New Yorkers might shell out upwards of $150 for a teenager's tasting menu, but for those of us who aren't made of money, there's still plenty of affordable grub to be found, with a few meals out there that'll even cost you less than a $10 latte.
Latin American Restaurant in New York, NY, United States
Half chicken + beans + rice: $9.50. When you're sick of all your usual cheap eats options, a Puerto Rican diner is a superb Third Way. The chicken is always juicy & delightfully spicy, the dining room is always packed & friendly, and you will leave full.
Middle Eastern Restaurant in Sunnyside, NY, United States
It's no surprise that the shawarma at this local Lebanese deli puts all other shawarma in the city to shame. $4.00 here gets you a pita filled with grilled chicken or beef, along with the requisite tomatoes, lettuce, hot sauces, tahini & pickled veggies.
A sausage slice runs $3.75, and it comes so packed with vibrant pork, gooey cheese and fresh tomato sauce, you'll be full after one helping. If not, a cheese slice runs $3, but you can't really put a price on perfection anyway.
A spectacular $6 platter gets you tons of rice, chicken and/or lamb, lettuce and pita, all doused in a hearty helping of their mysterious, spectacular white Valhalla sauce. You will digest it for a day or two. WORTH IT.
This Bedford L standby is still hocking its famed wares at $3-a-pop—a few dollar bills will score you a pita stocked with falafel, pickled carrots and radishes, hummus, tahini, Israeli salad and hot sauce if you so desire.
The tacos al pastor at this East Harlem taqueria run a smooth $3-a-piece, and you'll never need more than three to fill up (two if you pair your meal with a bubbly can of soda), keeping the dinner tab down to a manageable $9.
This is the cleanest, tastiest cheap noodle in Chinatown. $5.50 buys you a formidable bowl (Spicy Vegetable Hui Mei) of noodles, bok choi, seaweed, and other miscellaneous veggies topped with fresh cilantro and friendly hunks of tofu.
Vietnamese Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, United States
For the best (and most affordable) banh mi in Brooklyn, look no further than this East Williamsburg eatery, which whips up stuffed Vietnamese sandwiches for under six bucks. Vegetarian, grilled chicken, pork and classic banh mi range from $5.20 to $5.75.