Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to BLOG

The Best Cheap Food in NYC – 20 Places You Need to Try Today

a sandwich on a plate

If you’re looking for cheap food in NYC, then you’re in the right city.

While New York City has one of the highest costs of living in the developed world, that doesn’t mean there aren’t inexpensive places to eat and play throughout. It’s all about knowing where to find them.

No matter the style of cuisine, there are literally hundreds of places to grab a cheap bite in New York City. Take a look at the 20 top places to grab a meal without breaking the bank.

  1. Los Tacos No. 1 – There’s no seating at this spot, but that means you should enjoy your cheap Mexican fare on the road. Turnaround time is quick, and the prices are just right for anyone to enjoy a meal here.
  2. A&A Bake Doubles and RotiIf you’re looking for something a bit spicier, then don’t miss this popular Trinidadian spot. Quick counter service, and perhaps the best saheena you’ve ever had, make this a destination you have to check out.
  3. Patacon Pisao – It’s not every day you come across Venezuelan cuisine at such rock-bottom prices. A great spot for sandwiches and dishes made of plantains, this street-food-style spot is perfect for an interesting in-and-out experience.
  4. Arepa Lady – The cornmeal cakes made at this brick-and-mortar version of a street cart – a staple for many South Americans – are bar none some of the best in the city. Make sure to stop here for this delicious, sweet, and warm snack while on the move.
  5. Manousheh – Lebanese food is typically the arena of more expensive sit-down restaurants, but not at Manousheh. Get in and out quickly, while tasting the flavors of a much-coveted cuisine.
  6. Tortilleria Mexicanas Los Hermanos – Nestled within a tortilla factory, all the Mexican-inspired treats are made with some of the freshest wraps you can find in New York City.
  7. Woorijip – Need a new buffet in your life? This Korean restaurant has some seriously low prices, and is open late for those nights you need some after-drink munchies.
  8. Vanessa’s Dumpling House – Made while you wait, the various types of dumplings to be had will delight your wallet and your mouth! Whether you want a dumpling or some other simple Chinese fare, you can’t beat Vanessa’s.
  9. Mamoun’s Falafel – For the vegetarian we all sometimes aspire to be, Mamoun’s has some of the most delicious falafel in New York. Served cheap, quick, and late, this is one of the best spots for something light after a night of drinking.
  10. Kopitiam – Malasian food made cheap? It can’t be true, but it is. Along with fresh coffee and exotic teas, the selection for the price here is almost unbeatable compared to anywhere else in New York City.
  11. Thelewala – Of course Indian food had to make an appearance on this list. Tons of delicious, flavorful, and spicy selections are available until the wee hours of the morning for your late-night munchie pleasure.
  12. Lagman House – Asian fusion done right, and done cheap. While not open late, while operating you can grab some of the best beef tripe soup in the entire city at an incredible price.
  13. Shu Jiao Fu Zhou – Need some mouthwatering Chinese soups? There’s no better place than Shu Jiao. Also, while enjoying your inexpensive soup, you can witness dumplings and other delicacies being made by hand with the open-kitchen views.
  14. 88 Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles – Handmade noodles are the best kind, and most places that offer this are far more expensive. These guys make it happen at a great price, and your belly will thank you for finding it. Just remember – it’s cash only, and there’s no alcohol to be had!
  15. The Halal Guys – For those who love Middle Eastern food, a great halal restaurant is not a dime a dozen. This place will cost you almost a dime, while serving you some of the best lamb and falafel you’ve ever had.
  16. Columbus Gourmet Food – This is your clutch Italian-American food spot in New York City when the wallet’s feeling a bit thin. Delicious pizza, awesome sandwiches, and more are to be had here.
  17. Karczma – The waitresses wear traditional garb, and you can enjoy your perogies and other iconic Polish delights without stretching your finances. It’s also got a very authentic farmhouse feel, belying the establishment’s rock-bottom prices.
  18. Morning Star – We all need some diner food to comfort our souls every once in a while, and you won’t find better taste and lower price together under one roof like Morning Star.
  19. Flip Sigi – Another great fusion cuisine – Filipino/Mexican – with incredible prices. All burritos, tacos, and more are infused with Filipino flare straight from the islands.
  20. MargonWe bet you sometimes crave that delicious ropa vieja – Cuba’s national dish – or you’ve never tried it. Either way, get down to Margon to grab this classic plus many others on the absolute cheap.

Have you been to one of these places? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Ready To Ride With Us?

Our Jet Ski Tours Launch Just 10 Minutes from Manhattan.

Was $189 Now Starting at $151

Sea the City Jet Ski tours offer a unique way for tourists and New Yorkers alike to get up close to the sights and attractions on their very own Jet Ski. Book online today!

What you’ll see: Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, Freedom Tower, Janes Carousel, One Brooklyn Park, South Street Seaport, Empire State Building, and more!