New York City is notoriously expensive, from the city’s apartments to its shopping and restaurants. If you’re not careful, you can reach deep into your wallet for a so-so dinner. But do your research, and you’ll discover plenty of cheap, must-try snacks and meals. Here are six of NYC’s best eats – all for $1 or less. By Adrienne Smith
151 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
It’s easy to pass right by Mamani. The tiny East Village pizzeria – you’ll find just a few barstools inside – sits quietly on Avenue A across from Tompkins Square Park. Slices of cheese pizza are $1 here, and consistently served piping hot. If you’re not up for traveling, Mamani also delivers its $8 pies.
46 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002
Prosperity Dumpling lies in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, where it serves up five chive and pork dumplings for a buck. The dumplings are $1 for fried, and $2 for steamed, but the fried are the way to go anyway. One side is pan fried to a deep, golden crisp, while the other side stays soft. Make sure to top your order off with the soy sauce and Sriracha from the large squeeze bottles. If you feel like “splurging,” try Prosperity’s sesame pancakes for $1.25.
Sure, Papaya Dog is known for its dirt-cheap hot dogs that run for $1.50 each. But Papaya Dog’s French Fries, at $0.99, are the dark horse of this late-night spot’s menu. While you can add chili or cheese for an additional price, the fries are worth trying on their own. They’re always just greasy and salty enough, perfect for a post-bar snack. Plus, they come at a price that can’t be beat.
123 Burger Shot Beer
738 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019
This aptly named Hell’s Kitchen bar serves $1 burgers, $2 shots and $3 beers every day of the week. There are a few caveats – you must order a minimum of 3 sliders, for instance – but 123 Burger Shot Beer is still one of the cheapest bars in town. Sliders are Buy 5 Get 1 Free on Sundays, bringing the cost per slider to below $1. The mini burgers stick to the classic: a Black Angus beef patty covered in melted cheese and onions.
More: 10 Creative NYC Burgers
Little Pakistan Deli Corp
200 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
No matter the time of day, Little Pakistan Deli Corp is open and serving its samosas for $1 each. These samosas – triangular-shaped fried pastry dough stuffed with meat or vegetables – are filled with lightly mashed potatoes and peas, and come with a tart yogurt dipping sauce. Head right to the food counter of this East Village deli for its flaky vegetable samosas.
The Peking Duck Sandwich Stall is an unassuming window stall out in Flushing, Queens. The neighborhood, New York’s second largest Chinatown, is worth a trip in itself. Browse the various Asian markets, bubble tea cafes and herbal medicine shops. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the Peking Duck Sandwich Stall for its duck buns. Crispy slabs of duck are tucked into soft buns, along with crisp cucumber, green onions and hoisin sauce. Buy a few at $1 each for a satisfying meal.
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Adrienne Smith manages Lifestyle & Entertainment content for CBS Local. Follow her on Twitter.