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The best cheap eats in Long Island City

Looking for cheap eats in Long Island City? Fuel up without damaging your wallet at these critic-approved budget food spots.

By Time Out editors |
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Sweatleaf
Photograph: Ambria Cone Sweatleaf
Whether you want to grab an inexpensive daytime bite or line your stomach before hitting the local bars (or soak up the damage afterwards), there’s no shortage of superior cheap eats in the neighborhood. Nosh on everything from gourmet arepas to one of the city’s best burgers for less than $15.

RECOMMENDED: The best cheap eats in NYC
Restaurants, Venezuelan

Arepas Cafe

icon-location-pin Astoria

Onetime truffle salesman Riccardo Romero left the gourmet game to open this 36-seat café. Inspired takes on the Venezuelan snack (try Riccardo’s Tuna, made with tuna, pico de gallo, avocado and truffle butter) are offered alongside the classics.

Restaurants, Cafés

Breadbox Cafe

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The exterior of this café is covered with 2,000 wooden rolling pins. Inside, find homemade baked goods, coffee and a menu with items like a braised short-rib sandwich with charred onion.

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Restaurants, Hamburgers

Corner Bistro

icon-location-pin Long Island City

The West Village institution, open since 1961, debuts its first spin-off. Long Island City locals will find an identical menu, including, of course, the beloved Bistro Burger (broiled beef, cheese and bacon on a sesame-seed bun), along with 12 draft beers (Guinness, McSorley's Ale and Brooklyn Lager). The decor also takes its cues from the flagship location: The laid-back 75-seat tavern features a mahogany wood bar and booths, antique brass chandeliers and a pressed-tin ceiling.

Restaurants, Cafés

Communitea

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This mellow neighborhood café has more to offer than a Gossip Girl trivia connection and free Wi-Fi for its laptop-toting clientele. The organic loose-leaf teas and adorable afternoon tea service—a three-tiered spread of sandwiches, scones and pastries designed for two—is worth the trip alone.

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Sweatleaf
Photograph: Aubrey Therkelsen
Restaurants, Coffee shops

Sweetleaf

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Long Island City’s first specialty coffee shop serves direct-trade coffee, homemade pastries and artisan espresso (complete with latte art) in a cubbyhole-sized space.

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