Manhattan has a reputation for being an expensive place to visit, but locals know you don’t have to spend a fortune to eat really (really, really) well. These inexpensive eats will fuel your fun, satisfy your taste buds and still leave enough dough in your wallet to seek out everything the city has to offer.
The Brisket Sandwich at Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque ($8.50)
This barbecue shop rivals the best in Texas and has the line to prove it. Don’t be intimidated—it moves quickly, and the oh-so-tender meat will be worth the wait.
A Bistro Burger at Corner Bistro ($9.75)
The bar will take you back in time to a more bohemian West Village. If you’ve got a few extra bucks, make sure to order a pint of McSorley’s Old Ale House beer to wash it down.
Chicken Paitan at Totto Ramen ($10)
A bowl of this soup—as good as the ones in Tokyo—will dispel any associations you had between ramen and those sad noodles that come in a Styrofoam cup. The original Midtown West location is always busiest, so if it’s packed, check the wait at the nearby Hell’s Kitchen outpost.
Chicken Parm on a Roll at Parm ($10)
Skip the tourist traps in Little Italy and walk a few blocks north to grab a sandwich from Parm on Mulberry Street instead. (And then, walk back South on Mulberry for some cannoli.)
Sabich Sandwich at Taim ($7.75)
This famed falafel shop from chef Einat Admony is best known for, well, falafel. But the Sabich sandwich—sliced eggplant, egg, parsley, hummus, Israeli salad, pickled cabbage, tahini sauce and tangy amba in a warm pita—is everything you never knew you wanted.
Empanadas at Empanada Mama ($3-$3.50 each)
Select from the dizzying list of interesting combos, but make sure you leave room for the dessert empanadas, like the Romeo and Juliet—a tantalizing blend of guava and mozzarella cheese.
Squash, Basil & Ricotta Focaccia Bread at Eataly’s La Focaccia ($3.40)
Yes, it’s packed with tourists, and no, not everything inside Eataly is budget friendly. But the focaccia is—and it is amazing.
The Artichoke Slice at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza ($5)
Five bucks might seem steep for a single slice of pizza. But when that slice is thick, crusty, huge and piled with artichokes, spinach, cream sauce and cheese, it’s enough to make a whole (inexpensive) meal.
A Sandwich at Breads Bakery ($5.50-$9.95)
Inhale the scent of freshly baked bread while you dine in the back of this famed bakery, best known for their to-die-for chocolate babka. Give in to the urge to get a pastry on your way out—it’ll be worth every calorie.
Chive & Pork Fried Dumplings at Vanessa’s Dumplings ($1.25)
This might be the cheapest meal on the list, and perhaps the tastiest. Spend an extra dollar (or three, if you’d like it with duck), and get a sesame pancake to go with them.