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Broccoli rabe, spaghetti and meatballs, breaded veal cutlets.
Broccoli rabe, spaghetti and meatballs, and breaded veal cutlets from L&B Spumoni Gardens
Robert Sietsema/Eater

40 Inexpensive Dining Destinations Still Open in NYC

Critic Robert Sietsema culls from his favorites with recommendations for what to eat now

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Broccoli rabe, spaghetti and meatballs, and breaded veal cutlets from L&B Spumoni Gardens
| Robert Sietsema/Eater

I’ve been doing an inexpensive dining column in Eater New York for close to six years, collecting some of the best into a 40-item map periodically. The last one was dated February 3, 2020. Since then, the decline of the lower-end of the restaurant business during the epidemic has been sad to see, wiping out the majority of the restaurants, cafes, and snack bars all over the city we depended on for excellent meals at reasonable prices.

So, I decided to see which of the places I love are still open and use the results to update my map. Here are the inexpensive dining destinations still open for delivery or takeout — though be sure to check with the restaurant before ordering, as menus and hours tend to change on a day-to-day basis.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Kaieteur Restaurant Bronx

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This mini-Guyanese chain with branches in Queens and the Bronx is decorated with vibrant tropical murals, and the food is just as colorful. Select pastries from the glass cases, or order island food like rotis (bust up shot plus a curry or stew of your choice); platters that include rice and beans, and shredded cabbage; fried rice in several permutations. Or get bags of snacks, many of which demonstrate the Indian and African heritage of Guyanese food. Delivery via Ubereats

A carryout tin of orange rice topped with jerk pork and shredded cabbage. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Kismat Indian Restaurant

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Kismat (“fate”) has been pleasing Washington Heights with Indian and Bangladeshi food for nearly 40 years. On a menu longer than most, expect creamy kurmas, biryanis bursting with flavor, an especially nice selection of flatbreads, and some unusual things, too, like saucy kori kebabs and a stuffed Bombay chicken. Anything called “Madras” is super spicy. Order here for pickup or delivery.

Goat curry in an iron pot with a lime wedge on top. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY


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This quarter-century-old fixture of Washington Heights combines Cuban and Dominican food into a marvelous tapestry of flavor. Justifiably famous for its Cuban sandwich, it also slings garlicky chicharron de pollo, cuchifritos, salt cod and octopus salads, Latin breakfasts, and espresso beverages, plus plenty of pork. Delivery:

A black facade with a coat of arms and Floridita in cursive. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lechonera & Pollo Sabroso

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One type of restaurant typical of both Puerto Rican and Dominican cooking is the lechonera, a place that specializes in all things porky, but most particularly in pork roasts made from young pigs. The meat is fragrant and tender, but this Morrisania restaurant also specializes in rotisserie chickens, making for a delightful combination menu. Takeout and local delivery, (347) 271-4642

Two types of Puerto Rican barbecued pork. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Africa Kine

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When it opened on 116th Street in Harlem two decades ago, Africa Kine was a pioneer where Senegalese restaurants were concerned. In its present digs further north, it presents a broader menu, though the standards of cheb (stuffed fish and vegetables over rice), mafe (chicken or lamb in peanut sauce), and yassa (chicken or fish in a mustard and onion sauce) remain some of the best choices. Servings are humongous. Order online for takeout or delivery.

A plate of stuffed fish and vegetables over red joloff rice at Africa Kine. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Jalisco Tacos

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The highlights of the short menu at this marvelous taquería in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx include rolled and deep-fried tacos dorados; pancita, a robust tripe soup; and enchiladas verdes stuffed with seasoned ground beef, in what is perhaps a tip of the hat to Dominicans in the neighborhood, whose cuisine treasures the ground beef picadillo. Takeout only, call (718) 585-4148.

A red tripe soup served with tortillas, lime wedges, and fresh herbs. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Grain House

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The menu reflects the cosmopolitan mix of dishes to be found in Beijing. The place started out in Little Neck, Queens, near the Long Island border, then established itself on the Upper West Side, where there are perhaps a dozen forward looking Chinese restaurants. Burning noodle is one standout dish, and so are kimchi fried rice, beef with long hot pepper, and eggplant with potato. Order online for pickup or delivery.

