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20 Satisfying Cheap Eats in New York City You Can Enjoy for Under $10!

Best Cheap eats in New York City

Thankfully, getting a good meal in New York doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg (like everything else seems to). New York is home to a plethora of delicious restaurants serving a variety of different meals at affordable prices. I’m keeping this list of cheap eats in NYC under $10 to make sure everybody gets a bite. So without further ado, let’s get into the best cheap eats in New York City!


Best Cheap Eats in New York City

Table of Contents: Best New York City Cheap Eats

Breakfast sandwich from Daily Provisions, Best bakeries Upper West Side

20. Daily Provisions

Website: Daily Provisions
Neighborhood: West Village, Upper West Side, Midtown & Brooklyn 
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

Daily Provisions was opened by Danny Meyer, the mastermind behind Shake Shack, and now proudly boasts multiple locations in the city. Most folks come to this cute bakery for the crullers (which is a non-negotiable, order it!) and find themselves returning to try everything else on the menu.

I’m partial to the all day breakfast menu they offer and I find it to be some of the best cheap eats in NYC. The breakfast sandwiches are less than $9, which may sound like a lot but the price-to-quality ratio is on point. The bread is perfectly fluffy and the sandwich is served toasted, so all the ingredients are melted together and every bite is guaranteed to satisfy.


Shu Jiao Fu Zhou

19. Shu Jiao Fu Zhou

Website: Shu Jiao Fu Zhou
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Address: 295 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

Known for creamy peanut noodles and pork & chive dumplings, Shu Jiao Fu Zhou has earned a spot on our list of best cheap eats in New York City. Located in Chinatown, this is the spot if you are trying to save a buck. The peanut noodles are $3 and the dumplings are $3 for an order of 6 or $4 for an order of 10. It’s hard to believe that for those prices in NYC, especially since this place has gotten so popular over the years.

Come prepared: This is a CASH-ONLY establishment.


18. Mei Lai Wah

Website: Mei Lai Wah
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Address: 64 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

Mei Lai Wah is also located in Chinatown, but this spot is known for their baked and steamed buns. Be prepared for long lines because this spot is very popular. Serving a multitude of flavors, the crowd favorites seem to be the pineapple pork bun or the BBQ pork bun.

The buns are fluffy and pull apart nicely to allow the explosion of flavor inside to shine. The meat is tender and juicy enough to complement the slight sweetness in the dough of the bun. This is one of the best cheap eats in New York City because the buns start as low at $1.50 and they are a decent size (a little bigger than a fist).

Local’s tip: If you pay with cash, there is a small discount.


Trapizzino

17. Trapizzino

Website: Trapizzino
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Address: 144 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

This next spot is an Italian restaurant serving what some like the call the “adult version of a hot pocket”. Simply put, this popular Roman street food (called Trappizzini) is a cone-shaped pizza stuffed with fillings. The dough is fluffy and chewy while the pocket of filling is savory and fresh. The portion size is very satisfying and for $9 I can’t complain. The restaurant itself is cute and affordable, perfect for a date or grabbing food to go. The Lower East Side is no stranger to some of New York City’s best cheap eats.


Banh Mi Saigon Cheap Eats NYC

16. Banh Mi Saigon

Website: Banh Mi Saigon
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Address: 198 Grand St New York, NY 10013

If there’s anything you take away from this list of the best cheap eats in NYC, let it be this: Chinatown is a goldmine. One of my favorite spots in the neighborhood is Banh Mi Saigon, which is famous for — you guessed it — banh mi. This Vietnamese sandwich is a tour de force is made with crisp baguette-style bread, pickled carrots, daikon, chiles, cucumber slices, cilantro, mayo, and a protein (typically marinated pork).

I’ve had a few of the sandwiches offered on the menu, but my go-to is the BBQ pork. The best part? Almost everything on the menu is under $10! There’s almost always a line, but it moves quickly. Stick around and see how Banh Mi Saigon does this beloved Vietnamese street food proud.

Local’s tip: If you don’t plan on eating the sandwich right away or want to save it for the next day, ask for your sandwich to come prepared “for tomorrow” and they will set the veggies to the side so your sandwich doesn’t get soggy.


Cheap Eats New York City Birria Landia
Image Courtesy The New York Times

15. Birria Landia

Website: Birria Landia
Neighborhood: SoHo & Brooklyn 
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

Churning out thousands of tacos a night, Birria Landia has seen an astronomical rise in popularity after opening in 2019. Thanks to social media’s fascination with birria, it didn’t take long for it to hit NYC, and the Moreno brothers were there to capitalize.

