When you plan a day in NYC, you know you're going to spend a chunk of change. As college students, sometimes it's not that easy to drop 30 bucks on a good meal.

Luckily, there are many options for you to choose from right in the heart of Greenwich Village—down the street from Washington Square Park—that won't put a hole in your pockets. Macdougal Street, which has been called "the most colorful and magnetic venue for tourists on an evening outing in the Village," has numerous dining out options for under $20. 

Asian Kitchen Mighty Bowl

beer, coffee, pizza
Amelia Gilmer

Though the interior may be small, these bowls pack a flavorful punch. The menu offers eight different styles, all priced under 10 dollars. For only a dollar more, you can add a poached egg on top of the food as well.

Mighty Bowl uses homemade sauces to liven up the food even more. If you're like me, I suggest trying one of the spicy options, like the Bangkok, which features seared shrimp and mangoes. But don't worry, there are plenty of spicy-free bowls for you to choose from if your taste buds can't handle the heat.

Location: 120 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012 


beer, coffee
Amelia Gilmer

How often do you get the chance to eat with your hands? Every day, if you're eating Ethiopian food. Meskerem offers many traditional Ethiopian meals, including Kitfo (chopped beef that is like a steak tartar) and combo platters that are served on top of soft sourdough flatbread called injera. That's where the fun part comes in—you tear the injera and pick the different toppings up with the bread itself.

This restaurant is on the pricier side during dinner, but I recommend hitting this place up during their lunch hours. Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, nine different options are available for under 10 dollars. 

Location: 124 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

Saigon Shack

Amelia Gilmer

If you're looking for some killer Vietnamese food, Saigon Shack is the place to go. The menu is filled with numerous options for both vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

I personally recommend giving the Vegetarian Banh Mi sandwich a try ($8). With a side of jasmine rice ($3) and a refreshing glass of Thai iced tea ($4), you can leave this restaurant with a full belly and money left to spare. I also highly recommend you make a reservation, as Saigon Shack is one of the most popular stops on Macdougal Street.

Location: 114 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012


beer, wine, coffee
Amelia Gilmer

Located a little further down Macdougal Street from the other restaurants, Fukurou offers a wide range of Asian cuisine, from sushi to deep fried salmon and cheese spring rolls.

The most expensive item on the menu is a platter made up of five different types of assorted sashimi. The vast majority of the options, however, are under 10 dollars so if you're feeling adventurous, you can get deep fried octopus and squid for $7.

Location: 87 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

Caffe Reggio

Amelia Gilmer

Arguably one of the most popular places on Macdougal Street, Caffe Reggio has served NYC coffee since it opened in 1927. Even if you're not a huge coffee fan, this is a stop you have to make at least once in your lifetime.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available alongside the beverages. The food ranges from pasta and sandwiches to omelets and pecan pie. If you're just looking for a quick treat, I suggest trying the iced almond cappuccino for $5 with a Sicilian cannoli for $4.

A scene from The Godfather Part 2 was even filmed here so you know you'll be eating high quality stuff. 

Location: 119 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

Insomnia Cookies

beer, wine
Amelia Gilmer

For any college student, Insomnia Cookies is a must. Open till 3:00 am, these cookies are perfect for a midnight binge or if you need a sugar rush after class.

The cookies range from the classics like chocolate chip and sugar, to double chocolate mint and peanut butter chip. If you want even more of a sugar rush, you can get either a cookie à la mode or a brownie à la mode (meaning they put ice cream on top of the already delicious dessert).  

Location: 116 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

Next time you're near Washington Square Park and you need something to munch on, make your way to Macdougal Street. Whether you're in the mood for a sit-down meal or a quick snack to help you get on with your day, this is the street for you and your wallet.