Cheap Eats In The Big Apple!

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Known as both one of the greatest, and one of the most expensive cities in the world, a trip to New York usually requires a little pre-planning and research. One of the worries for many when considering a holiday to The Big Apple is the price of eating out, and rightly so – food can be pretty darn pricey in the world’s biggest urban playground. However, we’re about to prove to you that there are cheaper options available, and tasty ones too. It’s time to hop across the pond and sink your teeth into New York’s best bargain bites!

New York Cheesecake

new york cheescake
Image © alh1

Perhaps one of the most famous desserts not only in New York, but in the whole of the US, the iconic New York Cheesecake can be found all over the city. Packed with plenty of cream cheese and soured cream, and baked on a buttery biscuit base, it’s easy to see why this is such a big hit with locals and tourists alike. A whole cheesecake can set you back a fair amount in The Big Apple (Easily $35), but if it’s just a taste you’re after then there are tons of places to choose from. Grab a slice in many pastry shops for around $6, or head to Eileen’s Special Cheesecake and indulge in a mini cheesecake for less than $4!

Banh Mi’s

banh mi's in new york
Image © Dan Nguyen

Word on the street is that you can grab a pretty decent banh mi in New York, and at an incredibly cheap price too! All the way from Vietnam, these delicious sandwiches, along with many other Vietnamese delicacies, have been fully embraced by local community. You can find one of these glorious sandwiches in many spots over the city, however we think some of the best are concentrated in the Downtown Manhattan area. One of our favourite spots is Banh Mi Saigon, where the average baguette will cost you around $6. However, if that feels a bit too much for a banh mi, then Chinatown has some even cheaper options available.

Fried Chicken

fried chicken
Image © Steel Wool

Fried chicken’s position as king of fast-food is not confined to New York, but nevertheless it is a hugely popular option here in the concrete jungle. Fried chicken really is the answer to all of life’s troubles. However, it can be quite tricky to find both cheap and tasty chicken in the city without a little inside knowledge. Wilma Jean in Brooklyn is a great find with chicken available by the piece from just $3. They also do a delicious sandwich on a potato roll for $7. Another great spot for those wanting a little heat is Fuku where a spicy sandwich will set you back just $8.

Hot Dogs

hot dog stand in new york city
Image © Kim Ahlström

From loaded hot dogs and spicy franks, to the humble sausage with a generous helping of onions, trying a NYC hot dog during your visit to The Empire City is an absolute must. As with most food options in this city, there are a wide range of options differing greatly in price. The good news though is that cheap hot dogs are relatively easy to find, so wave goodbye to those $15 posh dawgs and get yourself a proper one! Grab a traditional frankfurter from a street vendor, head to Nathan’s Famous for a $4 original or treat yourself to a loaded hot dog at La Perrada De Chalo in Jackson Heights, Queens.

New York Bagels

new york bagels

What better way to begin a day in The Big Apple than with a famous New York bagel layered lavishly with cream cheese! However, it’s not going to be the grand start you wanted if you head to the wrong place in town. A breakfast bagel can end up costing you a small fortune if you don’t know where to go. Luckily for you we’ve found a place in town that doesn’t rip off the hardcore bagel fans out there. Ess-a-Bagel is a fab spot with nearly 20 house-made cream cheese options to choose from, starting at just $3.15. Apple cinnamon, chocolate-chip, oreo, and jalapeno, to name just a few of the delights on offer.


new york tacos
Image © m01229

Once upon a time New Yorkers would board a plane and pop over to Mexico City if it was great tacos they were after. Now due to a huge influx of Mexican cuisine amazing tacos can be found all over the city – and for much cheaper than a return flight! Like all food here there are some high-end options, but these places are nacho’ friend! Head to the cheaper spots and get a more authentic taste too. Tortilleria Nixtamal has a tasty selection starting from $3 for a refried bean and avocado wrap, as does Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos, in Brooklyn, with tacos starting from an even cheaper price of $2.50.

Pizza Slice

pizza slices from new york

Pizza can be found just about everywhere in NYC, and is generally a great choice for those wanting to stick to a budget when visiting. Bleecker Street Pizza is a superb Tuscan-style pizza place with slices starting from just $3 and plenty of toppings to choose from. What’s that? You want cheaper than $3 – well luckily for you we can help. If you head over to Brooklyn or The Bronx you’ll find 2. Bros Pizza selling slices for a dollar! There are plenty of other dollar pizza slice joints around the city too, so keep your eyes peeled.


Image © Suzi Edwards-Alexander

It’s not difficult to find a decent doughnut in New York. With bakeries and pastry shops sprinkled across the city like sugar over a jam-filled doughy delight, doughnuts are everywhere. We’re usually averse to an unhealthy breakfast, but hey who cares, you’re on holiday – grab yourself a sweet treat for breakfast why don’t you! Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop is a great place with a range of doughnuts from $1.10. If you’ve got a little more to spend then why not try out the crunchy crème brulee delicacy at Doughnut Plant, or the hibiscus invention at Dough, both around $3.

Pastrami Sandwich

the famous new york pastrami sandwich
Image © Young Sok Yun 윤영석

Last but most definitely not least, is the famous pastrami sandwich. Traditionally served hot on rye bread and packed with layers of delicious pastrami, this sandwich is a must-try when on an NYC adventure. Most will set you back anywhere between $18-$22, but we’ve found a superb spot selling the iconic sandwich for less than $15 called Frankel’s Delicatessen & Appetizing. Head there with a friend and split the sandwich and the cost! For a more unconventional pastrami sandwich, Dickson’s Farmstand in Chelsea Market does a flavoursome version with cheddar, apricot chutney and mustard for just $10.

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