Free eats

The rarest of all. Welcome to the top of the pyramid. Enjoy the view (and the tapas and panini).

Cheap Eats 2007: Sip
Sip

Photo: Ben Goldstein

Boss Tweed's Saloon
"Any bum off the street can come in and eat for free," remarks a gleeful bartender about the drippy, spicy wings at this LES barroom. Drinks are cheap enough (Bud pints $3, well drinks $3) that you'll be willing to fork over the cash for something to wash them down. Fri 5--7pm. 115 Essex St at Rivington St (212-475-9997).

Brazen Head
This neighborhood beer haunt serves up free Sunday breakfast in the form of all-you-can-eat bagels and cream cheese. Add a Bloody Mary or mimosa ($5) to make it a proper brunch. Sun noon. 228 Atlantic Ave between Boerum Pl and Court St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-488-0430).

Cha An Japanese Tea Room
The menu here changes every day, but you're likely to come upon such appetizer-sized treats as spicy shrimp, pickled vegetables or a sweet soy-milk quiche. The cost: one drink. Beer starts at $6 and sake from $10. Mon--Fri 5--7pm. 230 E 9th St between Second and Third Aves (212-228-8030).

Cheap Eats 2007: Capone's
Capone's

Photo: Ben Goldstein

Common Ground
After a few $2 pints of Yuengling and Miller, you'll get the munchies at this spacious, brick-and-wood East Village hangout. Appetizers (try the hot feta pita chips with onion olive relish, $8) or panini (from $10) are two for one. Mon--Fri 4--8pm. 206 Ave A at 13th St (212-228-6231).

Sip
The deal here is like Capone's, except the coffee bar setting's sleeker and the food more creative than pizza. Snag a soda (from $3), wine or beer (from $4) and scarf free tapas, which include string-bean-topped crispy bread, sweet sausage and potatoes, and oil-and-vinegar--marinated beet salad. Daily 5--7pm. 998 Amsterdam Ave between 109th and 110th Sts (212-316-2747).

Tracy J's Watering Hole
Fill up on the ever-changing free buffet at Tracy's cacophonous bar, where you'll find everything from chicken salad and fries to egg rolls. Mon--Fri 5:30--6:30pm. 106 E 19th St between Park Ave South and Irving Pl (212-674-5783).

Iggy's Keltic Lounge
Sing along to a blaring classic-rock soundtrack with a drink in hand. Draft and well drinks are $3. A glass of wine is $7. Only thing not available: dignity. Daily 2--9pm. 132 Ludlow St at Rivington St (212-529-2731).

Vudu Lounge
Brave the thumping salsa, merengue and reggae beats at this UES dance club in exchange for free Caribbean and American eats. The buffet includes rice and beans, roasted pork, salad and baked ziti, among other rotating options, and drinks are two for one (soda from $3, beer from $6, wine from $7, well drinks $8). Thu 5--7pm; Fri 6--7:30pm. Cover price varies. Call for info. 1487 First Ave between 77th and 78th Sts (212-249-9540).

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