Eat in New York City on a Budget: 6 Unique Restaurants that won’t Break the Bank


Ahh, New York City. The Big Apple. Where dreams come true amidst the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets. Unfortunately, lovely NYC also has a reputation for being expensive. $1500 a month for that little studio downtown? What a deal!

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Luckily, the diversity and size of New York means that there are affordable options for those who know where to look. While you are at it, try something new at one of these awesome, affordable restaurants! We’ve found six places to eat in New York City on a budget.

1. Red Bamboo

UrbanSpoon Score: 92% (274 votes)

Vegetarian, Asian Cuisine

With something for everyone, Red Bamboo is a great way to introduce meat lovers to the many options available to vegetarians. With delicious mock shrimp, chicken, salmon and other delicacies, you can certainly find some healthy food for under $10.

2. Nyonya

UrbanSpoon Score: 92% (291 votes) 

Malaysian, Asian, Seafood

For a taste that is off the beaten path, make sure to visit Nyonya! With dishes like Roti Canai (Indian Pancakes) and Squid Curry, you might have to gather some courage, but your taste buds will thank you! Oh yeah, your wallet will thank you, too. Make sure you have some cash on hand, they don’t take cards.

3. Café Habana

UrbanSpoon Score: 92% (327 votes)

Cuban, Mexican

Featuring local favorites like the classic Cuban Sandwich and Grilled Corn, Café Habana is a great stop for some Central American cuisine! Although the venue is a bit cramped, the squeeze is well worth the tastes, and the price!

4. Chavela’s

UrbanSpoon Score: 92% (351 votes)


No list of eateries would be complete without a classic Mexican restaurant. Chavela’s is just this and can fulfill all of your Mexican cravings. The restaurant’s deliciousness is no secret so you will have to put up with a bit of a crowd if you want to sample their cuisine. Luckily, you can get a drink while you wait (make sure to try a proper micheladas)!

5. Mamoun’s Falafel

UrbanSpoon Score: 93% (496 votes)

Middle Eastern, Mediterranean

Have a midnight craving for delicious falafel? Well, you will after you try this restaurant. The people who dine here all rave about the food and for good reason! If you want to make people happy, serve delicious food at an amazing price all night long! This is another cash only restaurant but you won’t need much to have a delicious meal.

6. Empanada Mama

UrbanSpoon Score: 95% (252 votes)

Latin American

Alright, maybe you think that there are too many Latin Restaurants on this list already, but that’s just because you have never been to Empanada Mama. Take it from hundreds of people that sing its praises, you can’t find a cheaper, more delicious Latin Restaurant in NYC.

What is your favorite, affordable NYC restaurant? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @TripSided.