The Lower East Side has been epicenter of cheap eats in New York City for decades now, and it’s good to see the tradition continuing. From fried chicken sandwiches to Southern California tacos, here are highlights of the neighborhood. By Siobhan Wallace.
35 Orchard Street
Cheeky Sandwiches has the distinction of being one of the few New Orleans-inspired joints that actually does the food justice. The fried chicken biscuit sandwiches topped with crunchy cabbage slaw and oyster po’boys are quickly topping foodie lists, even if they’re slightly pricey for the portions. It’s more about quality over quantity here. One thing’s definite, Cheeky’s will leave you wishing for the Big Easy.
Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop
129 Rivington Street
Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop is now a bona fide neighborhood institution, which has stayed true to its sandwich roots since opening 12 years ago. The sandwiches, all under $10, have basically stayed the same with popular ones being the Grilled Cheese, BLT, and Spicy Rizzak–though a few new “classics” came onto the menu recently. Tiny’s proves that you can do good, simple, comfort food, and the crowds will keep showing up.
29 Avenue B
Artisanal pretzels are not what one usually thinks of as cheap eats, but Sigmund’s Pretzelshop is turning out pretzels far above your average street fare. The pretzels come in a variety of flavors like jalapeno cheddar and garlic parsley for $3 a knot, or you can get a sandwich made between pretzel halves for $7. Those still in the mood for street fare should try the hot dog on a pretzel bun. You’ll never look at dirty water dogs again.
101 Rivington Street
When most people think of Spitzer’s Corner, they know it as one of the better beer pubs on the Lower East Side. What they might not realize is Spitzer’s serves up some great cheap meal options to accompany their enviable beer list. The braised pork belly sandwich for $11, Kobe burger for $16, or delicious charred Brussels Sprouts are not to be missed.
Taqueria Lower East Side
198 Orchard Street
Taqueria LES has managed to stay a little town secret since its spring opening, but it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s onto the great southern California tacos being served up here. The tacos are all $3 or under and made fresh to order, plus you get free homemade chips and salsa. Be sure to admire the 80s themed decor while stuffing yourself silly for under $10.
Siobhan Wallace is the co-founder of BlondieandBrownie.com.