Food photos: The best cheap eats in New York (SLIDE SHOW)

Looking for a great, cheap meal? Search no more: Check out 38 of the city's best cheap eats from our 2012 guide.

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  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Best cheap eats: The fried montanara pie at La Montanara is topped with pools of milky mozzarella, tangy tomato sauce and sprigs of basil.

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  • Paul Wagtouicz

    Best cheap eats: The fried chicken dinner at Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter comes with three pieces of poultry, brined in house-made sweet tea, plus a flaky buttermilk biscuit.

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  • Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    Best cheap eats: The torta ahogada at Gran Electrica is a pork sandwich in a pool of spicy chili sauce that’s so deliberately sloppy it is served with a rubber glove.

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  • Best cheap eats: The grilled haloumi at Jack's Wife Freda features char-grilled slices of the Greek cheese, served with cool watermelon.

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  • Time Out, Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Best cheap eats: Try the simple Bistro Burger at Corner Bistro LIC, topped with cheese and bacon, with a side of sweet-potato fries.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The wok-tossed Berkshire ribs at Foragers City Table have a crispy, black-pepper–crusted exterior that gives way to tender meat that falls from the bone.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: Pair the shao kao (meat and vegetable skewers seasoned with cumin and multi-spice powder) at Yunnan Kitchen with chewy rice cakes, served with springy beech and shiitake mushrooms and Chinese broccoli.

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  • Jonathan Aprea

    Best cheap eats: Hearty sandwiches at The Wayland include the pernil romero, a heap of slow-roasted pork shoulder marinated in sour-orange juice and garlic, served on a crunchy baguette.

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  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

    Best cheap eats: Try the steamed sampler at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It comes with traditional shrimp and pork shumai and dumplings.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The wonton soup at Brooklyn Wok Shop features a meaty broth floating with bite-size bundles of shrimp and pork, plus house-made egg noodles.

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Best cheap eats: The shiro miso char siu at Ramen Misoya is a fragrant broth with thin slices of pork loin, scallions and fresh egg noodles.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The mariquitas pie at Nights and Weekends is a playful nacho riff that tops fried plantains with black beans, queso fresco and smoked-chili salsa.

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Best cheap eats: The rich duck confit terrine at Calyer is served with luscious quail eggs and a salad of dandelion greens.

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Best cheap eats: Try a slab of baked ziti at Parm: The hearty dish is crisped on the flattop before serving.

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  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Best cheap eats: An order of tortitas at Salón Hecho comes with two torta sliders—made with grilled short ribs, pulled pork or Berkshire pork belly—served on brioche.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The succulent slow-cooked pulled pork at Fort Reno is served by the quarter, half or full pound on brown butcher paper.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The Finger at Sticky’s Finger Joint is a juicy buttermilk-marinated strip of chicken breast covered with crispy-crunchy Southern-style breading that’s been showered with slivers of parsley and sea salt.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The Perfect Little Egg Sandwich at Dominique Ansel Bakery features a thick square of fluffy steamed egg (laced with caramelized shallots and chives), wedged inside a sweet brioche bun and topped with melted Gruyère.

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  • Jonathan Aprea

    Best cheap eats: The sandcastle shortbread cookies from Black and Blanco are inspired by ghoriba, a Moroccan cookie, and come in flavors such as vanilla sprinkled with black sesame seeds and maple topped with crushed pumpkin seeds.

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  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    Best cheap eats: The Chinese hamburger with pork at Panda Dumpling House features a dense bun that’s griddled, split side to side and stuffed with sweet chunks of slow-cooked pork belly slathered IN a tangy-sweet Asian barbecue sauce.

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  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Best cheap eats: The mille-feuille at Mille-Feuille is a neat three-layer rectangle of flaky puff pastry and crème patisserie (a luscious custard lightly flavored with vanilla bean, praline or raspberry).

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    Best cheap eats: Indulge in a chocolate peanut-butter bacon cookie at Books of Wonder: The chewy treat contains chunks of the smoked meat and peanut-butter candies.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The pork sticky rolls from Northern Spy on the High Line combine a soft pinwheel of yeast dough with hunks of slow-cooked, cinnamon-spiced pork. Before it’s served, the dish is heated and topped with a glaze fortified with maple and Dijon, plus parsnip icing.

