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[The signature dish at Gyro City. Photo by Robert Sietsema]
[The signature dish at Gyro City. Photo by Robert Sietsema]

New York City's 15 Hottest Cheap Eats Restaurants

These restaurants prove that you don't need a lot of money to eat well in New York City.

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[The signature dish at Gyro City. Photo by Robert Sietsema]

Every week on Eater, Robert Sietsema shares tips on where to find the best cheap eats this city has to offer. Here's a map with some of the new restaurants he's written about over the last year, plus a few other hot establishments that the critics and bloggers of this city are buzzing about right now. You can get a full meal at any of these restaurants for under $10.

Note: Restaurants are listed based on geography. And for all of Eater NY's cheap eats coverage, look here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Northern Tiger

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Consider ordering the terrific Long Island duck dumplings at this new Brookfield Place stand from the Yunnan Kitchen team. They're not exactly a steal at $8 for six, but these funky poultry dumplings are larger than what you'll find on Eldridge Street, and one order is big enough for a meal. Northern Tiger also offers wraps for $9 and salads for $6.

[Photo: Greg Morabito]

Taste of Northern China 北方美食

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Ligaya Mishan recently discovered this tiny restaurant under the Manhattan Bridge specializing in Northern Chinese noodles and street food. The critic recommends ordering the spice-dusted griddled pancake, as well as the Qishan noodles, which come with minced pork and a spicy broth. The priciest item is $8, and most dishes are much cheaper than that.

[Photo: Foursquare]

Kottu House

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The specialty at this Lower East Side newcomer is kottu, a Sri Lankan stir-fry made with slivers of roti, vegetables, and meat or seafood. Kottu House serves many varieties of this spicy dish, along with fried snacks and add-ons like sambol, a peppery coconut paste. For a light meal or a major snack, order one of the small portions, priced from $7 to $9. [Photo: Greg Morabito]

Goa Taco

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Goa Taco serves flaky parathas wrapped around braised meats and grilled vegetables. Standouts include the lamb shoulder with tzatsiki, and the roasted pork belly with chipotle mayo. The parathas have the size and girth of a falafel sandwich from Mamoun's, and they're about as filling. If you're moderately hungry, you can easily eat one, but you might not be able to finish a second. Parathas are priced from $7 to $9. [Photo: Greg Morabito]

Patacon Pisao

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Robert Sietsema recently observed that "Venezuelan fare is beginning to feel like a next big thing." Case in point: Venezuelan sandwich and snack shop Patacon Pisao recently expanded to the Lower East Side. Like the original food truck and the Elmhurst restaurant that it spawned, this new outpost serves sandwiches made with fried plantain buns, plus arepas, empanadas, sweet corn crepes, tacuchos (Venezuelan burritos), and salads. The hefty patacon sandwiches run from $7.50 to $10.50, and the arepas cost between $6 and $9.50

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

Superiority Burger

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James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Brooks Headley recently left Del Posto to open this casual veggie burger stand in the East Village. The restaurant's signature $6 dish is a crispy patty made with a mix of farro, quinoa, brown rice, and barley. It's served on a soft bun with iceberg lettuce and pickles. This sandwich gets high marks from vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The menu also includes a vegan sloppy Joe, a tofu-stuffed "hippy wrap," and a burnt broccoli salad. You can get a burger, a salad, and dessert for under $15. [Photo: Nick Solares]

Like most things in the Momofuku Universe, people either love David Chang's crispy chicken sandwiches, or they think they're not worth the hype. The haters are in the minority, though, and the shop is still mobbed most days, with lines stretching around the corner. Instead of chicken breast, Chang is using buttermilk-brined chicken thighs, which are fried to a golden crisp. The meat is about twice the size of the Martin's potato roll that it's served with. Fuku also offers a special Korean slaw-topped off-the-menu sandwich, plus a great salad and Chang's version of Jojo potatoes.[Photo: Nick Solares]

A hand holds up a fried chicken sandwich — a giant crispy patty in a small, squished bun.

Mirage Kitchen

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This year-old Syrian restaurant serves shawarma and falafel bowls as well as sandwiches made with floppy flatbreads. After his first meal, Sietsema wrote: "Mirage Kitchen's no mirage — it's a solid place for a reasonably price lunch or a fast, modest dinner, and a boon to vegetarians." Eater's critic especially likes the chickpea fries for $3.50.

