Eating cheaply in NYC

Jan 13th, 2010, 07:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Eating cheaply in NYC

There are always visitors who want to eat cheaply in NYC. Here are some hints. I know others will have many more suggestions.

How to eat cheaply in NYC


Every, and I do mean every, neighborhood in Manhattan has what are euphemistically called delis. Almost all have some sort of breakfast specials that usually includes eggs, potatoes, toast and coffee. If you are not hungry or are cholesterol adverse, they also usually sell sliced fruit and yogurt. Of course there are bagels and pastries. NEVER EVER order room service.

There are many places that make their bagels. NOT DUNKIN DONUS. Some of the better one’s include Ess-a-Bagel, H &H. Murray’s Tal’s, David’s. Avoid the bagel place in Chelsea Market and the one on Carmine Street, .

Try to avoid in midtown and try to eat in residentiall neighborhoods.


Part of the NY experience is to avoid chain restaurants. There is an incredible variety of inexpensive foods, among them Chinese and Indian. Quality varies substantially. If you are in or near Chinatown, there are many places including Big Wong’s. If you are near the East Village East 6th Street has literally 14 Indian restaurants to choose from. There are also excellent Indian restaurants on Lexington Avenue in the 20’s. The East Village also offers inexpensive Eastern European cooking at Veselka comfort food at Mama’s.

No NY’er cannot resist a frank at Gray’s Papaya who also sells fruit drinks including papaya, hence the name. There are now many variations on papaya and dogs all are inexpensive. Nathan’s are also very good but they are more expensive.

Pizza is a long lunch standby-do not go to ANY chain, the cheese is older than the kids who make it. Look for by the slice places and try a calzone as well, you will not eat for two days.

Sidewalk hot dog venders are always cheap, avoid the guys around Rock Center, you pay a premium. There are those who wonder about the hygiene, the dogs are boiled and the knishes grilled for forever. It must kill anything that lurks

Free samples are available at Dean & Deluca, Sarabeth’s, and Gourmet Garage.

It is the rare independent bakery in NYC that does not have at least one bread or pastry that is enticing.

With the economy is bad as it is, many restaurants are offering Recession specials, so keep your eye out., especially pizza places and the Indian places on 6th Street

The following are inexpensive meals and desserts:

Inexpensive Italian- La Marca (3rd Ave. and 22 Street, only opened noon-10 PM, Mon-Fri), Defonte sandwiches Third and 21 St

Inexpensive Eastern European- Veselka

Dessert-Veniero's, DeRobertis for the frozen lemon thing and cannoli , Fat Witch Bakery (brownies only) Chelsea Market

Brunches-,Turkish Kitchen, Cafecito (Ave C), Clinton Street Bakery ,

Pizza-Motorino, their luncheon special with individual pizza is a great great buy

Hole in the wall-Stage (next to Stomp) great cheap home made soups

French fires-Pomme Frites

Inexpensive American-Mama’s

Ice Cream-Cones on Bleecker, Il Laboratorio de Gelato, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Cones and Sundae (East 10th off Third) Ronnybrook at the Chelsea market

Chinatown-Big Wong. Joe’s Ginger, NY Noodletown

Dim Sum-Jing Fung, Golden Unicorn


When we travel we often buy different foods as we walk around the city and put them in our backpacks and have dinner in the hotel room. In NYC you will probably see foods that are unfamiliar. Bring a knife, forks, and a corkscrew. If you are using a carryon bring plastic utensils with you.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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All of the above is great advice.

But, one of the joys of NYC is sampling cuisines that may not be available in your hometown (Peruvian, Dominican, Turkish, Moroccan, asian/orinetla fusion). So do be sure to enjoy a couple of sit down meals. Many of these places are quite inexpensive - esp if you stick to residential neighborhoods.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,616
I recently have started using, where you pay a certain amt. to get a coupon for a larger amt to use at (usually dinner) certain restaurants. On our last trip to NYC we ate dinner at a lovely restaurant (Blu, at the Hotel Indigo) w/one of these coupons. I paid $5 for a coupon good for $25 of food at Blu. Usually the coupon would have been $10 for this restaurant but the website had a 50% off code so I got it for $5.

My husband and I each got an entree, and the total would have been about $42, but because I had the coupon I paid $5 for $25 worth of food, and then paid the extra $17 beyond the $25. So we got $42 worth of dinner for $22. It was a very good deal and we loved the restaurant.

Today I got an email for 80% off at! So I can go to the website and get a $25 coupon for $2, or a $50 coupon for $4! That is an incredible deal. I do find that it takes me a bit of time to check out the restaurants on their site, do a search for reviews on yelp and other places, and find the ones I want to eat at and get coupons for.

Due to the 80% off special, for two upcoming trips to NYC I am getting a $25 coupon for $2 for Walkers restaurant in Soho, a $25 coupon for $2 to Cercle Rouge (nice french bistro, I have eaten at the sister restaurant in Chelsea, Le Singe Vert and loved it), a $25 coupon for $2 to Roccos, and a $25 coupon for $2 at Martinique Cafe.
emd3 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,616
BTW, there are lots of different kinds of restaurants in other cities on Many ethnic ones but also chain restaurants, all different kinds. Last weekend we went out to eat at a Houlihans close to our Virginia suburb home- got a $50 coupon on for $10. We got two solid entrees and an appetizer and a dessert, and paid $10 for the coupon. That was it- dinner for 2 for $10. Quite a bargain.
emd3 is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 313
thanks for the info Aduchamp
flyme2themoon is offline  
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