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  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Best cheap eats: The house-made yogurt with granola and seasonal fruit compote at One Girl Cookies is packs just the proper amount of tang, and is especially good when topped with One Girl’s house granola and stewed seasonal produce like rhubarb or apricots.

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  • Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Best cheap eats: The Ham-and-Gruyère muffin at Hungry Ghost is eggy and rich, almost like a mini quiche, and perfectly sized to eat with one hand.

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  • Phototgraph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The family-style fried-chicken dinner at the Brooklyn Star features buttermilk-brined thighs and breasts and three to five generous sides like skillet-baked cheddar grits and stewed collard greens.

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  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    Best cheap eats: The $20 prix-fixe menu at 606 R&D features an appetizer, main course, two sides and dessert. Recent meals have included crisp-skinned and juicy rotisserie chicken with baked mac and cheese.

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  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Best cheap eats: Dishes at the Saint Austere are intended to be shared: Try a Caesar-salad-inspired combo of sautéed broccoli rabe, anchovies, Parmigiano-Reggiano and boiled egg, and a spicy-sausage–topped creamy polenta.

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  • Best cheap eats: The family-style spread at the Meatball Shop includes two meatball choices (spicy pork, chicken, beef or veggie), two sauces (spicy meat, classic tomato, Parmesan cream or mushroom gravy) and three sides (such as rigatoni or white beans).

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  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Best cheap eats: Family-style dinners at Sauce include dishes like cencioni (a dense oval pasta) with tomato gravy served with a platter of meatballs, sausages and braciola, or grass-fed beef bolognese over pappardelle.

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  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    Best cheap eats: At the Cardinal, a full rack of succulent St. Louis–style spareribs and a pitcher of beer will feed two to four.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The Double ’n Cheese Steakburger at Steak ’n Shake Signature features two patties smashed thin and crisped on the griddle, then draped with just-melted American cheese and sandwiched inside a soft, buttery bun.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Best cheap eats: Ike’s Wings at Pok Pok Wing nail the basics—crispy skin, juicy poultry—while balancing layers of flavor: garlicky brine, funky Phu Quoc fish sauce and the slow-building burn of a roasted dry-chili paste.

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  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Best cheap eats: The montanara starita at Don Antonio by Starita is proportioned ideally for one, and features tomato sauce, basil and a scattering of smoky buffalo mozzarella.

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  • Best cheap eats: For the poutine at Mile End Sandwich, skin-on fries are smothered with savory white-mushroom gravy and extra-plump cheese curds—and, if you’d like, you can add a mound of the shop’s signature smoked brisket.

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  • Phototgraph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The Birdhaus Bao at Baohaus features generous strips of double-fried poultry stuffed into a pillowy bao, topped with a flurry of cilantro, crushed peanuts and Taiwanese red sugar. • $2.99 per bun.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best cheap eats: The short-rib nachos at Coppelia feature house-fried tortilla chips topped with tender pieces of braised short ribs, melty Chihuahua cheese and chunky guacamole, all finished off with a flourish of bright pico de gallo and crema

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  • Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Best cheap eats: For the brisket taco at Güeros Brooklyn, grass-fed beef is cooked low and slow with beer, cumin, jalapeños and other seasonings, then tucked into a griddled house-made flour tortilla and garnished with shredded Cabot cheddar, tomatillo salsa, onions and soft roasted poblano peppers.

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  • Feed Your Hole

    Best cheap eats: The Porky Dog at Feed Your Hole is an all-beef dog wrapped in bacon, crisped in the fryer and tucked inside a potato bun with roasted garlic mayo and sliced cukes.

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    Feed Your Hole

Photograph: Alex Strada

Best cheap eats: The fried montanara pie at La Montanara is topped with pools of milky mozzarella, tangy tomato sauce and sprigs of basil.

See more of the best cheap eats in New York


We know you love cheap grub. We also know that you love photos of delicious food. That's why we've combined the two: Feast your eyes on 38 food photos of the most appetizing dishes from our 2012 cheap eats guide.

RECOMMENDED: All Cheap Eats content

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