Cheap eats in Park Slope: The best nosh on a budget

Looking for cheap eats in Park Slope? Fuel up without damaging your wallet at these critic-approved budget food spots.

Whether you want to grab an inexpensive daytime bite or line your stomach before hitting the local bars (or soak up the damage afterwards), there’s no shortage of superior cheap eats in the neighborhood. Feast on everything from felafel to one of the best hot dogs in the city for less than $15.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Park Slope, Brooklyn

Almondine Bakery

Pastry chef–owner Hervé Poussot opens a second location of his beloved French bakery, featuring marble-topped tables, a small garden and a working fireplace. Just as at the Dumbo original, expect breads and pastries including croissants, baguettes and madeleines. Coffee and espresso brewed from La Colombe beans and rich hot cocoa made with Valrhona chocolate are also available.

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Park Slope

Bark Hot Dogs

Critics' pick

Chefs have taken to revising America’s favorite eats with an artisan’s approach—which is one reason for today’s renaissance of foods like burgers, pizza and fried chicken. At Bark Hot Dogs, chefs Brandon Gillis (Franny’s) and Joshua Sharkey (Caf Gray) cast their gaze at the lowly wiener, more often associated with dirty water than the German-sausage tradition from which it descends. Already, Bark has become a favorite neighborhood spot with apparent universal appeal. Families pack the stools and high communal tables during the day, workmen stop in for hearty lunches, and groups of friends linger in the evening to drink the excellent craft beers on tap. There’s little mystery to why the place has caught on: The headlining menu item—a proprietary pork-and-beef blend made at Hartmann’s Old World Sausage in Rochester, New York—is a resounding success. Take one bite and the taut casing cleanly snaps, revealing a light and creamy filling with just a hint of smoke—everything a hot dog should be. The restaurant offers a long list of toppings, but aside from the simplest, such as a heap of tangy oak-barrel--aged sauerkraut, we found the dog to be best plain (baked beans with pork and raw onion, for instance, obliterated the frank’s flavor). Alternatives to the standard link were less reliable. While a mushroom-topped vegetarian option should sate most non--meat eaters, the all-beef hot dog was a dense and mealy disappointment. Sides like crisp fries and onion rings, and desserts such as thick milk shakes made from Il Laboratorio del Gelato, play their accompanying roles admirably, while the establishment’s eco-friendly ambitions (biodegradable packaging, wind-powered electricity) help make this kind of eating seem less unhealthy...for the environment. If you’re going to clog your arteries, though, this is one of the better ways to do it.—TONY

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Park Slope

Cafe Dada

Inspired by 1920s bohemian Paris, this Park Slope coffeehouse features old-world touches: antique pharmacy signs, hanging spoons and a counter made from old shutters. Sip on Blue Bottle Coffee and nibble a freshly baked Hungarian pastry, or tuck into a full meal (chicken-paprikás crêpe; croissant sandwich stuffed with salmon, feta and hard-boiled egg slices).

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Park Slope

Mr. Falafel

Critics' pick

Owner Aladin Habib gave Park Slopers a place to get their falafel fix when he opened this eatery 26 years ago. Half sit-down restaurant, half takeout joint, this is the go-to spot for killer kebabs, koshari (the addictive Egyptian rice, noodle and lentil dish) and creamy rice pudding. Of course, it’s the falafel that regulars love most—made with more fava beans than chickpeas, along with homemade tahini sauce, parsley, vegetables and several “secret” spices.

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Chelsea

Polpette

Pick up meatballs at this takeout shop, from the owners of Fornino Park Slope next door. The menu includes five different meatballs (including beef, pork and vegetarian) and sauces (tomato, fennel sausage, basil pesto). Get yours on a roll, in a hero, over a salad or à la carte. To drink, the joint offers draft Palm Amber Ale, bottled beers (Peroni, Budweiser), and sodas from San Pellegrino and Boylan.

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Midtown

Pork Slope

Critics' pick

Good dive bars, attracting regulars from all walks of life, are as integral to the fabric of the city as rent control, bodega flowers and angry cabbies. Many serve food, but that’s rarely the draw. Occasionally, though, the boozing takes a backseat to the kitchen. The Corner Bistro’s burgers long ago put that West Village hole-in-the-wall on the map. And some people swear by the hot wings at Wogie’s nearby. Those places, and many others just like them, have one thing in common: No one cooking inside would ever claim they’re a “chef.” So why would a guy with Morimoto and Buddakan on his résumé try to enter that lowbrow arena? This summer, former Top Chef contender Dale Talde launched his own dive bar, Pork Slope, not far from his hot Pan-Asian eatery, Talde. The new project, opened with his partners in the first restaurant, was designed as a trashy homage to Patrick Swayze’s schlocky classic Road House, complete with a pool table, a PBR sign and taxidermied boars’ heads. The menu, a survey of bar-food classics, includes crisp, golden Tater-Tots and better than-average wispy, sweet onion strings, along with ribs, chili, fried chicken and wings. There’s also a too-faithful replica of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, right down to the gray patty, plain squishy bun and ratio of squirts of ketchup to mustard (Talde has admitted a fondness for the Golden Arches original). It’s all hot, fresh and terrible for you—and none of it tastes like it was cooked by a pedigreed chef. Fans of the TV

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Park Slope

67 Burger

This patty stop has hamburgers, cheeseburgers, spicy curly fries, and throwback refreshments like Bosco chocolate soda and RC Cola.

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Fort Greene

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