Dining in New York City is all about maintaining that balance between lustful desire and fiscal responsibility. Walking down each block you are bombarded with smells, sights and menus that entice you to spend your limited cash on their often overpriced fare. Until our very prestigious degrees pay off and allow us to dine with reckless abandon, here are affordable eating spots to keep you and your wallet full.
Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen
Streecha is truly a diamond in the rough, difficult to find even if you know the address. The dining room is located in the basement level and resembles an old church kitchen (it might actually be one). It’s only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4:00pm, so you’ll encounter many Ukrainian speaking churchgoers. The menu is limited, but delicious. Filled with rice and smoky ground pork and topped with caramelized onions, the gargantuan stuffed cabbage is something that everyone should order. This dish is almost a meal in itself and it will only set you back $4. Pair this with a few varenyky (boiled dumplings stuffed with creamy whipped potato and topped with caramelized onions) which are only $.75 a piece, and you can gorge yourself on some authentic Ukrainian food for less than ten dollars.
Location: 33 E 7th St (between 2nd and 3rd)
Hours of Operation:Fri-Sun 11am to 4pm
If you’re worried that the artisan creations at Murray’s Cheese Shop might be out of your price range don’t fret, you can have your cheese and eat it too. Murray’s offers a delectable assortment of freshly pressed grilled cheese sandwiches. Using what appears to be a Medieval sandwich press, the bread attains a crisp, buttery, crust and is the perfect compliment to the gooey cheese inside. The Murray’s Melt (Cheddar, Fontina and Gouda) only costs $4.99. Sorry chicken and rice, maybe next time.
Location: 254 Bleecker St
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 8am to 7pm, Sun 9am-6pm.
100 Montaditos is not traditional Spanish “tapas” by any measure, but this joint makes the list for its unbeatable deal on Wednesdays: five montaditos for only $5. Each miniature sandwich comes on warm ciabatta bread and incorporates a variety of ingredients. Standouts include the Caprese (Serrano ham, mozzarella, tomato and pesto), the Philly cheese steak club (shaved steak with creamy chipotle aioli) and the Piripi (sliced rosemary garlic pork loin, bacon, cheese, tomato and mayo). With its convenient location, this is always solid bet for a quick and easy meal. For the best deal, though, get there on Wednesday.
Location: 176 Bleecker St (bet Sullivan and Macdougal)
Hours of Operation: Sun-Wed 11am to 11pm, Thu-Sat 11am to 2am