The Best Cheap Restaurants in New York City

Hey, everyone! Today I’m talking about something near and dear to my heart, FOOD! Since moving back home, I’ve curated a list of restaurants with some of the best food for the best prices. I’m not really into small portions or boujee environments- I am more concerned with how the food tastes and if I’m getting enough of it to make me full. I know some of you may be coming into town for NYFW soon, so if you’re looking for delicious food and don’t necessarily want to go crazy with spending, I got you. I’m also a creature of habit, so if you see me at any of these restaurants feel free to say hi!

1. Shanghai Cafe Deluxe

Chinese, Chinatown. 100 Mott St. 

best cheap restaurants new york city no repeats or hesitations

This is the cheapest restaurant on this list and wow, does it have a special place in my heart. Shanghai Cafe Deluxe is most famous for its Shanghai-style soup dumplings (8 dumplings for about ~$5). When I took my boyfriend here for the first time, we ordered two orders of the soup dumplings and our bill was barely over $10. If you’re vegetarian, the other best thing on the menu is their lo-mein (which you can get with tofu). It used to be more under-the-radar, but word has recently gotten out that this place has unbelievable food for incredibly little money, so I’d avoid going at super peak times. Shanghai Cafe is cash only, so be sure to have cash on you before you go!

2. Han Bat

Korean, K-Town. 53 W 35th St. 

best cheap restaurants in new york city no repeats or hesitations

If you’re looking for an authentic Korean food experience, look no further than Han Bat! The small dish appetizers, given before every meal at no extra charge, never fail to make me happy. The entrees are both piping hot and spicy- I always have to wait a while before eating my dishes, but it’s totally worth it! It’s a larger restaurant, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about getting a table here. Perhaps best of all, Han Bat is open 24/7, so you can devour delicious Korean food whenever the heck you feel like it.

3. Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen

Mexican, Soho West. 110 6th Avenue

Lupe’s is one of my absolute favorite places in the city. I discovered this place thanks to my summer internship at Sharebite. I ordered in for delivery and the food was so cheap and sooo good that I was compelled to find out more about the physical location of the restaurant. To my delight, the actual restaurant is SO INSTAGRAM!! The outside is bright blue and bright pink with a neon sign in the window (perfect for a photo shoot 😉 ). Inside, the walls are decorated with record sleeves for a retro feel. The ambiance is very cozy and welcoming and the burritos are to die for. If you go, my recommendation is to order a mojito from the drink menu. My personal go-to is the pineapple flavor, they do such an amazing job!

4. Potjanee Thai

Thai, West Village. 48 Carmine St. 

best cheap restaurants no repeats or hesitations

best cheap restaurants no repeats or hesitations

This was another find of mine thanks to my Sharebite internship. Thai food can be hard to get just right, but Potjanee Thai never disappoints. I took a larger group of friends here a few months back and we all ordered different dishes and unanimously enjoyed everything. Potjanee Thai is small and has a low-key ambiance. I’d definitely recommend this place for a date night. Oh, and everything is priced incredibly low for what you get. I’ve gotten dinner here for $15!

5. Mughlai Indian Cuisine

IndianUpper East Side. 1724 2nd Avenue

best cheap restaurants new york city no repeats or hesitations

cheap nyc restaurants no repeats or hesitations

Photos taken from Yelp because when I went, it was dark as you’ll see in the VIDEO!

This place is right near my house so I order in from them alllll the time. Their Indian food is simply spectacular. The restaurant itself is very small and dimly lit at night, as you can see in the YouTube video, but that doesn’t make the experience any less enjoyable. Mughlai is very vegetarian-friendly as well. Their menu is organized into vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections. They also have an INCREDIBLE weekday lunch special where if you go in person, all dishes are 50% off. It’s insaaaane!


I put together video footage of me visiting every single one of these restaurants. Check out what I ordered and experience each atmosphere for yourself!

These are decidedly the best cheap restaurants in New York City that I’ve come across. Loved this list? Have any other eateries that would make great additions to this roundup? Leave your thoughts in the comments 🙂

P.S. Please subscribe to my brand new YouTube channel!




  1. January 17, 2018 / 11:51 am

    This post is making me so hungry! Those dumplings look so delicious. Next time I am in NYC I am checking out these restaurants!

  2. January 17, 2018 / 11:59 am

    Yaaaaaas these all look amazing! I need to visit that Indian restaurant next time I’m in New York.

  3. Laila
    January 17, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    I want to go to all of the restaurants in this post, they look simply amazing! NYC seriously has some of the best dining in the world!

  4. January 17, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    YASSS! these are all so up my alley! and I love Potjanee!! so good!

  5. January 17, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Yum, all of these look so good. Makes me want to go to NYC even more.

  6. January 17, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    Great list! There are SO many good eats in NYC!

  7. January 17, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    Those dumplings look amazing. I loved trying all the food when I was in NYC.

  8. January 17, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    Okay Lupe’s sounds and looks delicious! I love Mexican so definitely saving it for the next time I’m in NYC.

  9. January 17, 2018 / 11:21 pm

    I want to go here!!! looks so good and nice.

  10. January 17, 2018 / 11:53 pm

    I’m going to Manhattan in a few months and need some new restaurants to check out! I’ll have to bookmark this list!

  11. January 18, 2018 / 11:47 am

    All this food looks amazing! Do these restaurants have anything vegan?

  12. January 18, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    OOoohh girl! Your tastebuds are lined up right with mine, these all look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  13. January 18, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    I haven’t had Indian food in a while! You’ve inspired me to go get some.

  14. January 19, 2018 / 10:52 am

    These options look so good! And the food looks super yummy!

  15. January 19, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    That Thai food place looks divine!

  16. Olivia
    January 21, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    Great post! NYC food can be so expensive so I love finding budget friendly and yummy restaurants!

      January 29, 2018 / 11:02 pm

      Right?!?! And sometimes, with expensive food, the portions are tiny! It’s so silly.

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