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

Hanamizuki Cafe

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This Chelsea Japanese cafe offers 10 varieties of omusubi, priced from $2.50 to $4. Options include a Hawaiian rice ball with Spam and dried tomato, another made with sweet potato, and a version topped with beef and burdock root. For lunch, you can get two balls with soup, an appetizer, and pickles for $10.50, and a similar deal is available at dinner with an extra starter for $13.50 [Facebook]

Rai Rai Ken

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One of New York's ramen pioneers recently sprouted a second location on Amsterdam Avenue, near City College. Rai Rai Ken uptown serves five varieties of ramen, plus pork buns, crispy chicken, dumplings, and fried rice dishes. Sietsema notes: "[T]he unadorned space feels more like a Chinese restaurant than a Japanese ramen parlor — which is just fine, since the prices are even lower than at its downtown counterpart." The most expensive dish on the menu is $9.

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

The Handpulled Noodle

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At this new Harlem shop, guest can order fresh noodles, either stir fried or served in broth, for $10 a bowl. The menu also includes "old Beijing Bolognese" for $9, scallion pancakes for $5, potsticker six-packs for $5, and "Chinese sliders" for $3.50 each. Sietsema's takeaway: "The Hand Pulled Noodle a tiny place in an unexpected locale with a wacky menu, but one worth experiencing." [Photo: Robert Sietsema]

The Arepa Lady

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Around this time last year, Mari Cano — AKA the Arepa Lady — opened a restaurant serving the amazing corn cakes that she's peddled from a cart on Roosevelt Avenue for two decades. The sensational arepa do choclo is only $4.

[Photo: Foursquare]

Wilma Jean

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Around this time last year, the Seersucker team moved Nightingale 9 out of this small space and reopened it as a inexpensive Southern comfort food restaurant. The chicken is the star of the show — a crispy breast is $6, and half-chicken dinners are $15 — but also consider ordering the fried bologna sandwich ($5) and the burger ($8). [Photo: Robert Sietsema]

puebla de los angeles

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The eclectic menu at this year-old bodega/taqueria includes Pueblan specialties alongside deli salads and Tex-Mex items. In his three star review, Sietsema recommends the tacos placeros, the monster cemitas, the poblano-and-cheese-stuffed burrito, and the cactus-topped plato ranchero. [Photo: Paul Crispin Quitoriano]

Gyro City

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This is Sietsema's favorite from a recent taste test of three nearly identical new gyro stands around the corner of Foster and Coney Island Avenues. Sietsema writes: "The pile of chicken, sauce, peppers, and onions was so profuse it eclipsed the pita, and the only way to eat it was to break off little swatches of bread and use it to ferry the filling to your mouth." Remarkably, the sandwich is only $3.99, and if you buy two the third is free.

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

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Northern Tiger

Consider ordering the terrific Long Island duck dumplings at this new Brookfield Place stand from the Yunnan Kitchen team. They're not exactly a steal at $8 for six, but these funky poultry dumplings are larger than what you'll find on Eldridge Street, and one order is big enough for a meal. Northern Tiger also offers wraps for $9 and salads for $6.

[Photo: Greg Morabito]

Taste of Northern China 北方美食

Ligaya Mishan recently discovered this tiny restaurant under the Manhattan Bridge specializing in Northern Chinese noodles and street food. The critic recommends ordering the spice-dusted griddled pancake, as well as the Qishan noodles, which come with minced pork and a spicy broth. The priciest item is $8, and most dishes are much cheaper than that.

[Photo: Foursquare]

Kottu House

The specialty at this Lower East Side newcomer is kottu, a Sri Lankan stir-fry made with slivers of roti, vegetables, and meat or seafood. Kottu House serves many varieties of this spicy dish, along with fried snacks and add-ons like sambol, a peppery coconut paste. For a light meal or a major snack, order one of the small portions, priced from $7 to $9. [Photo: Greg Morabito]

Goa Taco

Goa Taco serves flaky parathas wrapped around braised meats and grilled vegetables. Standouts include the lamb shoulder with tzatsiki, and the roasted pork belly with chipotle mayo. The parathas have the size and girth of a falafel sandwich from Mamoun's, and they're about as filling. If you're moderately hungry, you can easily eat one, but you might not be able to finish a second. Parathas are priced from $7 to $9. [Photo: Greg Morabito]

