Fill up for $15 or less

Try one of these nine spots for a hearty, affordable meal.

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  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    The Queens Kickshaw

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    The Rabbithole

  • Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney

    Red Rooster Harlem

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    Traif

Photograph: Alex Strada

The Queens Kickshaw

The Queens Kickshaw
Simplicity reigns at this minimalist eatery, where grilled cheese receives the star treatment. The classic combo of Kraft singles and Wonder bread gets an update with artisanal cheeses and luxe toppings. Rich melted Gouda, for example, is offset with pickled jalapeos, a sweet guava jam and creamy black-bean hummus on a Balthazar brioche ($10). With every sandwich ringing in at $11 or less, you can even spring for a cappuccino without breaking the bank. 40-17 Broadway between Steinway St and 41st St, Astoria, Queens (718-777-0913, thequeenskickshaw.com)

The Rabbithole
Exposed-brick walls, mismatched tables and wrought-iron fixtures lend rustic charm to this approachable South Williamsburg joint. Walk through the long, tin-ceilinged interior to find the candlelit patio, a perfect spot to relax with a date. Nibble white-wine--steamed mussels with spicy chorizo ($13) or massive sandwiches like the mint-laced lamb burger ($13), topped with a tangy yogurt-feta sauce and served on a freshly baked brioche bun. 352 Bedford Ave between South 3rd and 4th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-0910, rabbitholerestaurant.com)

Red Rooster Harlem
Credit Marcus Samuelsson's menu of Southern-inspired classics with a global edge for helping Red Rooster become a community hub in just seven short months. Harlemites gather nightly to graze on dishes like creamy mac 'n' greens ($14)—a blend of collards, Gouda, New York cheddar and Comt—or rib-sticking dirty rice and shrimp ($11). The shareable spiced chocolate cake ($10) is a worthy closer. 310 Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave) between 125th and 126th Sts St (212-792-9001, redroosterharlem.com)

Traif
Most of the snacks on chef Jason Marcus's often-changing menu clock in at $10 or less. On a recent visit, we gorged on a pair of succulent barbecue braised short-rib sliders ($9). Thai chili--glazed calamari ($8) and a vibrant market salad of crispy pork belly tossed with cantaloupe, feta cheese, Marcona almonds and blood orange ($9) were also excellent. Hunker down in the dining room or snag a table on the lush back patio, and feast with the knowledge you're filling your belly without emptying your wallet. 229 South 4th St between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-844-9578, traifny.com)

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