The flavor ultimately is what keeps New Yorkers coming back. The slow roasted beef marinates for hours getting so tender it practically falls apart. It’s borderline addicting, and the lines are further evidence that this is one of the most popular cheap eats in New York City.

Tacos are $3.50 each and come topped with onions, cilantro and sauce. There’s also the option to get the birria on tostadas for the same price, or a mulita for $4.50. The mulita is a tortilla sandwich stuffed with birria and melted mozzarella and the traditional taco toppings.


Cheap Eats Evelia's Tamales
Image Courtesy The New Yorker

14. Evelia’s Tamales

WebsiteEvelia’s Tamales
Neighborhood: Jackson Heights, Queens
Address: Roosevelt Ave &, Junction Blvd, Corona, NY 11368

The story of Evelia’s Tamales begins after 9/11, when Evelia Coyotzi couldn’t go back to the fast food restaurant where she worked. She opted to begin selling tamales out of a shopping cart. However thanks to growing popularity she was able to get a legitimate food cart located at the corner of Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, Queens.

Not only is Evelia’s Tamales among the best cheap eats in New York City, they’re some of the best tamales in NYC — period. There’s tamales verdes, rojos, chicken and cheese. For $1.50 each it’s hard not to buy one of every kind just to try!

There’s also an Oaxacan style tamale that’s not all too common. In Oaxaca they use banana peels instead of corn husks for the tamale, and I encourage everyone taste this novelty at least once. For only $3 each it’s worth trying this NYC cheap eat.


13. Wonton Noodle Garden

Website: Wonton Noodle Garden
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Address: 56 Mott St New York, NY 10013

Chinatown is home to some of the best cheap eats in New York City, and Wonton Noodle Garden just might be the best of them. While offering a variety of everyday Chinese dishes, its specialty lies in its namesake – wonton noodles. For less than $9, folks can enjoy a hearty noodle soup featuring generously sized wontons filled with a delicious combination of pork and shrimp.

This budget-friendly meal impresses with its rich flavors and exceptional value. If you’re not in the mood for soup, you can opt for an $8.75 order of siu mai, essentially just the dumplings. Personally, I recommend adding a generous amount of chili oil for an extra kick, but regardless of your preference, the authentic flavors shine through in every bite.


Cheap Eats New York City Cheeky Sandwiches
Image Courtesy Bloomberg

12. Cheeky Sandwiches (Currently Under Renovation)

Instagram: Cheeky Sandwiches
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Address: 35 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Let me be the first to express that shelling out a fortune for a sandwich is the last thing on my mind. The individual ingredients often aren’t pricey themselves, so paying someone else to assemble it doesn’t always feel like the most economical choice for my hard-earned money.

However, Cheeky Sandwiches has managed to change my perspective. None of their sandwiches surpass the $10 mark, and I can confirm that they truly live up to their cheeky reputation. Simple ingredients give rise to bold creations, resulting in a symphony of flavors.

Their beef sandwich is exceptionally delicious, boasting braised short rib that is both tender and juicy, all without compromising the integrity of the bread. Topped with horseradish sauce, arugula, and cherry tomatoes, it stands as an uncomplicated masterpiece. Priced at a mere $8, it firmly secures its spot among the best affordable eats in New York City.


NYC cheap eats
Joe's Steam Rice Roll

11. Joe’s Steam Rice Roll

Instagram: Joe’s Steam Rice Roll
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Address: 422 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Originating in southern China, steamed rice rolls have gained a devoted following in New York City, especially thanks to Joe’s Steam Rice Roll—a staple among affordable eats. Despite the rise of automation in kitchen processes, Joe’s maintains authenticity by using imported grindstones, resulting in a genuine, spongy texture and flavor.

For those unfamiliar, a steamed rice roll is crafted from rice batter, filled with options like pork, shrimp, beef, or vegetables, and topped with soy sauce or other chosen condiments. Priced at under $8, locals can savor this top-notch, budget-friendly delight at any of Joe’s locations. Additionally, dessert enthusiasts can indulge in a memorable $5 Chinese crepe.


Ess-A-Bagel

10. Ess-A-Bagel

Website: Ess-A-Bagel
Neighborhood: Midtown
Address: 831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022

Ess-a-Bagel sets the standard for all NYC bagels. And at $2 a bagel (+ your spread & toppings) it’s one of the best cheap eats in New York City. The interior of the bagel is perfectly airy and chewy while the exterior satisfies a bite with a crunchy texture few bagel shops have mastered to this level of perfection. Be forewarned though! The long lines at Ess-a-Bagel are warranted, arrive after 2pm to skip the lines (like we did). Although in all honesty, I’d happy wait 30+ minutes for this bagel on the reg.

