Meals for $5 or Less in New York City

Keep your budget on track with these affordable New York City meals

For less than $5, don't expect a lot of atmosphere or service, but you can expect to have some delicious food in New York City. These are great choices when you're hungry and low on cash or short on time. If you want a better place to sit while you eat a cheap meal, you might want to check out our New York City Meals Under $10.

There's a good reason this vegetarian-friendly restaurant is popular with nearby NYU students: lots of choices, big portions and small prices.
What to Order: Soy Burger Sandwich + Chocolate Egg Cream = $4.25

  • 14 West 4th St. (Mercer Ave)
    Neighborhood: Greenwich Village (Map)
    Subway: A, C, E, F, V to West 4th Street
  • 24 Saint Marks Place (2nd & 3rd Ave)
    Neighborhood: East Village (Map)
    Subway: 6 to Astor Place; N, R to 8th Street/NYU

Dumpling House
Not only can you fill yourself up with delicious soup and dumplings at this bustling dumpling shop, but you can also see everything being prepared while you wait. When all else fails, point to something they're cooking and ask for it -- ordering directly from the menu can sometimes mean waiting forever.
118 Eldridge St (Grand & Broome)
Neighborhood: Chinatown (Map)
Subway: B, D to Grand Street
What to Order: Sesame Pancake with Beef + Chives and Pork Fried Dumpling + Soy Bean Milk = $3.25

Gray's Papaya
Popular with New Yorkers (and visitors) on the go, Gray's Papaya serves up tasty franks at a price that's tough to beat.
What to Order: Recession Special (2 hot dogs and a medium drink) = $2.75

  • 539 Eighth Ave. (37th St.)
    Neighborhood: Garment District (Map)
    Subway: A, C, E to 34th Street
  • 2090 Broadway (72nd St.)
    Neighborhood: Upper West Side (Map)
    What to Order:
  • 402 Sixth Ave. (8th St.)
    Neighborhood: Greenwich Village (Map)
    Subway: A, C, E, F, V to West 4th

Papaya King
There are just a few tables and chairs at these classic New York City hot dog stands that claim adoring fans including Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Child.
What to Order: Original Special #1 (2 franks and a 16 ounce tropical drink) = $4.76

  • 200 West 14th St. (7th Ave.)
    Neighborhood: Chelsea (Map)
    Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 14th Street
  • 121 West 125th St. (bet. Lenox & 7th Aves.)
    Neighborhood: Harlem
    Subway: A, B, C, D to 125th Street
  • 179 East 86th St. (3rd Ave.)
    Neighborhood: Upper East Side (Map)
    Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th Street

Patsy's Pizzeria
2287-91 First Ave. (117th and 118th Sts)
Smokey coal oven slices are available to go from one of New York City's classic pizza joints. This location is the original Patsy's Pizzeria, though they sold the name and there are several other Patsy's Pizzerias around Manhattan.
Neighborhood: Spanish Harlem (Map)
Subway: 6 to 116th Street
What to Order: Two Slices to Go = $3

Check out more affordable dining with Meals in New York City for $10 or Less. Trying to figure out how to stretch your New York City travel budget? Mark has some great advice for budget travel to New York City for all aspects of your trip.

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