$1 eats

Ten delicious food finds, for a buck each.



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  • AA Plaza

  • Cosenza's Fish Market

  • Cyprus Avenue

  • Dollar Up

  • Egger's Ice Cream Parlor

  • El Rinconcito De Tito

  • Java Village

  • Mumbai Express

  • Sweet Spring Restaurant

  • Tacos Matamoros

AA Plaza

AA Plaza
This battery of stalls beneath the Main Street LIRR stop sells various street eats, many for a buck or less: mild little bites of pureed whitefish smothered with barbecue sauce, steamed pork dumplings, and soy-sauce-splashed rice noodles, studded with tiny shrimps. But the can't-miss dish is the scallion pancake, one of the city's best. Folded in half and tucked steaming hot into a waxed paper bag, it's massive, rich, flaky and filling. 40-66 Main St at 41st Ave, Flushing, Queens (no phone)

Cosenza's Fish Market
The Bronx's Italian-American shopkeepers have never been subtle sellers, and their stores are destinations for both the banter and the bargains, on things like house-made mozz or a wrinkly link of spicy soprassata. Fresh-fishmonger Cosenza's ups the ante with a sidewalk stop, where you can slurp briny raw East Coast oysters, shucked in front of your eyes, for just a buck each. 2354 Arthur Ave between Crescent Ave and E 186th St, Bronx (718-364-8510)

Cyprus Avenue
This newish Irish pub capitalizes on the city's current slider obsession, offering drinkers seven $1 options, including a fine mini--Black Angus burger smashed flat and griddled with onions. For something more unusual, try versions featuring black pudding, corned beef and cabbage, grilled chicken with pineapple relish, or red pepper and portobello mushroom. The catch is you have to put in an order for two of a kind, so if you want to try a few varieties, be sure to go with a friend—or just make a new one at the bar. 52 Fifth Ave at Bergen St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-638-1066)

Dollar Up
The dollar stores of North Brooklyn fill many a hungry hipster's belly, thanks to imported Polish edibles (jars of pickled mushrooms are $3.29, packs of carrot-flecked sauerkraut are $1.79) for easy prices. Here, a buck always buys dessert: A 160-gram bag of Pierniczki Alpejskie (heart-shaped, chocolate-covered gingerbread cookies, stuffed with fruit paste; 89) or four full-size chocolate bars, like the dark-chocolate Adas Mieczny, filled with sweet milk crme. 640 Manhattan Ave between Nassau and Norman Aves, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-383-3154)

Egger's Ice Cream Parlor
Their clothes might've changed over the past 70 years, but high-schoolers still haunt this picture-perfect parlor on a tree-lined neighborhood street. They come to flirt over banana royales (a six-scoop split is $7.25), but also for 5 candies (including Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls) and especially the rarely seen, real-deal 99 sodas: Made in a slew of flavors like root beer, chocolate, vanilla and cherry Coke, they're mixed fresh for you from a squirt of syrup and a pour of seltzer. 7437 Amboy Rd between Brighton St and Yetman Ave, Staten Island (718-605-9335)

El Rinconcito De Tito
Stanch hunger pangs for pennies along Roosevelt Avenue, where spots like this Colombian piqueteadero, a rustic restaurant serving meats and fried foods, offer plenty of Pan-Latin snacks. Here the winners are the $1 empanadas, crispy, delightfully greasy little half-moons stuffed with shredded chicken, steak or cheese. Still hungry? Try a platter of the fat, griddled masa cakes called arepas; one with chicken and crispy pork skin is $7. 37-61 79th St between Roosevelt and 37th Aves, Jackson Heights, Queens (718-803-0284)

Java Village
At this simple Indonesian steam table, $1 scores satisfying Southeast Asian apps, like squares of custardy taro root steamed in banana leaves, or the delicate fried fingers of lumpia, the elegantly thin Indonesian spring rolls. In fact, the masses can feed for minimal prices all day here, from $1.50 breakfast fried rice to flavor-packed $4 dinners (stir-fried green beans, spicy ginger beef, fried shrimps and chicken in coconut milk, all served with rice). 86-10 Justice Ave at Broadway, Elmhurst, Queens (718-205-2166)

Mumbai Express
What this spare Indian fast-food place lacks in ambience, it delivers in flavor and in service: The owners will help those unfamiliar with the cuisine with ordering stellar snacks like pav vada (deep-fried potato balls inside a soft, buttery split dinner roll; $1.99). The dollar offerings are simple—round puffy flatbreads called roti from the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat, and the similar but flatter paratha—but rest assured they're delicious. You can also get a paratha stuffed with cauliflower or spinach: Two are $4.99. 256-05 Hillside Ave at 256th St, Floral Park, Queens (718-470-0059)

Sweet Spring Restaurant
Immortalized in Flight of the Conchords, this supercheap Chinatown takeout joint—nothing tops $4.50—is worth a trip for its dumplings (five with pork and bok choy $1.25) and steaming bowls of noodle soup (a bowl with beef is $3.50). When cash is really tight, we put our spare change toward the panfried pork bun (four for $1.25) or a 75 version filled with scallions, bean sprouts and dried baby shrimp. 25A Catherine St at Henry St (212-766-1777)

Tacos Matamoros
Tacos come in two sizes at this vast restaurant, where Mexican singers occasionally perform in the dining room. The Grandes are massive (each $2.25), but even a Pequenos is filling: Stuffed with rice, beans, cilantro and onions, dusted with two cheeses (one creamy, one crumbly) and laced with a bracing tomatillo salsa, the $1.25 Vegetarianos is amazingly fresh and complex. 45-08 Fifth Ave between 45th and 46th Sts, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-871-7627)

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