Cheap eats for every occasion



Push together a few tables in the garden at this dirt-cheap Asian tapas joint, then dig into slices of mild Thai sausage, fried chicken chunks and chive pancakes—all $6 a pop. Or opt for a combination plate; an assortment of bites for four people is $18. 154 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-677-4101)

Photograph: Shani Bar-On

Communal plates of Mediterranean nibbles—like beet skordalia, garlicky stewed elephant beans or nutty grape leaves (each $7)—are the specialty here; five can feast on a platter of six large portions for just $18. 856 Ninth Ave between 55th and 56th Sts (212-581-8282)

Steins of $4 house lager set the festive tone at this spacious, brick-walled newbie. Generous small plates include a trio of German, Austrian and Slovak sausages ($11) and the “käse klassik” ($9.25), a molten Edam cheese with lingonberry sauce. 667 Fifth Ave between 19th and 20th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-285-9425) —Jordana Rothman

It’s tight in the main dining area but the Joint’s enclosed porch annex makes a fine setting for a group feeding. You can score a half-rack of ribs for $10; sandwiches are even cheaper (try the hacked pork, just $7). 87 South Elliott Pl between Fulton St and Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-797-1011)

Tapas: has any dining trend ever been better suited to a group meal? Hit this sexy Spanish eatery with a crew and hijack a communal table—the setting for such budget indulgences as crumbly manchego cheese with smooth quince paste ($9.75) or grilled chorizo ($9.25). 174 First Ave between 10th and 11th Sts (212-614-0620).

High brow burgers ain’t the stock in trade at this low-key spot, an ideal destination for your grease-and-griddle-loving gang. Angus beef patties go for $7 and cans of Pork Slab pale ale cost a measly $4. 157 Ave C between 9th and 10th Sts (212-254-6600).

Ethiopian chow is made for sharing. Gather a few adventurous pals and hit this new African oasis, where vegan and vegetarian stews like missir wett (lentils with ginger, cardamom and garlic) are heaped onto housemade inerja—the country’s spongey national bread. Bonus: the place is BYOB. 747 Fulton St between South Elliot Pl and South Portland Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-797-9696)

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
Convene over TK in the spacious bar area before seizing a huge monastic wooden table in the restaurant’s back room. Here, your group can kibbitz over spot-on thin-crust pizzas like the marinara ($9) or an aglio, olio and pepperoncini-topped version ($9). 1 Fifth Ave at 8th St (212-995-9559).

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Convince your pals to shlep way uptown and way west and you’ll land in the skinflint paradise that is this rollicking 'cue spot. Slow-smoked pulled pork heaped inside a sesame bun is a trifling $7.95, and shareable plates like a shrimp boil (intended for 4--8 people) is $20.95. 646 W 131st St at Twelfth Ave (212-694-1777)

Kuma InnDanube alum Chef King Phojanakong’s Thai and Filipino-inflected small plates are mercifully priced at under $10 a pop. Groups of up to 8 people can reserve one of Kuma’s large tables to dine a la carte on goodies such as a Washington State Willapa Bay Oyster Omelet ($9). 113 Ludlow St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-353-8866).