33 Essential Restaurants Where You Can Eat for Less Than $10

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Rent prices may be rising in this city, but for now, there are plenty of purveyors of cheap food that manage to hold on to leases, even in trendy lower Manhattan. That's lucky for us -- cheap eats joints are a well-ingrained part of our culinary fabric, and they comprise a full third of our roster of the 99 Essential Restaurants™ in Lower Manhattan. Here are 33 essential restaurants where you can dine for less than $10 -- many of which offer items for far less than that.

456 Shanghai Cuisine, 69 Mott Street, 212-964-0003
The best values here come from dining in a group, which allows you to feast on dim sum by the basketful plus platters of other specialties. But this Shanghainese restaurant offers sub-$10 options for solo diners, too, particularly if you stick to noodles.

B & H, 127 Second Avenue, 212-505-8065
This decades-old East Village vegetarian lunch counter sells standards like grilled cheese and split pea soup plus Eastern European items like knishes and blintzes. Huddle at the counter for a cup of coffee or an egg cream with your meal.

Banh Mi Saigon, 198 Grand Street, 212-941-1541
Nothing on the menu at this 25-year-old Vietnamese bakery is more than $10, and most items are under five bucks. You want the banh mi, of course, which is one of the best in the city.

Caracas Arepa Bar, 93 1/2 East 7th Street, 212-529-2314
This East Village haunt has so successfully wooed crowds with its Venezuelan arepas, it's spawned a mini-chain. The stuffed pockets are priced between $7 and $8.50, though the best deal is at lunch, when you get any arepa plus soup or salad for $8.50.

Casa Adela, 66 Avenue C #45, 212-473-1882
This Alphabet City cheap eats haven pays homage to Puerto Rico. It offers an easily sharable half of a roasted bird for less than $10, which leaves you extra money to order sides to fill out your feast. Go for the plantains, or, perhaps, a fruit shake.

City Bakery, 3 West 18th Street, 212-366-1414
Most people who pop into City Bakery order a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and perhaps a chocolate chip cookie or some other pastry. But pricing on entrees is gentle, too -- soups, sandwiches, and cups of baked macaroni and cheese come in under budget as well.

Congee Village, 100 Allen Street, 212-941-1818
This is another group spot if you really want to maximize value, but there are many entrees to be had for less than $10. We recommend the salt and pepper squid, the cold jellyfish, or one of the congees, most of which cost less than five bucks.

Crif Dogs, 113 St. Marks Place, 212-614-2728
These are not your average hot dogs, and they're going to cost you more than the dirty water franks you'll find on the street. But nothing on the menu is more than $10, and each dog is a vehicle for a slew of wacky ingredients, making it a complete and filling meal.

Dominique Ansel, 189 Spring Street, 212-219-2773
Pastry whiz Dominique Ansel is making some of the most innovative food in the city right now, and he's pricing his treats so that they're affordable. Pastries ring in between $2.50 and $7, and more substantial items, like sandwiches, are mostly less than $10, too.

Doughnut Plant, 379 Grand Street, 212-505-3700
Mark Isreal makes his doughnuts with high quality fruit and nuts, which is largely how he's built a fervent following since opening a wholesale business on the Lower East Side. Stop in for a breakfast treat that'll set you back less than $4, and pair it to a cup of coffee.

Great NY Noodletown, 28 Bowery, 212-349-9023
This Chinatown shack commands a star-studded late night following, who come for noodles and dumplings -- or both in soup. Eat your way through as much of the menu as you can handle -- almost everything here costs less than $10.


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17 comments
Amal Salameh
Amal Salameh

I went to 456 last week at the recommendation of a lady in the tea shop down the road- I liked it- food was good- really cheap- of course service is what you expect in china town- lacking greatly but

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