A local’s Guide to the 11 Best New York City Cheap Eats

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Let’s talk about New York City cheap eats. First of all, I feel like local New Yorkers and tourists come from very different worlds. New Yorkers are in a rush and largely ignore their surroundings while in a mad dash to work. In contrast, tourists stop and stare at their surroundings since they are usually enchanted and enamored by the excitement and diversity that this city has to offer (opinions do vary so not everyone loves New York, which is totally allowed). Locals recognize the tourists as they marvel in awe and at all the lights and banners and TV screens that swath Times Square in an ever present, electronic induced glow, a place that locals stay away from at all costs.

But while these two rival factions may disagree on a great number of things, we can all agree on the fact that New York City is insanely expensive. Like to the point that sometimes you check the price and think, “Maybe they made a mistake and added an extra zero.” But no, that zero is meant to be there. And you start to wonder if you’ll even be able to afford food. I mean, it is a biological necessity but unless you are a Facebook CEO, you probably won’t be able to dine at a Michelin Star restaurant (at least this lowly travel blogger can’t. I’d be the one outside crying, “alms for the poor”).

So where do us normal New Yorkers eat then? I mean we live every day, are not emaciated (there is like a Soul Cycle on every block. I think the populace has the opposite problem), and still manage to afford rent. How is this possible? Well, there really are some amazing, and cheap, places to go and get your inner chubby kid swerve on. Now I know, it’s hard to believe that anything in New York City is cheap, but I swear to you, this is not an urban legend. There really are some amazingly delicious, and affordable places, that you can stuff your face at, you just need to know where to look. And while this is easy for locals, when you associate New York with Times Square, and Times Square only, cheap and delicious eats can seem somewhat illusive. So here are some of the greatest cheap eats that New York City has to offer (And no, I am not referring to the street vendor on the corner who sells stale pretzels and mushy hot dogs that have God knows what in them).

Best Pizza

It doesn’t matter how you look eating it, just get the job done.

They call it New York style pizza for a reason. So if you go to New York and don’t get a slice of pizza then you haven’t really experienced this thin slice of culinary greatness ( and deep dish doesn’t count because that’s a Chicago thing). But some artisanal pizza places can be ridiculously expensive (seriously guys, it’s just dough and cheese), but not Best Pizza. Here, slices of amazingly delicious, cheesey goodness cost a whole $3.25 (CASH ONLY). Now if you want to roll like a big shot, then throw in an extra $0.50 to try their white slice which is elevated to the next level with some caramelized onions and a sprinkling of sesame seeds (so good. Get in my belly).

Not a fan of white pizza? That’s okay because best pizza creates an assortment of pies that are topped with seasonal vegetables and a variety of local goods. Also check out the house-special Grandma pizza, which is only available in square slices and has a rich and zesty plum tomato sauce and mozzarella. Eat in or take your slice on the road because this place isn’t known for its ambiance, and I am totally okay with that.

Address: 33 Havemeyer St, New York, New York 11211 (Between 7th and 8th streets. Take the L to Bedford Avenue)

Hours: Open daily from 2 pm to Midnight

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