New York City is home to an array of foods that’ll satisfy both bellies and bank accounts alike—and one of our favorites is bowls of ramen under $10. In NYC, believe it or not, there are plenty of the best ramen that’ll fill you up for less than a Hamilton, even an Ippudo offspring. And that’s not all when it comes to cheap eats: Craving authentic Japanese food? Explore cheap eats in Chinatown, where $3 handmade dumplings and 80-cent pork buns abound. Looking for memorable falafel? You’re in luck because we’ve rounded up the best food trucks in NYC. How about the best oyster happy hour? We can name at least 15.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best cheap eats in NYC
Best bowls of ramen under $10 in NYC
If you’re looking for the king of ramen, the crown could deservedly go to Keizo Shimamoto. From his OG ramen burger to his 13-ingredient pork belly broth, Shimamoto’s unbridled passion for noodles comes through in every bite (and slurp). And with his expansive affordable LIC menu, penny pinchers won’t feel one bit restricted—five bowls and five burgers range from $7 to $10.
This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it second-story noodle shop affords its customers some carte blanche when it comes to ramen bowl assembly. First, decide on your noodle (wavy or straight), then firmness (very firm, firm, medium or soft), and finally, and most important, the broth. Classic ramen broth (sliced pork, scallion, kikurage and mushroom) goes for $10 and if you’re there Monday or Tuesday between 11:30am and 4:30pm, add one free topping. Yosh!
If you don’t have the time (or deep pockets) for the full dining experience that is Ippudo, Kuro-Obi is your quick and affordable answer. Nestled within New York’s favorite brick-and-mortar food hall, Urbanspace Vanderbilt, Kuro-Obi offers two chicken-based ramen bowls under $10—the creamy shiro-obi boasts springy Zuzutto noodles, while the clear cha-obi flaunts a zip of Japanese ginger.
Bushwick’s inaugural ramen shop still boasts some of the best deals in Brooklyn. The $9 soy ramen is made from a premium soy sauce–based chicken broth that’s been slow cooked for seven hours and topped with bean sprouts, soft boiled egg, scallion and buttery sliced pork belly. First timers, keep in mind that this is a BYOB restaurant and it’s cash only
Famed Iron Chef and omakase lord Masaharu Morimoto finally plunged into the wonderfully affordable world of ramen. Half portions of his silky tonkotsu and Tokyo chicken bowls will delight both taste buds and wallets at just $10, but the real steal is in the tantan—a colorful Malaysian laksa-inspired bowl of spicy coconut curry, pork chashu, red miso, ground pork, aji-tama and cilantro.
Clean eaters, rejoice—Bed-Stuy’s Buntopia offers a healthy twist on hearty ramen. In addition to the meat-based tom yam kai and char siu, vegan variations overflowing with mushroom, baby spinach, sweet corn, scallion and nori furikake also stamp the menu and come in at just $10 a bowl.
Tsukasa Maejima’s Tokyo export offers a range of umami-rich noodle bowls under $10. Choose from classic pork-laden shio, soy sauce-punched shoyu or nutty black sesame miso. As warmer temps roll in, ramen devotees can forego the hot broth, opting instead for tsukemen—cold noodles served with a grilled pork- and veg-filled dipping sauce.
As its name suggests, this rustic East Village ramen-ya specializes in three types of miso. While some bowls are pricier than others, if you stick to the basic kome (intense miso broth, ground pork, bean sprout, cabbage, carrot, scallion, fried tofu and bamboo shoot) or basic shiro (sweeter, light-colored miso broth with all the trimmings), you’ll hit your $10 goal.
Naruto Ramen’s Brooklyn annex is a welcomed departure from Park Slope’s run-of-the-mill cheap eats—seriously, how much pizza and bagels can one really eat? (Don’t answer that.) The signature Naruto bowl is a deal—a hearty helping of soup noodles topped with egg, fish cake, bamboo shoot, scallion and nori for just $9. And for those looking for a deeper umami punch, their miso and curry ramen bowls are just a buck more.
When you’re craving ramen but could do without the pork fat–induced nap, go for a half bowl. This Chinatown-based Tokyo import offers various a la carte half portions for lunch and dinner. Choose from unctuous tondaku ($9), super umami wadashi ($10) or zippy lemon and black pepper ($10).
In the mood for sushi?
This East Village bar and restaurant is out to become your new go-to for everything from burgers and fries to late-night breakfast. If you come for a dinner and drinks, choose from classic bar eats like burgers ($8 for a single, $11 for a double), barbecue, spicy or curry wings ($8 for five, $14 for 11) and fries or onion rings served with a variety of gourmet dipping sauces (both $6). The aptly named bar also offers a variety of boilermakers, or beer and shot pairings. Try the El Diablo Shuffle, a shot of Rancho Alegro Blanco Tequila with Tecate ($8), or the Soft Pour Corn, Johnny Drum Private Stock Bourbon washed down with Sixpoint Sweet Action Cream Ale ($10). Stay long enough, and you might even make it to midnight pancake time, when the kitchen starts turning out hot stacks of buttermilk ($8), red velvet ($10) and strawberry ($10) pancakes.
Venue says: “Voted "Top 100 Burgers in America 2017" by Thrillest. Best "Serious Cocktails" by New York magazine Best of New York issue 2015.”