New Yorkers love food. Waves of immigrants in the past few centuries have shaped local cuisine so you can get as good a pizza in New York as in Italy, a salt beef bagel in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and of course, dumplings in Chinatown. Portions can be gargantuan – a US size small is likely to be the equivalent of a medium to large in Europe, so don’t get carried away when ordering. We pick the best budget places to eat in New York. Some are famous, others require local know-how. But the best bit? They’re all under $10!
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery
Tiny inside, more a hole in the wall with a long queue trailing outside. But oh so worth the wait. You will be confronted with only a few rather strange pizza choices. The artichoke pizza is the house special, there is a crab topping too. They are rich, heavy and heavenly. Even the usual ‘thin and crispy’ diehards love ‘em! It’s love at first bite and just $4 a slice which you can wash down nicely with a beer.
328 E. 14th St, NY 10003 Open: Daily, noon ‘til late Nearest subway: First Av (L)
Well, Meg Ryan sounded pretty pleased with her meal here in When Harry Met Sally. Orgasmically good! This is the place to come for giant sandwiches. Juicy meat, mustard, pickles all lovingly wedged between wholesome rye bread. During World War II they encouraged families to “Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army” Serious sizes = serious value for money.
205 E Houston Street at Ludlow Street, NY
Nearest subway: Essex St-Delancey St (F,J,M, Z)
Open: Sun-Tues, 8am-9:45pm; Wed-Thurs, 8am-10:45pm; Fri & Sat, 8am-2:45am
This bakery is a great breakfast spot. Smooth drinking chocolate, macaroons, fruit tarts and for something savory the soft pretzel rolls with melted Gruyère. Hungry?
85 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Nearest subway: York St (F) Open: Mon-Sat, 7am-7pm; Sun, 10am-6pm
For those with a sweet tooth, an excuse to have a 3-course dessert prix fixe sounds out of this world. This place is a unique New York experience. Try and get a seat at the bar – part of the fun is watching pastry chef Chika Tillman whip up her creations. The Fromage Blanc cheesecake is a must then there is hot apple soup, sorbet floating on sparkling wine or chocolate tart with peppercorn ice cream. Well worth the wait.
203 E. 10th St, NY 10003
Nearest subway: Astor Pl (6) or First Av (L)
Open: Mon-Fri, 1pm-midnight; Sat, noon-midnight; Sun, noon-11pm
This place takes its authenticity very seriously. The tortillas are freshly made on the premises. The meat is chopped with a machete on an avocado-tree truck then broiled with red chilies, herbs and vinegar for a few hours. Ready for basting it all ends up in a custom-built, hand-cranked brick rotisserie machine. The sauces and salsas are strictly organic and freshly made. Our pick is the fish or shrimp taco ($4.29 each) You will struggle to find a fresher burrito.
227 Mott St, NY 10012 Nearest subway: Spring St (6) Open: Sun-Wed, noon-midnight; Thurs-Sat, noon-1am
These guys have nailed truly buttery and tasty pasty. Set amongst the slick eateries of the East Village, the crowds just can’t seem to get enough of their pies. The chicken option is filled with leeks and ham and they do veggie alternatives. A hearty lunch for under $5.
68 E. 1st St, NY 10003
Nearest subway: Lower East Side-Second Av (F, V)
Open: Mon-Thu, 8am-2am; Fri-Sat, 8am-5am; Sun, noon-10pm
Well here is a hot diggity dog joint. PDT is in fact the rather fabulous cocktail lounge which you enter via a vintage phone booth from next-door’s Crif Dogs restaurant. But you can order from either. Deep-fried Jersey-style frankfurters and fries do in some surreal way compliment a high class Singapore Gin Sling. The mixologists have a staggering assortment of liqs including buttered-popcorn rum, bacon infused bourbon and 140-proof absinthe.
113 St. Marks Pl, NY 10009 Nearest subway: Astor Pl (6) or 8th St – NYU (N, R, W) Open: Mon-Thurs and Sun, 6pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 6pm-3am
This place was originally famed for its choice of 900 items and house rules that stated no parties of more than four, everyone eats a meal, no cell phone use. The owner, genius or someone who has taken the fusion of American, South-East Asian and South American cuisine a tad too far? You will have to decide for yourself. The sliders (these gems are a sub-category of the standard burger, smaller and cooked differently) are what this place does best. All made to order, this is the slow fast-food cooked by a guy who is passionate about flavors.
Essex Street Market, stall 16, 120 Essex Street, NY 10002 (b/n Delancey St & Rivington St) Nearest subway: Essex Street-Delancey St (F,J,M,Z) Open: Tues-Fri, 9am-3pm; Sat, 9:30am-3pm; Sunday, closed
There’s nothing fancy about this place. But who can argue with 5 dumplings for $1 dollar. The 5 minute wait fills you with confidence regarding the freshness of these parcels of joy. They will mop up the last dredges of a hangover but equally useful in preparing you for another night on the town.
106 Mosco St, NY 10013 Nearest Subway: Canal St (6, J, M, N, Q, R, W, Z) Open: Daily, 7:30am-9pm
Most of the dishes at this classic Jewish deli are well under $10. The place has a nice retro feel with some great flavors going on. Choose from chicken noodle matzo ball soup, Lansky’s grilled cheese with cheddar, crispy pastrami and tomato on rye or a 10-ounce cheeseburger with mushrooms. Oh, and the sour pickles and homemade coleslaw are free if you eat in.
235 Columbus Av, NY Nearest subway: 72nd St (B,C) or 72nd St (1,2,3) or 66th St-Lincoln Center (1) Open: Sun & Mon, 8am-11pm; Tues-Sat, 8am-midnight