Awesome places to eat in New York for less than $20

por Postcards from IvI

 Among so many things to do in New York, eating in cool places is definitely one of them. New York has gastronomic options for all kinds of people and pockets. In this post I’ll show you some of my favorite places to eat in New York, including cheap and good value restaurants to eat yummy without spending a lot.

Important: All the prices I mention in this article don’t include taxes. The tax rate in New York City restaurants is 8.875% and generally they aren’t included in menus.

Places to eat in New York

  • Katz’s Delicatessen

 Katz’s Delicatessen is one of the most famous restaurants in Manhattan. Founded in 1888, Katz’s became really popular because of being the site of a scene in the romantic comedy “When Harry met Sally”.

The classic dish to order in Katz’s is the pastrami on rye sandwich which is served with spicy brown mustard and  pickles. The whole sandwich is big enough to share it as it has so much meat.

 There are two options to eat in Katz’s: You can ask for table service or choose self service. When you enter the place, you will be given a ticket where the waiter will write what you have to pay on it. Don’t lose this ticket as you’ll need it to pay on the way out.

Price: USD $20-$30

Half sandwich price is USD$18.95.

Awesome places to eat in New York for less than $20

  • Shake Shack

 It wouldn’t be a complete trip to the US without eating burgers! Shake Shack is a fast food chain originally from New York that nowadays has locations in many cities around the world such as London, Tokyo, Dubai, etc. It’s not so special because as you see, you can eat this burgers almost anywhere. But still the burgers are delicious and it’s a good option to eat fast and cheap in New York. There are several Shake Shack locations in Manhattan, you can check their website with all the information about the Shake Shack locations.

Price: USD $6-$15

The price of the regular burger is USD$4.2

Where to eat in new York-recommended restaurants

  • Five Guys

 Five Guys is a fast food restaurant originally founded by a guy and his 4 children (hence, the name of the restaurant). The chain expanded and now have more than 1,500 locations in the US and worldwide. Find out all the locations here.

I love Five Guys and I go every time I get a chance to visit US. If you’re american, maybe this is not a place to eat in New York but if you’re from abroad like me, you should definitely try Five Guys burgers.

How to order: You can choose a single or double burger. The price includes any of this toppings: onion, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, peppers. 

Price: USD $7-$20

The hamburger without extras costs around USD $6

A publication shared by Five Guys (@fiveguys) the

  • Burger Joint

 Burger Joint is a special place because of its location. It’s hidden inside the luxurious Parker Meridien Hotel. It is very curious because to get inside this place you have to walk through the hall of the hotel that is super luxurious and when you get to the restaurant you see the contrast: a “messy” place, with written walls full of posters and drawings.

 The burger is good but not the best in my opinion. The place is mostly known for its curious location. In Buenos Aires (my home city) there is also a Burger Joint and they have one of the best burgers in BA.

Price: USD $10-$20

The price of a hamburger is $8.96.

Awesome places to eat in New York for less than $20

Photo by Burger Joint

  • Carmine’s Italian Restaurant

 Carmine’s Italian restaurant has two locations in Manhattan: one in Times Square and other in Upper West Side. It is a family-style restaurant and offers pasta, pizza, fish and meat plates.

It is ideal for people who travel in group or families because the pasta plates are huge and can be shared between 3 or 4 people. It’s always crowded so get there early or make a reservation in advance.

Price: USD $15-$25

Pasta dishes cost around $30 and can be shared between 3/4 people.

Where to eat in new York-recommended restaurants

  • Ellen’s Stardust Diner

 If you like Broadway shows music you can’t leave New York without visiting Ellen Stardust Diner. It’s a typical american diner but the waiters are musical actors and they sing all night long while they serve you. They really don’t stop singing. As soon as a waiter ends performing, another one starts. Many waiters have leading roles on Broadway shows. Seriously, if you can’t decide on just a Broadway show to attend, go to Ellen Stardust and hear this amazing singers for less money.

 The food is nothing special, you can order: hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, etc. The prices are a little high for the food quality, but it is clear that you are paying for the show. You can see the whole menu here.

Price: USD $20-$30

Where to eat cheap in new York

  • Ess-A-Bagel

 Bagels are a typical food from New York and they say the best are in Ess-a-Bagel, a bagel shop established in 1976 by an Austrian family. There are only two locations in New York and it is a very popular place so there is usually a big line, especially during breakfast time.

They sell all kinds of bagels and also sandwiches and salads.

Price: USD $2-$15

  • The Meatball Shop

 This is a restaurant that I discovered by chance the last time I was in New York and I really liked it. They basically sell meatballs. You can choose a type of meatball (classic, spicy, veggie, chicken, etc) and a sauce.

 It is perfect for cold days when you want a hot dish. There are several locations in New York, you can see them all here.

Price: USD $10-$15

A bowl of meatballs with a choice of sauce costs around $10.

  • The Halal Guys

 One of my favorite places to eat in the world. The Halal Guys started out as a typical street cart located in a corner of New York offering Middle Eastern halal food. Today they have more food carts and also have restaurants in New York and other cities in the United States. If you like Middle Eastern food you have to try Halal Guys!

What to order? The primary dish is a platter of chicken or gyro meat served with rice, veggies and pita bread. You can also order it in a sandwich.

Price: USD $6-$15

The classic platter costs around USD $7.

Where to eat in new York-recommended restaurants

Photo by The Halal Guys

New York Markets

 Another option to eat in New York is to visit its markets. One of the most popular is the Chelsea Market where you are going to find a lot of stalls with all kinds of food. Another smaller market is Gotham Market located in Hell’s Kitchen, where you can also find shops with all kinds of food. Finally, I recommend you visit Eataly, a market specializing in Italian food with two locations in Manhattan.

Eating cheap in New York

 In addition to the places I’ve mentioned, you can also choose to eat at the food carts that are near all busy areas of Manhattan. There you can eat pretzels or a hot dog for just $3.

Another option is to eat pizza on the way. There are pizza shops everywhere where a pizza slice costs only $1.

Another place that I like a lot is the fast food Mexican restaurant Chipotle, where you can eat a complete burrito for $7.

Tipping in New York

Tipping in New York is mandatory and it is expected to be between 10%-20% for a good service.

New York Food Tour

How about a tour food around the city? There are several options to choose from.

With all these places you already have an idea of where to eat in New York. Obviously the city is full of restaurants and it is always great to discover places on your own. What’s your favorite restaurant in New York?

Other New York posts:

Awesome places to eat in New York for less than $20Awesome places to eat in New York for less than $20

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read more about it here.

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1 comment

10 best travel movies to inspire your wanderlust - Postcards From IvI April 13, 2020 - 12:59 am

[…] This 1989 classic will take you straight to some of New York City’s most iconic places like Central Park. A very famous scene from this movie is Meg Ryan’s orgasm at Katz’s Delicatessen, one of New York’s most visited restaurants. […]

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