A black facade with red lettering. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Tulcingo Del Valle

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Tulcingo del Valle is one of our earliest Pueblan bodega taquerias, and still serves up some of the best food of its type in the city. Antojitos are diverse and so are the filling that can go into them, from the obvious (chicken, carnitas, grilled beefsteak) to the more arcane (tongue, pork skin, egg and chorizo). Bigger feeds run to pozole with two tostadas, chicken mole poblano, and pork with purslane in green mole. And yes, they have Mexican American burritos, nachos, and fajitas. Order here.

A cheese stuff chile flooded with tomato sauce, alongside rice and beans. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

King of Falafel & Shawarma

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King of Falafel and Shawarma is a Palestinian restaurant descended from a truck that launched in 2002. The falafel is indeed the best in town, big and cylindrical, with a crust that makes an emphatic crunch and an herby soft interior. Another favorite is something the menu calls qudseia, a plate of hummus with a reservoir of stewed fava beans in the center, and an unforgettable green sauce drizzled on top. 

A carryout container of hummus with fava beans on top and a green sauce. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Nurlan Uyghur Restaurant

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Nurlan is only the most recent Uyghur restaurant to open in the city, offering the food of an ethnic minority in far northwestern China. The Silk Road food might remind you of Middle Eastern and Central Asian fare, with its kebabs, pastas, and rice pilafs, but then there’s also the fabled big tray of chicken or lamb. Delivery:

A restaurant exterior with Nurlan emblazoned across the marquee. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rincon Criollo

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This Corona old timer (founded 1976), decorated with photos recalling pre-Castro days, is now doing its elegant take on Cuban cuisine for takeout and delivery. It is quite simply the best Cuban restaurant in town, as evidenced by the piquant picadillo (ground beef and green olives) or the magnificent, onion-littered chicharron de pollo (garlic-smeared, bone-in fried chicken). Delivery: 

An assortment of Cuban dishes at Rincon Criollo Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Adda Indian Canteen

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When it opened in late 2018 across the street from LaGuardia Community College in Queens, Adda upended many locals’ ideas about Indian food. It took as its inspiration the home cooking of Indian moms, including a signature Lucknow biryani baked with a sheet of pastry on top. The saag paneer was a revelation, too, and so were regional prawn and goat curries. Pickup and delivery.

Several colorful Indian dishes seen from above. Gary He/Eater

Hug Esan

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While the city has relished food from the Isan region in northeastern Thailand for at least 30 years, it’s only been recently that entire menus have been directed toward it. The most obsessed of all has been the delightful Hug Esan, which concentrates on larbs, freshwater fish, green papaya salads, grilled chicken, and jerky and other bar snacks, with a dearth of noodles and stir fries. Delivery:,

Pork larb with pig ears and liver Robert Sietsema

Memo Shish Kebab

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Memo Shish Kebab is an agreeable Turkish restaurant that opened in 2000 on Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Recently, it spun off a Chelsea location that, like its forbear, is halal and open 24 hours. The lamb adana kebab and chicken doner kebab are two sterling choices, whether in a pita, on Turkish bread, rolled up in a wrap, or served on a platter. Plenty of vegetarian options, too. Pickup or delivery 

Adana kebab platter Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Desi Galli

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Curry Hill’s Desi Galli has been queen of the chaats since it opened in 2012, and there’s another branch on Avenue B. Bhel puri is the most famous of these, straight to you from the beaches of Mumbai, featuring puffy rice, tamarind sauce, and chiles, but there are many others, too. Also available are kathi rolls, biryanis, and dressed french fries that might be called Indian poutine. Delivery:

An Indian sandwich. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Starting out as a closet storefront in the West Village, Taïm expanded to other locations; those in Nolita and Flatiron are also still open. The vegetarian menu remains pleasingly small, centered on a pair of falafel flavors deposited in a homemade pita. From there, it zooms to bread dips, Mediterranean side dishes, salads and beverages. My favorite thing, hands down, is the sabich sandwich, freighted with eggplant and boiled egg. Delivery via

