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15 Tasty Snacks for $2 and Under Around NYC

Got two dollars? Then you can afford one of these delicacies.

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This city is filled with tasty, cheap snacks from around the globe: Japanese rice triangles, tacos, Italian ice, savory Uzbek pastries, Chinese snacks, and more. Here's your guide to finding the best snacks for $2 and under in New York City.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gray's Papaya

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2090 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-0243
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The lightly blistered franks straight from the griddle at Gray's Papaya are good at any time of the day, but particularly excellent as fuel for a bar crawl or the morning after a night you went hard. One clocks in at the bargain price of $1.75. Sauerkraut and onions are both free, and should always be added. [Foursquare]

2. Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen

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24 E 7th St
New York, NY 10003

Ukrainian grandmothers from the church across the street run the kitchen at this tiny canteen, stirring large pots of beet borscht and folding potato-stuffed varenyky by hand. The dumplings, topped with fried onions, are the standout item. They're sold individually for 50 cents; order four for a perfect snack. Keep in mind, Streecha is only open Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Foursquare]

3. New Flushing Bakery

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40-21 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 539-6363

New Flushing Bakery turns out fresh trays of exceptional Portuguese egg custard tarts ($1.25) throughout the day. The creamy vanilla infused center is barely set and held together by a very flakey crust. If the tarts are cold, go for a walk and return when the next batch has been dispatched from the oven. [Devra Ferst]

4. El Tenampa Deli Grocery

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(718) 369-7508

Tucked behind a bodega, El Tenempa Deli Grocery’s little restaurant serves some of the city’s better tacos in two sizes: Big ($3, and over our limit), and small for just $1.75. The small ones are stuffed with your choice of goat meat, al pastor pork, chicken, beef tongue, chorizo, or several other carnivorous options. For a bigger snack, that meat can be stretched across the two warm corn tortillas and topped with salsas, guacamole, radishes, and other items from the spot’s free for all toppings bar. [Foursquare]

5. Chayhana Salom

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1652 Sheepshead Bay Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 332-2200
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Almost nothing at Uzbek restaurant Chayhana Salom tops $10, but for a snack, stick to their traditional savory pastries called samsa ($2), which can be filled with lamb, chicken, or pumpkin. Think of it as a baked empanada that went and hung out in Uzbekistan for a while. Pick up a bag on the way to the beach for optimal snacking. [Foursquare]

6. Taste of Northern China 北方美食

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88 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002
(646) 229-8107

Hidden away under the Manhattan Bridge, the Taste of Northern China’s skewer masters roast meats and peppers on sticks, but the prime snacktime order is the shop’s hefty pancake-shaped bread ($1.25) that’s decked out in a coat of cumin, salt, and chili and served on two sticks to help keep it upright. Watch out, it’s served piping hot and that chili packs a punch. Bonus, it's Ligaya Mishan approved. [Google Street View]

7. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle

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144 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002
(212) 566-6933

The juicy pork-filled dumplings at Lam Zhou are are fresher than those at better known dumpling dens Vanessa's and Prosperity. $2 buys a package or plate of 7. Make sure to mix soy with Chinese vinegar and chile paste on the counters for the full effect. [Yelp]

8. Court Pastry Shop

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298 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 875-4820

During the summer months, old school sweet spot Court Pastry Shop opens a window to the street and scoops (well, with a spatula) giant mounds of Italian ice in flavors like pistachio, cherry, and lemon. Even in a $2 small cup, mixing two flavors is allowed. Just eat it fast, the thin paper cups don't do much to keep the dessert from melting. [Foursquare]

9. Yi Zhang Fishball

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9 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 961-6151

Right around the corner from Lam Zhou, Yi Zhang Fishball slings a diner's choice of wheat or rice noodles into a plastic to-go container and douses them with peanut sauce and a sprinkling of chives for $2. The containers are hefty and filling. Just make sure you mix that sauce through to give all of the noodles a good coat. [Yelp]

10. A & A Bake & Doubles

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481 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(718) 230-0753

Trinidad natives Noel and Geeta Brown bring in ingredients weekly from their mother country to keep the doubles ($1.50) at their tiny shop as close to what you’d get on the island as possible. Fried bread is stuffed with curried chickpeas along with tamarind, apple, and mango sauces, and of course hot pepper. Beware of the lines on Saturdays — they’re long but generally move pretty quickly. [Foursquare]

