The ultimate list of the best “cheap & tasty” restaurants in Manhattan (updated)

One’s definition of “cheap” becomes skewed when they live in a city like New York for a long enough time. Cheap becomes relative.

It’s no different when it comes to cheap eats — what one friend may consider a “cheap eat” will be different from your other friend (not to mention my definition of “cheap”).

Well, my definition of cheap is below $10 after tax, preferably a few dollars below $10. Once you begin filtering restaurants into that price range, finding a great meal becomes that much more difficult. Oh, there are plenty of okay meals to be had for $5-8, but to find a great one, especially in Manhattan takes some patience.

Below you’ll find a list of restaurants that range from $5-15 for a meal that I put together from online articles and review sites. Primarily this list was created because I tired of looking for a cheap, sit down restaurant every time I was hungry for cheap and tasty.

Due to the differing ideas of “cheap,” I came up with my own list of cheap eats using information from the “experts”:

Both Yelp and Urbanspoon display dollar signs to indicate the restaurant’s price range. On this list, the dollar signs are taken directly from Yelp and if a listing has an percentage rating in the Urbanspooon column, that’s the restaurant’s approval rating and also means it’s been rated one dollar sign (if it has a “N/A” that means it’s $$).

This is useful because the conventional logic is if both Yelp and Urbanspoon report one dollar sign, there’s a good chance it’s a “cheap eat” and if Time Out or Grub Street have listed in their top affordable restaurants, there’s a good chance it’s extra tasty.

List of Cheap Eats in NYC (Manhattan)
Restaurant Location Style Yelp Grub Street Time Out Urban Spoon
Artichoke Basille Pizza East Village Pizza $ Yes No No
Bánh Mì Saigon Bakery Little Italy Vietnamese sandwich $ Yes No 93%
BobWhite Lunch & Supper Counter Alphabet City Southern/Soul Food $$ Yes No No
Cafe Hong Kong Chinatown Authentic Chinese dishes $$ Yes No No
Curry Ya East Village Japanese curry $$ Yes No 97%
Cutting Board Chinatown Japanese/Italian $ Yes No 40%
Daheen Wang Mandoo K-Town Korean king dumplings! $$ Yes No No
Emmetts South Village Chicago deep dish pizza $$ Yes No No
Francela Upper East Turkish cuisine $$ Yes No No
Gaia Italian Cafe East Village Italian $ Yes No No
Gotham West Market Hells Kitchen Modern Food Court $$ Yes Yes No
Gray's Papaya Upper West Side Hot dogs $ No No 86%
Han Dynasty East Village Sizuan (spicy!) $$ Yes Yes No
Ivan Ramen Lower East Side Ramen $$ Yes Yes No
Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen Hell's Kitchen Dim Sum / Ramen $$ Yes Yes 100%
Larb Ubol Midtown West Thai specializing in larb $$ Yes No 86%
Lumpia Shack Snackbar Greenwich Village Filipino Lumpia $$ Yes Yes No
Mark East Village Sliders $ Yes No 96%
Mei Li Wah Chinatown Dim Sum $ No No 89%
Mighty Quinns BBQ East Village BBQ duh $$ Yes Yes No
Mimi Cheng's Dumplings East Village Dumplings $$ No Yes $
Motorino East Village Pizza $$ No Yes No
List of Cheap Eats in NYC (Manhattan)
Restaurant Location Style Yelp Grub Street Time Out Urban Spoon
Noodle Village Chinatown Chinese Noodles / Xiao Long Bao $ No No 100%
Oda House Alphabet City Russian/Georgian cuisine $$ Yes No No
Prosperity Dumpling Lower East Side CHEAP DUMPLINGS YES $ No Yes 97%
Punjabi Grocery & Deli East Village Indian vegeterian $ No No 95%
Rai Rai Ken East Village Ramen $$ Yes No 88%
Senor Pollo East Village Peruvian $ No No 100%
Sontum Der East Village Thai $$ Yes Yes No
Sao Mai East Village Vietnamese / Pho $$ Yes No No
Spicy Village Lower East Side Chinese noodles– Spicy $ Yes No 100%
Sun Hing Lung Co. Chinatown Chinese $ No No N/A
Taïm Greenwich Village Falafel $ Yes No 92%
Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles Chinatown Chinese $ Yes No 95%
Vanessa's Dumplings Lower East Side Dumplings $ No No 92%
Westville Alphabet City American / Farm fresh $$ Yes No No
Woorijip Koreatown Korean steam tables $ No No 88%
Xi’an Famous Foods East Village Chinese $ Yes No 95%
Zen 6 East Village Ramen $$ No No No

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