A bulging sandwich with eggplant and boiled eggs. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Cafe Rakka

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This long-running Lebanese and Egyptian café has a beguiling display of Middle Eastern pastries and a convenient location right on St. Marks Place. Lamb shawarma or falafel sandwiches are the move here, but for a much larger feed that can almost satisfy two, try the vegetarian platter shown here. Delivery:

Vegetarian platter with six dishes in a plastic container. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hanoi Soup Shop

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Offshoot of Hanoi House just down the block, Hanoi Soup Shop specializes in pho from the Vietnamese capital, a simple yet rich concoction with one or two types of beef, premium noodles, and not too much to dump into it. Banh mi, spring and summer rolls, wine, beer, and cocktails also available. Takeout or delivery via Seamless

Beef brisket pho with noodles and meat held aloft with a spoon. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Casa Adela

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The East Village showcase of Puerto Rican eats, open since 1973, remains open for takeout. Go the easy route and take one of their fabled rotisserie chickens home, or how about stewed yuca with purple onions and garlic sauce, the oxtail stew called sancocho, or a serving of roast pork with rice and black or red beans? Call for carryout, (212) 473-1882.

Rotisserie chicken Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Souvlaki GR

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Made up to look like a Greek island village in shades of blue and white, the Lower East Side original has been supplemented with two Midtown branches. The pita-wrapped tubular burger slathered with tzatziki is prodigal, but also please consider the spanakopita (spinach pie), zucchini croquettes called kolokithokeftedes, and trio of bread dips, of which the garlicky skordalia shouldn’t be missed. Order delivery here.

Three triangular spinach pies. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Famous Sichuan

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This Chinatown spot gained notoriety a few years back by being the only Sichuan restaurant to deliver to the Wall Street area. It remains just as good when it come to the cuisine’s classics, whether it be ma po tofu, tea smoked duck, or wontons in hot oil. Delivery:

wontons in hot red oil in a bowl. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Offering Middle Eastern fare with roots in Syria and Jordan, Sakib appeared last year near the Williamsburg Bridge. There, one can get Arabic pies something like individual pizzas, topped with ground meat, spinach, cheese, or the spice and sesame-seed mixture called zattar; flaky hand pies called bureks; kebabs and falafel; and all of the appetizing bread dips expected on such a menu. Delivery:

Plates and bowls of kibbe, fattoush, and hummus. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Noods n’ Chill

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The latest member of the Plant Love House empire looks back to the food of the founder’s grandparents, who were Chinese immigrants to Bangkok, so some of the Thai dishes on the menu have a Chinese flair. Look for chive cake, stuffed pork or chicken in a steamed bao, and pork knuckle with pickled cabbage, in addition to the usual Isan sour sausage, green papaya salad, and mock duck Panang curry. Boat noodles thickened with pig blood is a favorite on a menu that pulls no punches. Delivery: Grubhub 

A bowl of dark broth is jammed with pork and pork balls, with a bowl of crunchy pig skin on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Cachapas y Mas

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In the part of Ridgewood adjacent to Bushwick where the terrain starts to creep uphill, find this Venezuelan snack shop; there’s another branch in Inwood. The eponymous cacaphas are corn dough pancakes filled with cheese, chicken, or a dozen other things. The menu also offers patacones (plantain sandwiches), tacuchos (Venezuelas burritos), and sandwiches made of arepas. Delivery:

A plantains sandwich filled with sausage. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Santa Ana Deli & Grocery

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This Pueblan bodega taqueria has transitioned into being mainly a cafe, and you can still stride up to the counter at the rear and order a stunning range of tacos (barbacoa and rolled tacos Arabes are favorites), quesadillas, picaditas, and huaraches. Mexican-American nachos and burritos are also available, in addition to torta and cemita sandwiches. Delivery on Seamless.