11. Punjabi Grocery & Deli

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114 E 1st St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 533-3356

Legendary cabbie hangout Punjabi Deli offers entire filling meals for $5.50, but for a snack attack, go for the fresh classic samosas ($1.25) filled with spiced potatoes and peas. If they aren’t hot, just ask the staff to heat it up when ordering. Note, those potatoes pack some chili that often hits after the first bite. [Yelp]

12. Vanessa's Dumpling House

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118 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 625-8008
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Most diners at Vanessa’s go straight for the dumplings, ignoring the other options like the filling sesame pancake. They shouldn’t. A triangle piece sliced like a pizza is cut down the center to make a sandwich that can be stuffed with eggs, meat, or vegetables. For $2, pick the veggie filling, which comes with slightly pickled carrots, cilantro, and cucumber, lending the pancake sandwich a little crunch. [Foursquare]

13. Cafe Zaiya

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1073 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10018
(212) 764-6785
Visit Website

Hidden on the 2nd floor of Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya, Cafe Zaiya is routinely filled with ex-pats craving home. At snacktime, pick-up a kombu (seaweed and salted plum, $1.75) or salted salmon ($1.95) onigiri. A heap of rice pressed neatly into a triangle and wrapped in crispy nori paper. Note, there's an extra layer of plastic between the rice and nori, to keep the snack fresh; pull the red tab to remove it. [Devra Ferst]

14. Tropical House Baking Company

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267 Schenectady Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Robert Sietsema is a fan of the fresh Jamaican patties here, stuffed with a choice of beef, chicken, or vegetables for $1.70. "All are quite spicy," warns the cheap eats master. Keep in mind, there are only two chairs in the shop, so snag them if they are open, or plan to take your patty on the road. [Yelp]

15. Panya Bakery

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8 Stuyvesant St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-1930

There are lots of pastries to choose from at Japanese cafe Pan Ya, but only a few that fall under the $2 mark. Stick with the koshian bun, stuffed sweet red been paste or a cream stuffed bun, wrapped in a brioche-like dough. Each clocks in at $1.95. [Sonia Chopra]

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1. Gray's Papaya

2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

The lightly blistered franks straight from the griddle at Gray's Papaya are good at any time of the day, but particularly excellent as fuel for a bar crawl or the morning after a night you went hard. One clocks in at the bargain price of $1.75. Sauerkraut and onions are both free, and should always be added. [Foursquare]

2090 Broadway
New York, NY 10023

2. Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen

24 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

Ukrainian grandmothers from the church across the street run the kitchen at this tiny canteen, stirring large pots of beet borscht and folding potato-stuffed varenyky by hand. The dumplings, topped with fried onions, are the standout item. They're sold individually for 50 cents; order four for a perfect snack. Keep in mind, Streecha is only open Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Foursquare]

24 E 7th St
New York, NY 10003

3. New Flushing Bakery

40-21 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11354

New Flushing Bakery turns out fresh trays of exceptional Portuguese egg custard tarts ($1.25) throughout the day. The creamy vanilla infused center is barely set and held together by a very flakey crust. If the tarts are cold, go for a walk and return when the next batch has been dispatched from the oven. [Devra Ferst]

40-21 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11354

4. El Tenampa Deli Grocery

706 4th Ave, New York 11232

Tucked behind a bodega, El Tenempa Deli Grocery’s little restaurant serves some of the city’s better tacos in two sizes: Big ($3, and over our limit), and small for just $1.75. The small ones are stuffed with your choice of goat meat, al pastor pork, chicken, beef tongue, chorizo, or several other carnivorous options. For a bigger snack, that meat can be stretched across the two warm corn tortillas and topped with salsas, guacamole, radishes, and other items from the spot’s free for all toppings bar. [Foursquare]

5. Chayhana Salom

1652 Sheepshead Bay Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Almost nothing at Uzbek restaurant Chayhana Salom tops $10, but for a snack, stick to their traditional savory pastries called samsa ($2), which can be filled with lamb, chicken, or pumpkin. Think of it as a baked empanada that went and hung out in Uzbekistan for a while. Pick up a bag on the way to the beach for optimal snacking. [Foursquare]

