New York City might be known as one of the most expensive cities to visit, but it doesn’t have to be. With millions of tourists and locals alike, there’s really something for everyone in the Big Apple. It’s easy to assume that cheap food is also bad food, but in NYC that’s not the case. Actually, it could even be argued that the best food in NYC is cheap!
Whether you’re planning a trip to the city for the first time or you’re a lifetime visitor, it can be hard to stick to a budget when there’s so much to see and do in the city. This list will highlight some of the best budget restaurants for quality dining without a big price tag!
Maoz Falafel & Grill
It’s no surprise that New York City is home to excellent Mediterranean food. Luckily, a lot of it can be really affordable like Maoz Falafel & Grill which has several locations throughout Manhattan. The menu is super customizable with rice bowls, hummus bowls, salad, pita pockets and more you can customize with whatever protein, grains, and veggies you prefer! The prices here are beyond reasonable and start at just $6 for a meal.
Another international-inspired favorite is Saigon Shack. This small Vietnamese eatery packs a big (and affordable) punch. The pho here is out of this world, and sometimes there’s even a line around the block of locals waiting for their favorite lunch spot, so definitely come during off times. The best way to go here is to order a bunch of delicious sides which start at around $4 each to share with friends!
Located between Canal and Hester street is Cheeky Sandwiches. If you’re a lover of biscuits and other fried southern foods, this is for you. It’s a bit out of the way, but it’s well-worth the effort of finding for the fluffiest baked buns and sandwiches! Everything here is under $10, so you might even want to order a few to-go!
Barilla Restaurant Radio City
If you came to the Big Apple for the Italian food, you need to try Barilla. This informal eatery has some of the best pasta in the city without a hefty price tag. It’s casual and centrally located, plus it’s open late for when cravings strike after dinner!
No list of NYC cheap eats would be complete without a killer taco spot. Avenida Cantina has some of the best tacos (and more) in the East Village. While their tacos are always pretty cheap at around $4-5, they’re crazy affordable on Tuesdays when they’re only $2 a pop! What a steal!
Bed-Stuy Fish Fry
This Brooklyn staple is known around the city for their delicious soul food. It’s hard to beat the portion sizes here, and one meal is probably enough to feed two people. Locals recommend you try the whiting fish dinner which comes with two sides! It’s some of the best fish in the neighborhood, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for the phrase fingerlicking good.
New York Luncheonette
If you’re looking for something to eat near your hop on hop off bus map locations, you should try the New York Luncheonette. This no-frills breakfast place is the best value, and it’s centrally located just a few blocks south of Central Park. Visit early in the day since this place tends to get busy around lunchtime!
Eating in NYC on a budget isn’t hard!
With the right research, it’s easier than ever to stay on budget while dining in NYC. You might be surprised to learn that some of the best places to eat are pretty affordable as long as you’re willing to look outside of the box. These picks are perfect for any type of eater trying to save money!