The basics

Pizza, burgers, dogs, soups, salads and sandwiches-we pick the best of the old standbys (with street eats, too).

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Cheap Eats 2007: Cheeseburger at Royale
Cheeseburger at Royale

Photo: Nicole Braun

Burgers

Royale
Basics reign at this Alphabet City bar: The Stones spin on the juke and the limited, letter-board menu advertises bulky, juicy meat ($5) and charred veggie burgers on sesame-seed buns ($7), matchstick fries ($3) and microbrew beer ($4). It's a hamburger eater's holy trinity, and genuflecting before diving in would be entirely appropriate. 157 Ave C at 10th St (212-254-6600)

Blue 9 Burger
East Village college kids come in droves to dine on these fresh-beef, griddle-cooked burgers ($3) served lickety-split. Order a skinny and succulent patty with veggies, and you'll still have pocket change to splurge on hand-cut french fries ($2) kicked up with a spicy mango dipping sauce. 92 Third Ave between 12th and 13th Sts (212-979-0053)

Dojo West
Dojo's soy burger, a power-packed protein patty that's fried, then shoved inside a salad-lined pita, has been brain food for NYU kids for 16 years. Drench the delicious mess with tahini dressing, and spend the meal pondering how so much tasty sustenance can cost just $4.95. 14 W 4th St between Broadway and Mercer St (212-505-8934)—Joshua M. Bernstein

Click to next page for hot dogs.

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