Web: shakeshack.com

The city's best-known burger has spread to locations around the world, but this is the original. The single Shack Burger, with its Danny Meyer pedigree, costs $5.19. Plan to wait on line in Madison Square Park -- go online to check the Shack Cam and wait for the crowd to thin.


1 Doyers St.

New York, NY 10013

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Phone: (212) 791-1817

Web: tastyhandpullednoodlesnyc.com

Slurp up ultra-cheap Chinese cuisine at Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles Inc., where enormous portions of eponymous noodle soups start at $6. Both meat and veggie options are available.


114 E. 1st St.

New York, NY 10009

Neighborhood: East Village

Phone: (212) 533-3356

This under-the radar place serves tasty, homemade, all-vegetarian Indian food 24 hours a day. Look for the taxis parked out front, just north of Houston Street near Avenue A, while hungry drivers procure a taste of home. It's $3.50 for two helpings of dishes such as chana masala and paneer over rice or bread.


136-21 37th Ave.

Queens, NY 11354

Neighborhood: Flushing

Phone: (718) 539-3838

Web: joeshanghairestaurants.com

You can hardly go wrong with cheap Chinese when you're in Queens. Joe's Shanghai is the place for delicious dishes such as an eight-piece order of steamed pork buns or Peking-style minced pork noodle soup, each for $5.95 (also available at the restaurant's Chinatown location).


81 St. Mark's Place

New York, NY 10003

Neighborhood: East Village

Phone: (212) 982-9166

Web: rakkacafe.com

This East Village gem is a go-to spot for cheap, fast, fresh Middle Eastern food. The best deal on the menu is a falafel sandwich loaded up with homemade salads, veggies, pickles, and house-made tahini and hot sauce. One of these will keep you full for a night out at the nearby bars for just $3.50.


113 Avenue A

New York, NY 10009

Neighborhood: East Village

Phone: (212) 505-7609

Web: rayscandystore.com

Ray himself has been known to work the graveyard shift at this 24-hour ice cream and soda shop, a New York institution. Try the beignets, at $4 for a half dozen, or a huge serving of the best Belgian fries in town for $5.


17 Mott St.

New York, NY 10013

Phone: (212) 962-8617

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Web: wohopnyc.com

This late-night Chinatown staple offers some of the most beloved, authentic Chinese fare in the city. The menu features bargains including cold sesame noodles for $4.50, spring rolls for $3.80, and roast duck wontons for $4.74. Virtually everything is less than $10, making this a perfect spot to fill up after a night of munchie-inducing bar hopping.