Birria Landia

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 best cheap eats in NYC.

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Evelia’s Tamales

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!

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Cheeky Sandwiches

Their beef sandwich is top tier delicious. It’s made out of braised short rib that is tender and juicy all without making the bread soggy. Topped with horseradish sauce, arugula and cherry tomatoes it’s an uncomplicated masterpiece. For a whopping $8 it’s well placed among the best cheap eats in New York City.

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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. No matter what combination you choose, no mistakes are made at Ess-A- Bagel.

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Affordable dishes are aplenty at the diner, making it a popular New York City cheap eats destination. There’s homemade soups sold at either $6 per cup or $11 for a large. Those looking for a traditional meal should order the Ukrainian borscht. It’s a beet soup that is perhaps the best known slavic dish.

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Halal Guys

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.

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Two Hands

While ordering, you are given the choice of a full beef hot dog, a full cheese stick or half & half. Once coated in cornbread, the corndog is fried until golden. Now comes the fun part- toppings. You can choose to have your corndog coated in potatoes (yes, potatoes!), crispy rice or a handful of other seasonings they offer. A cult favorite is the cheese corndog topped with hot Cheetos.

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Tiki Chick

Their entry for best cheap eats in New York City though comes by way of their $5 sandwiches. In fact, sandwiches are the only food on their menu besides drinks, so a meal here isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there are doughnut breakfast sandwiches until 4 pm.

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Los Tacos No. 1

A simple menu pays homage to the traditional flavors of our southern neighbors. Things like corn tortillas made in house and pineapple slivers in their bestselling adobada tacos have helped propel them above their competition. Even the ambience is authentic. Mexican music plays in the background, there are jugs of aguas frescas (Mexican drinks) and standing counters to eat at rather than tables.

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Xi’an Famous Foods

Xi’an Famous Foods is the best of 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”. 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.

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Check out the complete list of 15 unique cheap eats in NYC!