cheap eats

The 101 Best (New) Cheap Eats, Ranked

Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

So much has changed in the world of Cheap Eats since the last time we ranked our 101 favorite inexpensive and moderately priced restaurants in New York that we decided it was high time to do it again. Way back in 2006, Shake Shack was only two years old and its potent influence on the cheeseburger-scape had yet to be fully felt. Smoked-meat scholars still considered the term “New York City barbecue” a hilarious oxymoron. And what we had dubbed earlier that year in these pages the New Brooklyn Cuisine was a mere hint of what it’s become today.

Since then, a lot of trends have come and (largely) gone. Remember the Korean-fried-chicken craze? What about the cheese­steak boom? We’ve watched the food trucks rev up, then shift into neutral. We saw favorites close (arrivederci, ’ino) or be priced out of Cheap Eats contention. On the plus side, New York has seen the ascension of the mighty Lanzhou-hand-pulled-noodle movement. And on the pizza front, we watched as dollar-slice joints proliferated, even as the Great Neapolitan Pizza Invasion prompted a reinvigoration of our own classic hometown slice. Over the past eight years, New York has seen unprecedented growth in Isan Thai food and regional Chinese. New ramen players keep stirring the pot, and the fetishization of tacos and Mexican cuisine in general continues unabated. Bar food keeps getting better (and so do drinks). And let us not underestimate how the Smorgasburgization and food-courtification of New York have altered our daily diets.

To reflect this great seismic shift, we’ve only included restaurants that have opened since we published the last 101. The mix is as eclectic as you might expect, and even more delicious. If you simply want to see the full list, you'll find it below. To learn why each spot is deserving of its place, read through our slideshow.

1. Neerob
2. Gaia Italian Café
3. El Rey Coffee Bar and Luncheonette
4. El Quinto Pino
5. Saltie
6. Black Seed Bagels
7. Little Pepper
8. Xi’an Famous Foods
9. Porchetta
10. Ivan Ramen
11. Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
12. Taste of Persia NYC
13. Bunker
14. Pok Pok NY
15. Parm
16. Okonomi
17. Carnitas el Atoradero
18. Real Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen
19. Mumbai Xpress
20. Meat Hook Sandwich
21. Somtum Der
22. Ippudo
23. Bar Primi
24. Otto’s Tacos
25. Mimi’s Hummus
26. Han Dynasty
27. Ayada
28. Roberta’s
29. Sullivan St. Bakery
30. Spicy Village
31. Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
32. Sao Mai
33. St. Anselm
34. Wheated
35. Wafa’s
36. Eim Khao Mun Kai
37. Saiguette
38. Lulu & Po
39. Bunna Café
40. Uma’s
41. Lali Guras Restaurant
42. Tortilleria Nixtamal
43. Breads Bakery
44. Mission Cantina
45. Papa’s Kitchen
46. Fu Run
47. Pork Slope
48. Nightingale 9
49. Café Nadery
50. The Commodore
51. Dimes
52. Glady’s Caribbean
53. Tørst
54. Cocoron
55. Best Pizza
56. Francela
57. Boubouki
58. Elza Fancy Foods
59. Court Street Grocers
60. Chuko
61. The Dram Shop
62. Lumpa Shack Snackbar
63. Curry-Ya
64. Thelewala
65. Café Hong Kong
66. Pauline & Sharon’s
67. Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter
68. BrisketTown
69. Earl’s Beer & Cheese
70. Gotham West Market
71. El Tenampa
72. Oda House
73. Bark
74. Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue
75. No. 7 Sub
76. The Queens Kickshaw
77. Red Hook Lobster Pound
78. Larb Ubol
79. Eastwood
80. Terroir
81. Umami Burger
82. Wangs
83. Güeros Brooklyn
84. Henry Public
85. Pickle Shack
86. Rockaway Taco
87. Cutting Board
88. Cheeky Sandwiches
89. Patacon Piaso
90. Pies-n-Thighs
91. Il Salumaio
92. BurgerFi
93. Schnitz
94. Victory Garden
95. Taquitoria
96. Sweetgreen
97. Sticky’s Finger Joint
98. Mark
99. Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
100. Emmett’s
101. Daheen Wang Mandoo

*This article appears in the June 30, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.

Related: Cheap Eats Q&A: Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite on Assembling the Ultimate Underground Gourmet List

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