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The fried chicken sandwich at new restaurant Rowdy Rooster in NYC's East Village
Photograph: Courtesy of Rowdy Rooster

The 25 best cheap eats in NYC

Eat for $10 or less at the best restaurants with cheap eats in NYC

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
&
Bao Ong
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“Cheap” has a unique meaning in NYC. There are people in other parts of the country (or at least on the internet) who will try to tell you that they can get a whole house, college education or town hall bribe for $10 where they’re from. This is, of course, untrue, but the five boroughs are certainly more expensive than most places.

That’s why satisfying “cheap eats” for $10 and under are noteworthy in New York. In a city where it costs $5.50 just to get to work and back by subway, finding something to fill you up for a little less than twice that much can be a cheerless relief. If said item is also actually tasty, it reintroduces some levity back into the occasion. So the next time you’re choosing between a four-bedroom in Anytown, USA or excellent slices, chopped cheese, fried chicken sandwiches, falafel or tacos, have a look below and know that you made the right choice. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best cheap eats in NYC

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  • Restaurants
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 1 of 4

This Bed-Stuy stalwart specializes in two things: bake and (you guessed it) doubles. The former fills its handheld fried dough buns with saltfish or sand shark and tops it with a tangy-sweet tamarind sauce. The latter wraps baras around a savory potato-channa curry. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Boerum Hill

Taqueria Al Pastor just opened its second Brooklyn location late last year. Its titular tacos are top-notch: Teeming with strips of marinated pork sliced right off the trompo, onion and pineapple, all atop house-made corn tortillas. They're $4.75 a pop and so generously portioned that two are rather filling. 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

Consider this Williamsburg staple your no-frills, no-fail best bet for a toasty falafel sandwich, stuffed with a bounty of pickled veggies that would be good enough to order on their own. Plus, it’s equally filling and delicious at noon or midnight. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Crown Heights

Established in 2015, Taqueria Milear is a family-run restaurant that serves up authentic Mexican fare, from tacos to quesadillas and tortas to tostadas. There's a super cute backstory, too – owners Marisol and Artemio actually met at a food stand in Mexico where Marisol was making many of the wonderful dishes they now serve in-store.

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The best of the city

  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • DUMBO
  • price 1 of 4

We really like eating around the city, and we're guessing you do, too. So lucky for all of us, we've packed all our favorite restaurants under one roof at the Time Out Market New York. The DUMBO location has fluffy pancakes from the venerable Clinton Street Baking Co., fried chicken from Jacob’s Pickles, Japanese comfort food from Bessou and samosas from the newly-opened Chote Miya. Chow down over two floors with views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline.

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