Further reading: 15 MOUTHWATERING New York City Bagels That Validate the Hype


Veselka East Village

9. Veselka

Website: Veselka
Neighborhood: East Village
Address: 144 Second Ave, New York, NY 10003

Since 1954, Veselka, a Ukrainian Diner in the East Village, has stood as a constant amid the changes in “Little Ukraine.” As a symbol of the once-thriving Ukrainian community, Veselka has remained a popular spot, introducing generations of New Yorkers to Eastern European cuisine.

The diner’s appeal spans across various demographics, from businessmen grabbing a quick bite before work to college students seeking a comforting meal after a night out. With its array of affordable dishes, Veselka has become a go-to destination for budget-friendly eats in New York City.

Among its offerings, the Ukrainian borscht stands out—a traditional beet soup known as a Slavic delicacy, available at $6 per cup or $11 for a large. Another crowd-pleaser is the Ukrainian-style pierogis (fried dumplings served with sautéed onions and sour cream), priced at $9 for an order of four.


NYC Cheap Eats
Image Courtesy The Wall Street Journal

8. Halal Guys

Website: The Halal Guys
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

It goes without saying, the Halal Guys have stands everywhere. The popular NYC cheap eats destination is rarely far from from wherever you might find yourself. The Halal Guys started their business out of carts in 1990, and have continued expanding to now include brick-and-mortar restaurants.

The word halal is Arabic for “lawful”, meaning in line with the practices of the Quran and Islam. Similar to how a Jewish person must keep Kosher, a Muslim person must follow Halal guidelines.

As far as the best cheap eats in New York City I have to include the sandwiches from the Halal Guys. Even though the gyro plates are more than $10, the gyro sandwiches are under and easier to eat on the go for that matter.


Cheap Eats NYC 2 Hands

7. Two Hands

Website: Two Hands Corn Dogs
Neighborhood: SoHo & West Village
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

Two Hands gained rapid popularity online, thanks to its unique take on the classic corndog—a dish enjoyed by both adults and children. The best part? You get to customize your perfect dog.

Choose between a full beef hot dog, a full cheese stick, or a half-and-half option. After a cornbread coating and a golden fry, the real fun begins with toppings. Options include potatoes, crispy rice, or various seasonings. A standout is the cheese corndog with hot Cheetos—a cult favorite.

Priced at around $5.00 per corndog, Two Hands stands out as one of the best affordable eats in New York City. Opt for cheese, and don’t forget to capture the insane cheese pull when you take your first bite!


Cheap Eats NYC
Image Courtesy Mamoun’s Falafel

6. Mamoun’s Falafel

Website: Mamoun’s Falafel
Neighborhood: Upper West Side, East Village & West Village
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

Established in 1972, Mamoun’s Falafel predates the proliferation of Middle Eastern food carts in Manhattan. As a pioneering hole-in-the-wall eatery, it played a crucial role in introducing this popular dish to America.

Situated between the Comedy Cellar and Cafe Reggio, Mamoun’s Falafel is not just a restaurant but a part of New York City’s history as the oldest falafel establishment. Their unique twist involves using parsley, giving the falafel a distinctive green color.

Mamoun’s signature sandwiches, priced at $6.50, are among the most beloved cheap eats in the city. The classic option includes falafel, hummus, lettuce, tomato, onions, and tahini sauce wrapped in a pita bread pocket. Open until 3 AM, Mamoun’s is a go-to spot for late-night munchies, a perk particularly appreciated by college students residing in Greenwich Village.


Tiki Chick Cheap Eats NYC

5. Tiki Chick

Website: Tiki Chick
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Address: 517 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Brought to you by John Pickle Hospitality, the team behind Maison & Jacob Pickle, Tiki Chick is a tropical restaurant and bar where staff in beachwear serve fun, fruity drinks. Their claim to the title of best cheap eats in New York City lies in their $5 sandwiches—the sole food item on the menu aside from drinks.

On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, enjoy doughnut breakfast sandwiches until 4 pm; otherwise, indulge in chicken sandwiches that outshine those of major chains. Known for their expertise in fried chicken, John Pickle Hospitality doesn’t disappoint.

The clear standout is the hot honey chicken sandwich that has your mouth tingling with just the right amount of heat. Only thing that helps wash the spice down is, of course, is one of the many cocktails that grace the menu.