Patacon Pisao

Robert Sietsema recently observed that "Venezuelan fare is beginning to feel like a next big thing." Case in point: Venezuelan sandwich and snack shop Patacon Pisao recently expanded to the Lower East Side. Like the original food truck and the Elmhurst restaurant that it spawned, this new outpost serves sandwiches made with fried plantain buns, plus arepas, empanadas, sweet corn crepes, tacuchos (Venezuelan burritos), and salads. The hefty patacon sandwiches run from $7.50 to $10.50, and the arepas cost between $6 and $9.50

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

Superiority Burger

James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Brooks Headley recently left Del Posto to open this casual veggie burger stand in the East Village. The restaurant's signature $6 dish is a crispy patty made with a mix of farro, quinoa, brown rice, and barley. It's served on a soft bun with iceberg lettuce and pickles. This sandwich gets high marks from vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The menu also includes a vegan sloppy Joe, a tofu-stuffed "hippy wrap," and a burnt broccoli salad. You can get a burger, a salad, and dessert for under $15. [Photo: Nick Solares]

Fuku

A hand holds up a fried chicken sandwich — a giant crispy patty in a small, squished bun.

Like most things in the Momofuku Universe, people either love David Chang's crispy chicken sandwiches, or they think they're not worth the hype. The haters are in the minority, though, and the shop is still mobbed most days, with lines stretching around the corner. Instead of chicken breast, Chang is using buttermilk-brined chicken thighs, which are fried to a golden crisp. The meat is about twice the size of the Martin's potato roll that it's served with. Fuku also offers a special Korean slaw-topped off-the-menu sandwich, plus a great salad and Chang's version of Jojo potatoes.[Photo: Nick Solares]

A hand holds up a fried chicken sandwich — a giant crispy patty in a small, squished bun.

Mirage Kitchen

This year-old Syrian restaurant serves shawarma and falafel bowls as well as sandwiches made with floppy flatbreads. After his first meal, Sietsema wrote: "Mirage Kitchen's no mirage — it's a solid place for a reasonably price lunch or a fast, modest dinner, and a boon to vegetarians." Eater's critic especially likes the chickpea fries for $3.50.

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

Hanamizuki Cafe

This Chelsea Japanese cafe offers 10 varieties of omusubi, priced from $2.50 to $4. Options include a Hawaiian rice ball with Spam and dried tomato, another made with sweet potato, and a version topped with beef and burdock root. For lunch, you can get two balls with soup, an appetizer, and pickles for $10.50, and a similar deal is available at dinner with an extra starter for $13.50 [Facebook]

Rai Rai Ken

One of New York's ramen pioneers recently sprouted a second location on Amsterdam Avenue, near City College. Rai Rai Ken uptown serves five varieties of ramen, plus pork buns, crispy chicken, dumplings, and fried rice dishes. Sietsema notes: "[T]he unadorned space feels more like a Chinese restaurant than a Japanese ramen parlor — which is just fine, since the prices are even lower than at its downtown counterpart." The most expensive dish on the menu is $9.

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

The Handpulled Noodle

At this new Harlem shop, guest can order fresh noodles, either stir fried or served in broth, for $10 a bowl. The menu also includes "old Beijing Bolognese" for $9, scallion pancakes for $5, potsticker six-packs for $5, and "Chinese sliders" for $3.50 each. Sietsema's takeaway: "The Hand Pulled Noodle a tiny place in an unexpected locale with a wacky menu, but one worth experiencing." [Photo: Robert Sietsema]

The Arepa Lady

Around this time last year, Mari Cano — AKA the Arepa Lady — opened a restaurant serving the amazing corn cakes that she's peddled from a cart on Roosevelt Avenue for two decades. The sensational arepa do choclo is only $4.

[Photo: Foursquare]

Wilma Jean

Around this time last year, the Seersucker team moved Nightingale 9 out of this small space and reopened it as a inexpensive Southern comfort food restaurant. The chicken is the star of the show — a crispy breast is $6, and half-chicken dinners are $15 — but also consider ordering the fried bologna sandwich ($5) and the burger ($8). [Photo: Robert Sietsema]

puebla de los angeles

The eclectic menu at this year-old bodega/taqueria includes Pueblan specialties alongside deli salads and Tex-Mex items. In his three star review, Sietsema recommends the tacos placeros, the monster cemitas, the poblano-and-cheese-stuffed burrito, and the cactus-topped plato ranchero. [Photo: Paul Crispin Quitoriano]

Gyro City