Huarache and two tacos Arabes at Santa Ana Deli Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Singh's Roti Shop & Bar

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For the Guyanese neighborhood of South Richmond Hill, Singh’s Roti Shop is something of an anchor. At a broad counter, attendants assemble orders and sometimes even cook entire dishes. They put together doubles and rotis, scoop up Chinese-Guyanese fare such as fried rice and lo mein, pour curries of chicken and goat and shrimp over rice, and assemble the sandwiches called bakes. If you’ve never been here before, start with a marvelous goat roti configured as a “bust up shot” (torn shirt). Delivery via Ubereats.

Two women stand behind a steam table. Alex Staniloff/Eater NY


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This homey neighborhood restaurant offers Haitian classics, some with modern twists. The menu moves from sandwiches involving mainstays like the pork confit called griot and stewed salt cod, to small plates of rice and beans and fried plantains, to main courses with a variety of options. Don’t miss the black mushroom rice called djon-djon, a staple of Haitian cuisine. Delivery via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats

Grandchamps kitchen Haitian Stuyvesant Heights Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Le Baobab

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Over the last few years, Bedford-Stuyvesant has developed quite a collection of Senegalese restaurants. Le Baobab — named after a tree — is a second branch of one of Harlem’s oldest African institutions. Classics of Senegalese cooking are presented in polished form, with quite different menus for lunch and dinner. Order here for takeout or delivery.

A white place with a mound of white rice on one side and a bowl with a brown chili-like dish. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Morgan's Brooklyn Barbecue

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This comfy spot with Texas roots usually offers a commanding view of Flatbush Avenue. The brisket is good, and so is the turkey, but I’d take a pass on the pulled pork. The chili con carne is also nothing to sneeze at. Get takeout, or delivery through, or

A tray with several types of barbecue. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Cascade Jerk

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This Jamaican restaurant excels at the usual jerk chicken and pork, oxtails, and curried goat. But it also mounts a menu of the currently stylish rasta pastas, lots of whole fish and fish filets, and the island’s classic pepper shrimp, which are as spicy. Rotis, patties, and fish and chips also available. Delivery:

Jerk chicken Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

German's Soup

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Don’t let the name fool you; German’s is an East Flatbush branch of an old and well known Guyanese restaurant founded in 1957. The menu consists of hearty soups on one side, and classic Guyanese fare on the other, offered over rice is a number of sizes. In the latter category, the pepperpot is a dense stew of beef with sweet spices annealed to the surface, while the soups include chicken foot, oxtail, and cowfoot. Delivery via

A splendid beef pepperpot Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Jalsa Grill & Gravy

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The city has plenty of Bangladesh restaurants, but few that represent for the food of West Bengal, India, just across the border. That’s one reason Jalsa Grill & Gravy was so welcome when it opened in Ditmas Park 18 months ago. One menu highlight is a chaat featuring slices of slender eggplant fried with a coating of spiced chickpea flour. Cooked in the tandoor, the outsize lamb tikka kebabs are juicy and smoky, on a menu with almost too many highlights. Delivery:

Segments of eggplant with a reddish coating are aligned on top of a long low mound of mashed potatoes. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lahori Chilli

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The logo features a smiling and waving green chile with a chef’s hat, at this almost glitzy cafe that serves up some of the best Pakistani food in town. Creamy beef nihari is a good intro to the cuisine, but there are also vegetarian curries, smokin’ flatbreads, and plenty of goat, lamb, and chicken dishes. Takeout and delivery.

Lahori Chill Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern

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Nothing makes me happier than Denino’s clam pie, briny and slightly bitter with bivalves mellowed with cheese. The conch salad rocks, too, and so does most of its menu, at this place that started out as a longshoreman’s tavern in 1937, and now produces some of the best pizzas in the five boroughs. Order here for pickup or delivery.

A close-up shot of a cheese pie topped with clams. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY


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Polonica is a Polish cafe that serves the full menu of Eastern European fare at bargain prices on gigantic platters that often include two scoops of mashed potatoes rather than just one. Pick from among starchy cheese pierogi, thick kielbasa fragrant with garlic, crisp potato pancakes, four kinds of borscht, and all manner of breaded cutlets. Order here.

A circle of cheese pierogi with sour cream in the middle. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY