Our guide to the best budget-friendly restaurants in New York City that are low in price yet excellent in taste and portion size
Looking to experience delicious cuisine at New York City restaurants but want to go easy on your wallet? Look no further. We rounded up a selection of the best bargain restaurants where you can get the most bang for your buck. An endless variety of cuisines and types of bargain restaurants can be found in New York City, from Italian to Indian, Mexican to Japanese, to Southern/soul/comfort foods, New American, vegetarian/vegan, and specialty restaurants like dessert restaurants, steakhouses, and 24-hour diners. These bargain restaurants are top-rated for their “all you can eat” style deals, buffets, and prix-fixe menus.
Location: 232 East 58th Street
Rated as one of the best all you can eat buffet bargain restaurants in New York City by Zagat for 2009, Chola offers an extensive menu of eclectic Indian cuisine, superb service, and high ratings among critics. The popular lunch buffet is the main draw at Chola, which features a price tag below $15 for all the flavorful Indian cuisine you can eat.
Location: 355 West 46th Street
A theatre crowd favorite in Hell’s Kitchen, Becco serves exceptional yet reasonably priced Italian cuisine in generous portions and a top-notch wine list all priced at $25 a bottle. Becco has a lunch and dinner pasta special, each for about $20, a great value for a Caesar salad or grilled vegetables with assorted seafood to start, followed by the renowned unlimited service of the chef’s three daily pasta options.
Location: 114 Kenmare Street
Some of the most delicious and budget-friendly Mexican food at a New York restaurant can be found downtown on the border of Soho and NoLita at hot spot La Esquina. La Esquina is in a restored diner car with neon signs, though the interior does not have the diner appearance. This bargain restaurant has a counter-service taqueria and sit-down cafe, offering typical chicken tacos and tortas as well as generous main courses.
Location: 1557 2nd Avenue
Yuka Restaurant is a small, bustling bargain restaurant in New York on the Upper East Side where copious amounts of high quality sushi can be ordered in an all you can eat style for less than $20–a definite bargain in New York City.
Frankie & Johnnie’s
Location 1 : 32 West 37th Street
Location 2 : 269 West 45th Street
While it’s not easy to find a cheap steak at restaurants in New York City, Frankie & Johnnie’s comes at a decent price and large portions. There are two historic Midtown locations in New York City, one a former speakeasy and the other actor John Barrymore’s former townhouse. Frankie & Johnnie’s offers unpretentious, casual dining, serving classics like steaks, seafood, chops, and chicken, all for bargain prices.
Location: 204 East 10th Street
Dessert restaurant ChikaLicious is a 20-seat New York restaurant offering cheap, beautifully crafted sweets like puddings, cupcakes, s’mores, cheesecake, ice cream and sorbet, as well as a three-course dessert pre-fixe menu for the bargain price of $12.
Location 1 : 71 Seventh Ave.
Location 2 : 109 St. Marks Place
Location 3 : 305 Amsterdam Ave
Location 4 : 99 MacDougal Street
Hummus Place has four restaurants in New York City, all small, comfortable restaurants famous for having the best bargain falafels and hummus, with an assortment of delicious, creamy hummus available. This bargain restaurant serves simple vegetarian meals in satisfying portions for budget-friendly prices.
Mama’s Food Shop
Location: 200 East 3rd Street
Mama’s Food Shop in the East Village is an excellent New York restaurant offering overflowing portions of appetizing Southern comfort foods at budget-friendly prices, such as meatloaf, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, and grits. Try a main course plus two sides for $12.
Location: 144 Second Avenue
Veselka, a casual Ukrainian diner located in the East Village, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Veselka offers cheap pierogis, stuffed cabbage, grilled Ukrainian kielbasa, beef stroganoff, and is known for having the best borscht in New York City, an Eastern European vegetable soup. All food and drinks are under $15, a true bang for your buck in New York City.
New American Cuisine
Location: 159 Lexington Avenue
Penelope is a charming, budget-friendly New York restaurant in Murray Hill serving New American and comfort food favorites including chicken meatballs with pesto, spinach pie, macaroni and cheese, and grilled sandwiches. There is a $13 prix-fixe breakfast/brunch menu and a lunch/dinner menu with everything under $10. Each menu is short but has plenty of variety. Try the red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting from the onsite bakery for dessert.