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: From Atlantis with Love
From Atlantis with Love

Photo: Nicole Braun

Street food

Bulgogi and kimchi street cart
Midtown's halal-meat-and-rice hegemony gets busted up by this Korean purveyor of bulgogi: minced, marinated steak. The $5 lunch portion is ladled over rice and salad and squirted with spicy red beans while several pieces of zesty kimchi provide a crunchy counterpoint. 49th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves

Street nibblers step inside at this takeout-only East Village nook, where speedy Japanese chefs serve a short menu of oddball delicacies such as fried dough balls with a buried octopus treat and griddle-cooked vegetable okonomiyaki pancakes ($8) topped with mayonnaise and bonito flakes. 236 E 9th St between Second and Third Aves (212-353-8503)

Sun Dou Dumpling Shop
Proudly fatty pork-and-cabbage dumplings star at this Chinatown takeout-window shack. One buck buys four fried-before-your eyes beauties or a scallion pancake, while a scant 65 cents scores you an impossibly fluffy steamed pork bun—a bit of heaven for penny-pinching mortals. 214 Grand St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts (212-965-9663)

Rico's Tamales
Beneath the red awning reading "delicios tamales oaxacaqueos" await Sunset Park's tastiest tamales. One dollar buys inky mole or spicy salsa verde, wrapped in banana leaves and crammed with spongy, steaming masa and tender chicken. Unwrap one on the sidewalk, or savor them in the neighborhood's namesake. 4603 Fifth Ave at 46th St, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-437-0232)

Cheap Eats 2007: A sample platter at M&I International
A sample platter at M&I International

Photo: Nicole Braun

M&I International
Before hitting Brighton Beach, stock up on this Russian supermarket's $1 savory pies. At the sidewalk window, select from mountains of golden treats of springy dough packed with mashed potato, egg and onions, cabbage or delicious, mysterious minced meat. 249 Brighton Beach Ave between Brighton 1st St and Brighton 1st Pl, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn (718-615-1011)

Red Hook ball fields
When bureaucrats dropped the bomb that the Latin American vendors plying budget-priced, carnitas-laden huaraches and grilled-steak tacos may be booted, bellies rumbled with disapproval. "Don't take away our cheap shrimp ceviche and mangos on sticks!" they cried. (Damn, bellies, chill.) Officials are reconsidering, but fill up while cheesy pupusas still abound. Clinton St at Bay St, Red Hook, Brooklyn

From Atlantis with Love
Moneer Azeez's trippy cart is tricked out with fake flowers, leopard-print rugs and more veggies than an urban farmers' market. Three bucks buys a monstrous flatbread wrap overloaded with eggplant, red cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, kidney beans, corn, lettuce, tomato, cheese and tangy barbecue sauce. E 2nd St at Bowery—Joshua M. Bernstein

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