It's no secret that living in New York isn't cheap. While treating yourself to a $25 entree and a $15 drink every once and a while is fun, NYC prices get really old, really fast.
But have no fear, you no longer have to shell out mad money to eat well in NYC. If you know where to look, there are plenty of places where you can get a solid meal for under $10. I used my own experience visiting and living in New York, along with talking to my friends and family who have lived in NYC and checking out social media to compile a go-to list of the best cheap eats in the Big Apple.
Mamoun's Falafel is arguably the best falafel in the city. And the best part is that all of their entrees are under $10. You can get a filling chicken pita sandwich and a side of hummus or falafel for less than 10 bucks. Also, they are open all night which means your next drunk craving has got to be falafel. Check out Mamoun's on Macdougal Street near NYU or on St. Mark's.
Blue Ribbon is another late night option since they serve up fried chicken in their East Village spot until 2 am. However, this is also a great choice for lunch or dinner. I recommend the Blue Ribbon sandwich which is their perfectly juicy fried chicken smothered in their tangy Blue Ribbon sauce. That filling choice will cost you less than $8.
Shake Shack has locations all over the city for a reason: they make great burgers. A single Shack Burger with fries is less than $10 and is a meal that is worth every penny. These genius menu hacks can help you save a dollar or two next time you head to Shake Shack.
I was hesitant to include San Marzano on this list because they don't accept reservations for small groups and I don't want to have to wait for a table next time I go, but their pasta deserves to be talked about. All of their homemade pasta is $9 and their delicious panini are $8. Also they have $15 pitchers of sangria which can comfortably serve four people.
Do yourself a favor and get your butt over to the corner of 2nd Ave and East 7th St.
These hot dogs are the kind of hot dogs you'll think about long after your last bite. They range in price from $3.25 to $5.25 and come smothered in everything from chili to cream cheese. With locations in both the East Village and Williamsburg they are the perfect hangover cure or late night bite.
As a gal who has tried hundreds of slices of New York pizza, I have to say that Joe's is some of the best. With locations on Carmine Street, Union Square and on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg, you have no excuse not to treat yourself to their glorious $2.50 slices.
I once carried a pizza from Joe's on the 6 train during peak rush hour, through Grand Central Station and then on an hour long train to Connecticut. That's how good it is.
7. Casa Adela
I discovered Casa Adela because Aaron Sanchez said it has the best pernil he's ever tasted. As someone who grew up eating pernil every Christmas, my mouth was watering just thinking about the juicy pork dish.
Casa Adela did not disappoint. All of their Puerto Rican dishes are to die for, especially the pernil and the rotisserie chicken, both of which cost less than $10.
This bagel place takes a New York bagel to the next level. Its Upper West Side location makes it a favorite of Columbia students. In fact, when one of my friends met Ezra Koeing from Vampire Weekend, Ezra told him that this was his favorite bagel place in the city. That's reason enough to hit up this spot in the morning.
by CHLOE makes sure vegans get cheap eats too. Although I eat meat, I often find myself craving their guac burger and their kale caesar salad, which both cost less than $10.
by Chloe is the perfect spot to grab dinner at when you feel like you should be eating a little healthier. Next time you're in the Flatiron District or the West Village, be sure to try by Chloe.
If you've never had bao, you've been missing out. These Chinese stuffed buns are unreal. Imagine a doughy outside, filled with delicious pork, fish, chicken or tofu that is seasoned to perfection. Are you salivating yet? The best part is each bao sells for around $4 a pop, so you can go ahead and treat yourself to two.
Wilma Jean is the cute comfort food spot you didn't know you needed. This Brooklyn joint serves up burgers, fried chicken and sandwiches and most of their entrees are under $10. Plus, their airy atmosphere makes for a wonderful dining experience.
Mac n' cheese lovers, rejoice. Here is an entire restaurant dedicated to your favorite food. I'm talking about everything from cheeseburger mac n' cheese to lobster mac n' cheese to duck mac n' cheese. Their small and medium portions usually cost under $10. If you love mac n' cheese, do yourself a favor and run to this Nolita spot.
Tacombi is an airy Mexican restaurant with locations in Nolita, Flatiron and Greenwich Village. Their tacos are super flavorful and made with fresh ingredients. They range in price from $3.95 to $5.49 but you definitely need more than one to feel full. If you are with a group of friends I also recommend splitting an order of guac.
This East Village spot is a delicious option for vegetarians and vegans. All of their entrees are under $10 and they make a mean veggie burger. Don't forget to check out their daily specials, which utilize fresh seasonal veggies.Chelsea Market may be overpriced, but Dizengoff's hummus is worth every penny. Their basic hummus is super filling and for $10 you get a huge container of hummus, homemade pita and a side salad. This is the perfect lunch for those who live or work in the Chelsea area.
Who doesn't crave chicken fingers at the end of a long day? Sticky's is THE spot to get your chicken tender fix. Their locations in Greenwich Village, Murray Hill and Hell's Kitchen ensure that you can get some dope tenders anywhere. Definitely try their finger basket which you will find three chicken fingers on a bed a fries with one of their many incredible sauces.
Lam Zhou in Chinatown has amazing noodles, but they are also home to some of the tastiest dumplings in the city. Both their noodles and their dumplings are insanely cheap: $3 for 10 fried dumplings and less than $7 for any of their noodle bowls.Pommes Frites is back and better than ever. Their new Macdougal Street location is a can't miss for french fry addicts. A double fry is meant for two people and is more than enough food to make for a satisfying dinner. You get to choose any delicious sauce from pesto mayo to bleu cheese to smother your crispy fries. I also recommend trying their poutine.
No morning should be complete with out a BEC and Space Market serves up some of the best in the game. It may look unassuming from the outside, but don't worry, their breakfast sandwiches will not disappoint. Go for a bagel with lox or a bacon egg and cheese with avocado.check out this list of the best bites there.
La Caridad is a Cuban restaurant AND a Chinese restaurant rolled in one. That might sound unconventional, but this Upper West Side spot makes it work. My Cuban Grandma has been taking me here since I was a toddler, so I think that says a lot about the quality of their Cuban food. Most of their dishes are under $10, and I personally recommend their picadillo or chopped Cuban beef and rice.
The soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai are famous for a reason—they're delicious. Head over to one of their locations in Chinatown, Midtown or Flushing and try these dumplings for yourself. The soup dumplings and some other menu items cost less than $10.
Taqueria Diana serves up some of the best tacos in the city. You can get tacos that range in price from $4 to $4.75 or plates of food that come with rice and beans for $9.19. They also serve up dope burritos and elote which means heading over to either their East Village, or Chelsea or Hell's Kitchen location will guarantee a satisfactory Mexican meal.
This vegetarian spot is worth heading into Flushing for. I developed a love for dosas when I traveled to India, and Temple Canteen's dosas are just as good as the ones I had there. These South Indian crepes are typical street foods that are often stuffed with potatoes or cheese. The dosas at Temple Canteen range in price from $3 to $7.
Dan and John's serve up some of the best wings in NYC. You can get five plump and juicy wings for $7.35. They offer a variety of sauces, but as a wing purist I think it's absurd not to order buffalo sauce. After all, Dan and John hail from Buffalo which is where Buffalo wings were invented.