1652 Sheepshead Bay Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11235

6. Taste of Northern China 北方美食

88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

Hidden away under the Manhattan Bridge, the Taste of Northern China’s skewer masters roast meats and peppers on sticks, but the prime snacktime order is the shop’s hefty pancake-shaped bread ($1.25) that’s decked out in a coat of cumin, salt, and chili and served on two sticks to help keep it upright. Watch out, it’s served piping hot and that chili packs a punch. Bonus, it's Ligaya Mishan approved. [Google Street View]

88 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002

7. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle

144 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

The juicy pork-filled dumplings at Lam Zhou are are fresher than those at better known dumpling dens Vanessa's and Prosperity. $2 buys a package or plate of 7. Make sure to mix soy with Chinese vinegar and chile paste on the counters for the full effect. [Yelp]

144 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002

8. Court Pastry Shop

298 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

During the summer months, old school sweet spot Court Pastry Shop opens a window to the street and scoops (well, with a spatula) giant mounds of Italian ice in flavors like pistachio, cherry, and lemon. Even in a $2 small cup, mixing two flavors is allowed. Just eat it fast, the thin paper cups don't do much to keep the dessert from melting. [Foursquare]

298 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

9. Yi Zhang Fishball

9 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

Right around the corner from Lam Zhou, Yi Zhang Fishball slings a diner's choice of wheat or rice noodles into a plastic to-go container and douses them with peanut sauce and a sprinkling of chives for $2. The containers are hefty and filling. Just make sure you mix that sauce through to give all of the noodles a good coat. [Yelp]

9 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002

10. A & A Bake & Doubles

481 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Trinidad natives Noel and Geeta Brown bring in ingredients weekly from their mother country to keep the doubles ($1.50) at their tiny shop as close to what you’d get on the island as possible. Fried bread is stuffed with curried chickpeas along with tamarind, apple, and mango sauces, and of course hot pepper. Beware of the lines on Saturdays — they’re long but generally move pretty quickly. [Foursquare]

481 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216

11. Punjabi Grocery & Deli

114 E 1st St, New York, NY 10009

Legendary cabbie hangout Punjabi Deli offers entire filling meals for $5.50, but for a snack attack, go for the fresh classic samosas ($1.25) filled with spiced potatoes and peas. If they aren’t hot, just ask the staff to heat it up when ordering. Note, those potatoes pack some chili that often hits after the first bite. [Yelp]

114 E 1st St
New York, NY 10009

12. Vanessa's Dumpling House

118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

Most diners at Vanessa’s go straight for the dumplings, ignoring the other options like the filling sesame pancake. They shouldn’t. A triangle piece sliced like a pizza is cut down the center to make a sandwich that can be stuffed with eggs, meat, or vegetables. For $2, pick the veggie filling, which comes with slightly pickled carrots, cilantro, and cucumber, lending the pancake sandwich a little crunch. [Foursquare]

118 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002

13. Cafe Zaiya

1073 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018

Hidden on the 2nd floor of Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya, Cafe Zaiya is routinely filled with ex-pats craving home. At snacktime, pick-up a kombu (seaweed and salted plum, $1.75) or salted salmon ($1.95) onigiri. A heap of rice pressed neatly into a triangle and wrapped in crispy nori paper. Note, there's an extra layer of plastic between the rice and nori, to keep the snack fresh; pull the red tab to remove it. [Devra Ferst]

1073 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10018

14. Tropical House Baking Company

267 Schenectady Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213

Robert Sietsema is a fan of the fresh Jamaican patties here, stuffed with a choice of beef, chicken, or vegetables for $1.70. "All are quite spicy," warns the cheap eats master. Keep in mind, there are only two chairs in the shop, so snag them if they are open, or plan to take your patty on the road. [Yelp]

267 Schenectady Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11213

15. Panya Bakery

8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003

There are lots of pastries to choose from at Japanese cafe Pan Ya, but only a few that fall under the $2 mark. Stick with the koshian bun, stuffed sweet red been paste or a cream stuffed bun, wrapped in a brioche-like dough. Each clocks in at $1.95. [Sonia Chopra]

8 Stuyvesant St
New York, NY 10003

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