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The best fast food restaurants in NYC

We rate best fast food restaurants for pizza, burgers and snacks that will fill you up before your long subway ride

By David Goldberg |

You may have noticed that New Yorker can be a little, well, frantic. That’s why nearly every block in town has some stellar fast-food joint, and a growing list of street vendors competing to be one of the best food trucks in NYC. So whether you’re looking for the best burgers in NYC or the best hot dogs this side of Coney Island without going into debt, you’re sure to find something in New York—and fast.

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Best fast food restaurants in NYC

Gray's Papaya
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ralph Hockens

Gray’s Papaya

There may be only one location left of this legendary 24-hour hot-dog spot, but that only adds to the legend. Since 1973, Gray’s has received shout-outs from the likes of Anthony Bourdain and the ladies of Sex and the City. Your mission: score two dogs for $4.50 and find out what the noise is all about.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ralph Hockens

Otto's Tacos
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Garrett Ziegler
Restaurants, Mexican

Otto’s Tacos

East Village

Since 2013, Otto Cedena’s taco favorite has filled the void of Southern California-style tacos in NYC. You can make yourself a small feast of three-buck tacos, including shrimp, chicken and mushroom, but if you’re looking for the signature Otto’s experience, indulge in a jumbo-sized, deep-fried Gorgon and a Mexican beer.

Prêt a Manger
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Mr T. in DC

Prêt a Manger

If you ever have an interview, appointment or date in Manhattan and need a quick pick-me-up, you’re likely to find a pick-me-up at one of Prêt’s nearly two-dozen locations. With clean shops and quality prepared sandwiches, Pret is a go-to alternative for the Starbucks-intolerant.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Mr T. in DC

Beyond Sushi
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Garrett Zeigler
Restaurants, Japanese

Beyond Sushi


Pretty much everything on this solid sushi menu is below ten bucks, so go to town on $6 noodle salads, $7 pickled daikon rolls and $3 black-bean sweet-potato brownies. Top it off with a strawberry Yuzo juice for a desk lunch you can be proud of.

Find the best cheap eats in NYC


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