Best Cheap Eats in New York City

Unless you have a limitless budget for your vacation, you'll find it helpful to have a few inexpensive meals during your trip. But just because you're trying to eat affordably doesn't mean you shouldn't get to savor some of New York City's best foods!

01 of 07

Have a New York City Bagel

Poppyseed bagel with lox spread
Jessica Spengler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Skip the overpriced (and often underwhelming) breakfast buffet at your hotel and head out for a delicious (and filling) NYC bagel for breakfast. Not only will you be able to enjoy breakfast (with coffee!) for under $5, but you'll be experiencing one of New York City's most famous foods.

02 of 07

Savor a Slice of Pizza

Pizza from Keste
Heather Cross

Be warned—eating pizza in New York City is dangerous: you may never be able to enjoy your old standby delivery pie back home once you've experienced the city's outstanding 'za. Whether you're grabbing a quick slice or sitting down for a delicious coal- or brick-oven pie at one of New York City's famous pizza parlors, it's a great choice for a filling, affordable meal.

03 of 07

Share a NYC Deli Sandwich

Eating at Katz's Delicatessen
 City Foodsters/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

The serving size at many of New York City's great delis is huge—so it's pretty easy to share a sandwich and feel very full. Katz's Delicatessen is a particularly great place to do this, since you won't feel self-conscious if you order a single sandwich from the counter service area and share with your companion at a table in the self-seating area.

04 of 07

Eat in Chinatown

Chinatown street with building facades with signs in a sunny day in New York
AndreaAstes/Getty Images

Sure, not every restaurant in Chinatown is dirt-cheap, but there are many Chinatown restaurants where you can fill up on dumplings or noodles for next to nothing—all the while enjoying the bustling atmosphere and authentic cuisine.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Pack Yourself a Picnic

People enjoying picnic in Central Park, New York City
AndreyGatash/Getty Images

New York City has wonderful parks throughout all five boroughs, and you can easily shop at a local supermarket and prepare yourself a delicious and cost-conscious spread. Central Park is a fantastic choice, and we've even put together some suggestions of where to pack a picnic for Central Park, but any of NYC's fantastic parks will be a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch or dinner.

06 of 07

Have Lunch From a NYC Street Vendor

NYC Street Food
Elvert Barnes/CC BY-SA 2.0

Sure, you've heard of the ubiquitous "dirty water dog" or had a stale pretzel from a street cart, but there are also street vendors serving up delicious, cheap meals from carts all over New York City. From falafel and dosas to barbecue and sausages, New York City Street Vendors serve up tasty, affordable meals to local New Yorkers every day. Just follow the crowds (and your nose) to find something delicious.

07 of 07

More Ideas

Gray's Papaya is a hot dog restaurant
ULU_BIRD/Getty Images
  • Meals for $5 or Less—Whether you want a slice of pizza, steamed dumplings or a hot dog, these cheap eat options offer filling, delicious meals for less than $5!
  • Meals for $10 or Less—We've assembled a list of great meals for $10 or less, many of which are at sit-down restaurants, and your options include everything from outstanding hamburgers and ban mi to Indian buffets and hot Ruebens.