Los Tacos No. 1

4. Los Tacos No. 1

Website: Los Tacos No. 1
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

Los Tacos No. 1 stands out as perhaps the most renowned taqueria in New York City, with well-deserved hype. Originating from Tijuana and California, the founders identified a gap in authentic tacos in the city and brought the true Mexican flavor to Manhattan.

While priced at $5 per taco, they may not be the cheapest in the city, but they are considered the best. Opt for 2 tacos at $10, and you’ll experience some of the best cheap eats in NYC. The straightforward menu pays homage to traditional southern flavors, featuring in-house-made corn tortillas (always go for corn) and pineapple slivers in their bestselling adobada tacos, setting them apart from the competition.

The authentic ambiance adds to the experience, with Mexican music in the background, jugs of aguas frescas (Mexican drinks), and standing counters for dining instead of tables.


New York City best pizza

3. Scarr’s Pizza

Website: Scarr’s Pizza
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Address: 22 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

I won’t claim dollar pizza (now $1.50, thanks to inflation) as the best cheap eats in NYC. At New York Simply, we dine in style with a $6 slice! Before you protest about $6 slices, Scarr’s is considered to be some of the best pizza in the city.

The Sicilian grandma slice and pepperoni, both under $6, are incredibly satisfying. The large slices beg to be folded, and the thin, stretchy dough serves as the perfect canvas for the delightful marinara sauce and quality toppings.

The cheese and marinara sauce create a harmonious union without overwhelming. In essence, this pizza embodies everything a pizza should be—simple and delicious! Extra points for the incredible staff. Plus, the unfussy storefront exudes old-school vibes.


7th Street burger cheap eats NYC

2. 7th St Burger

Website7th Street Burger
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

“Smash” styled burgers have seen quite the rise in popularity in recent years. Although nobody can say for sure where the idea first originated it’s frequently associated with west coast burger joints like In-N-Out.

The signature flavor is achieved by smashing the patty as soon as it hits the grill to get the browning effect on as much of the patty as possible. This gives it a crispy, caramelized taste that starkly contrasts the thick and meaty patties a lot of other restaurants use. 

The menu is extremely simple. A cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger, an impossible burger and fries. Each burger comes with their signature sauce, grilled onions, pickles and cheese. It’s not uncommon for there to be a line since it’s among the best cheap eats in New York City, but it tends to move rather quickly since there isn’t much indoor dining. 

Further reading: 13 Prime New York City Burgers You Won’t Soon Forget


best cheap eats New York City

1. Xi’an Famous Foods

Website: Xi’an Famous Foods
Address: Multiple locations in NYC

Named after Xi’an, China — one of the easternmost cities in China (and last stop on the Silk Road!) — Xi’an Famous Foods offers the best cheap eats in New York City. Traditional noodle-centric meals are made from family recipes with the motto, “if it’s not spicy, it’s not as good.”

Now the food won’t knock you out of your chair (unless you want it to) but most dishes have a customizable spiciness level so you’re fully in the drivers seat. Just bear in mind, the house made chili oil is what adds the kick, but it’s also what contains the flavor.

There are a handful of options under $10. The best selling B1 pork burger and B2 spicy cumin lamb burger are both under $7 and are some of the best cheap eats in NYC for those who need to just grab and go.

For the New Yorkers who want more of a sit-down meal I suggest the $9.75 A2 Liang-Pi, which is a stir-fried noodle dish with scallions, bean sprouts, cilantro, cucumbers and spongy cubes of house made gluten. It’s *chef’s kiss*


Best Cheap Eats New York City (Post Summary)

  1. Xi’an Famous Foods
  2. 7th St Burger
  3. Scarr’s Pizza
  4. Los Tacos No. 1
  5. Tiki Chick
  6. Mamoun’s Falafel
  7. Two Hands
  8. Halal Guys
  9. Veselka
  10. Ess-A-Bagel
  11. Joe’s Steam Rice Roll
  12. Cheeky Sandwiches
  13. Wonton Noodle Garden
  14. Evelia’s Tamales
  15. Birria-Landia
  16. Banh mi Saigon
  17. Trapizzino
  18. Mei Lai Wah
  19. Shu Jiao Fu Zhou
  20. Daily provisions

Best Cheap Eats NYC Map


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And there you have it, folks! Our list of the best cheap eats in New York City. We’re always looking for a way to save some coin so let us know any of your suggestions.

Cheers! Thank you!

Curtis

Monday 22nd of May 2023

Great Job!!!