Cheap Eats in Manhattan


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
We are planning a big trip out East this coming summer.  Heading to NH for a family reunion, then over to VT to show my daughter where I grew up and revisit some of my favorite places.  The pinnacle of the trip will be 2 1/2 days in Manhattan (Friday -Monday morning).  I am looking for suggestions for cheap eats there, in Manhattan, as most of what we are doing is there. We're doing Chinatown so when there we will just pop in to a place that looks good, and of course we will eat a slice or 2 of pizza.  I used to live in the Village, for a brief period of time, and then dated a girl that lived in Manhattan but those days are long, long gone so I am kind of out of touch.  Because we are on a tight budget, this time, and with our 9 year old daughter, we are skipping the high-end, trendy, well known places.  We are up for just about any cuisine, including my daughter.  Noodle shop recommendations, Indian places, Latino places, Italian, delis, etc. we are up for it.  If anyone knows of a great place to get pupusas in Manhattan I'd love to know about it.  While we will probably splurge on 1 nicer meal, for the rest I'd like to keep it under $20 per person (better yet $10-15 per person although I know that can be hard to do in Manhattan). Dives and hole-in-the-wall places are great, just as long I wouldn't be concerned about the safety of my daughter. Any and all suggestions are welcome.


Joined Jul 5, 2013
It's been a while. You might check out
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Joined Feb 8, 2009, cheap and Manhattan don't go together in the same sentence. Katz Deli would be a good NYC experience the Pastrami is great and so is the Beef brisket with a side of gravy. About two block from there is Yonah Schimmel Knish  Bakery The World's Finest Knishes  SINCE 1910; 137 East Houston Street; Between 1st & 2nd The Lower East Side. It doesn't get much more New York than eating a Knish while waling down the street. 
[h3]Ed’s Lobster Bar[/h3]

Credit:’s Lobster Bar

222 Lafayette Street
NY, NY 10012

[h3]  [/h3][h3]  [/h3][h3]  [/h3][h3]  [/h3][h3]  [/h3][h3]  [/h3][h3]Luke’s Lobster[/h3]

Luke’s Lobster Roll

9 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003

The meatball shop is another place.....
[h3]The Meatball Shop - 1136 Photos - Italian - Lower East Side ...[/h3] › Restaurants › Italian



Peter Lugers is my favorite steak house in NYC. The steak is like $95 for two it;s a Porterhouse steak. It would be enough two feed three people  with your 9yr old. Order a slice of bacon for a side. The bread basket is great and so are the hand cut fries. This is a must stop for me and my family when we land in NYC. Make reservations ASAP......
[h3]Junior's, New York City - TripAdvisor[/h3] › ... › New York City Restaurants


 Rating: 4.5 - ‎4,483 reviews

Junior'sNew York City: See 4483 unbiased reviews of Junior's, rated 4.5 of 5 on TripAdvisor and ranked #201 of 12572 restaurants in New York City. ... “Great deli!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW. Delicious! We tried the Reuben's, the  ...

Juniors is great to try some NY cheesecake and if you can't get to Katz's it would be good for a Reuben.....

If your looking for a Musical that you 9yr old could go to Wicket would be liked by the whole family.....My 12 yr old loved it......

Make sure you stop and a Bagel shop and try some bagels for breakfast.

2nd ave deli would be another deli to try if.

A good Italian  sand/sub shop is ......

(credit: Defonte’s)

261 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 614-1500

I had two of their sandwiches and they are good.....

Let me know what part of town your staying in....... 

Pete, the problem I found with taking my wife and 10 yr old at the time to NYC was they were happy to eat at places they felt comfortable. In other words food they knew. I think there is a big difference between old New York and new New York. The old time foods of NYC that the tourists go to and the new foods that the locals know. I think a new mix of both would be great. .........have fun in NYC............A good food day for me would be a Hard roll and fried egg sandwich for breakfast, an Italian sausage and pepper Grinder, a dirty water street dog for my little one for lunch and a steak at Peter Lugers. 
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Joined May 27, 2013
Ivan Ramen

25 Clinton street

The guy who had the ramen shop in japan. Excellent.

Num Pang Sandwich Shop

28 E 12th St Between 5th and University Place. 

Decent lunch time fare. Nothing special but good Bánh mì.


Cafe Habana

17 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

I dunno. Momofuku isn't that expensive but might be too sophisticated for a 9 year old, but then again. Pete is dad. . . : )

David Chang has a number of restaurants/ noodle bars. They are all excellent. Expect a wait. 

Little Korea  - 32nd St between 5th and 6th ave has numerous dumpling shops that are decent. Pho as well. 

Arturo's Brick Oven Pizza - been there forever. 

106 W Houston St

And then there's Shake Shack. Burgers. Numerous locations. Kids love it. 

Like Koukouvagia, I'll think of more later. . . 



Joined Jul 5, 2013
There's so much to do and see in NYC, it's too bad you can't stay longer. I would plan eateries around/close to the sights you want to see. I agree w avoiding trendy restaurants. I like Frommers because you will discover off-the-beaten path places that even the locals don't know about -- mom and pop joints that serve tons of great homemade dishes at a great price. He's always spot on.

It's wise to plan ahead. For a special dinner, make your reservation now, or as soon as you check in. The city, restaurants change.

It's expensive eating out 3x a day. Sometimes I take along a plugin apparatus to boil water in a mug for cocoa/coffee/oatmeal packets, or stop at a local market to make salad/sandwiches. Or, stop at Macy's gourmet shop and keep some cheese/crackers etc., and some adult libations in the room.

Have a a great trip, and bring some good walking a shoes.

Don't forget to see the Rockettes (RADIO CITY), Central Park, museums, Planetarium' Rockefeller Center -- too many to name. Give my regards to Broadway... :)

Edit to add - re transportation - check out
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