When you think of budgeting for food in NYC, you probably think of unaffordable fancy restaurants. While NYC is an extremely expensive place with some fancy fine dining, you will be happy to know that it houses some great tasting cheap eats too.

There are several cheap eats in NYC that will have you smiling all the way back to your hotel room. If you’re in NYC and want to get by on a very low food budget, these tasty cheap restaurants should be in your notes.

The Halal Guys

This middle eastern gem is one of the tastiest, most affordable lunch or dinner spots in the whole city. With their 9,000+ almost five star yelp reviews, you can expect to wait in a long line around lunch time. If you come during the off hours you shouldn’t have any issues ordering a $6 delicious Gyro from this famous food truck. The Gyro is the size of a large burrito, I ate half of mine at lunch and finished the rest for dinner. (The big plates cost $8). Also, keep in mind there are several food trucks who pretend to be The Halal Guys so make sure you go to the original Halal Guys food truck by checking out the address below the photos.

The Halal Guys
Yelp Photo - The Halal Guys
Yelp Photos – The Halal Guys

Location: W 53rd St 6th Ave New York, NY 10019

Hours: Open 11:00am – 11:00pm on Weekdays and 11:00am – 2:00am on Weekends

Best Bagel & Coffee

One of the best cheap eats in NYC is a fresh, hand rolled bagel, and no one does it better than Best Bagel & Coffee. There are other hot spots such as Ess-A-Bagel and Murray Bagel, but trust me when I tell you… Best Bagel & Coffee is seriously the best bagel you will ever have. It may not look like much in the photo, but do not underestimate this place! On my NYC trip, I stopped here more than once. Expect to spend between $3-4 for a bagel with cream cheese. The strawberry and blueberry cream cheese is perfection.

best bagel and coffee
best bagel and coffee

Location: 225 W 35th St A, New York, NY 10001

Hours: Open Weekdays from 6:00am – 4:00pm and Saturdays from 8:00am – 2:30pm (Closed on Sundays)

Joe’s Pizza

Looking for something quick, savory, cheesy and classic? Grab a slice of Joe’s Pizza for a classic West Village pizza experience. Easy slice is $3-4 and each slice is large enough to fill you up. Two slices of the delicious simple cheese pizza will cost you $6. Enjoy pictures of every celebrity you can think of hung up on their walls.

joe's pizza in nyc

Location: 7 Carmine Street New York, NY 10014

Hours: Open Daily from 10am – Midnight

Doughnut Plant

While it might sounds crazy eating a donut as one of your meals, Donut Plant is famous for the PB&J donut. Which is literally a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a big square donut. This will surely fill you up, satisfy your sweet tooth, your savory tooth and everything in between, all for under $5. Once you’ve tried this place, you will most likely be coming back for more, and bringing all your friends.

Doughnut Plant NYC
Doughnut Plant NYC

Location: 379 Grand Street New York, NY 10012

Hours: Open Sunday – Thursday from 6:30am – 8:00pm and Friday and Saturday from 6:30am – 9:00pm

Los Tacos

If you are in the mood for some insanely delicious authentic Mexican food, Los Tacos is known for fresh, delicious food and tacos that locals and tourists alike go crazy over. Each taco is between $3-4 or you can fill up on one of their quesadillas for $4-6. Choose from their delicious selection of meats: chicken, beef, or pork.

locos taco's in nyc
Yelp Photo – Locos Taco’s NYC

Location: 229 W 43rd St New York, New York

Hours: Open Everyday from 11:00am – 10:00pm (Sundays they close at 9:00pm)


When you think of sushi you definitely don’t think of cheap. If you want good quality, delicious cheap sushi at it’s finest, check out MakiMaki for an awesome filling $4-6 hand roll in Midtown Manhattan. It’s the perfect meal for lunch and dinner on a tight budget.

MakiMaki NYC

Location: 1369 6th Avenue New York, NY 10019

Hours: Open Weekdays from 11:00am – 8:00pm and Saturdays from 12:00pm – 7:00pm (Closed on Sundays)

Shake Shack

If you’re in the mood for a better than classic hamburger, check out Shake Shack. They have incredibly juicy, delicious cheeseburgers with everything on it for just under $6. They have expanded to other cities, but you can’t go wrong with their original NYC location. Their burgers are famous for their sweet buns and juicy flavor.

Location: Southeast corner of Madison Square Park

Hours: Open Weekdays from 7:30am – 11:00pm and Weekends 8:30am – 11:00pm

Gray’s Papaya

Don’t settle for a standard hot dog at any old hot dog stand in NYC. At Gray’s Papaya, for $4.45 you can get two hot dogs and a drink. Talk about cheap eats in NYC. This is your meal ticket- no pun intended. Also, this place is open 24 hours so no matter what time of day, you can satisfy your food craving for under $6. You might know of Gray’s Papaya from various media and TV shows including Sex and the City, How I Met Your Mother and more.

Yelp Photo - Gary's Papaya
Yelp Photo – Gary’s Papaya

Location: 2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Hours: Open 24 Hours Everyday!!

As you can see, you have an incredible selection of restaurants to choose from when looking to spend under $6 per meal in NYC. I didn’t list anything on here you wouldn’t love!

Here is a quick recap of the spots for quick reference:

  1. The Halal Guys
  2. Best Bagel & Coffee
  3. Joe’s Pizza
  4. Doughnut Plant
  5. Los Tacos
  6. MakiMaki
  7. Shake Shack
  8. Gray’s Papaya

There is nothing better than discovering money saving spots in such an extravagant city. Enjoy these delicious cheap eats in NYC and let me know if you find more awesome spots to add to the list!

cheap eats in NYC under $6
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  1. Avatar

    I think you mean Los Tacos, not locos tacos. I go to Los tacos like twice a week and it’s that spot, plus it looks exactly like it. Also it’s not their original location, the one in Chelsea Market is!

    • Amy Farah

      Hi Caitrin! Hahah that’s awesome and thank you so much for pointing that out I’ll make that change 🙂

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