Last week, we brought you our top picks for cheap eats in the East Village. Across town, there are also affordable and delicious options when you’re watching your wallet, but not willing to lose out on flavor and quality. Visit these West Village restaurants for the best cheap eats in the neighborhood. By Sarah Shaker.
Lucky 777 Chili
Forget about your past notions of summer-only food and visit Lucky 777 for a bowl of their gourmet pork, turkey or vegetarian chili served with cornbread or enjoy it inside a freshly baked hollowed-out loaf from Amy’s Bread. Or heck – ignore tradition and get creative by ordering chili quesadillas, chili nachos grande, chili dogs or even chili covered sweet potato bakes. Every item on their menu is under $10 and includes unlimited toppings of your choice.
New Yorkers are sticklers for a solid slice. Joe’s delivers one of the best with a thin crust, bold sauce and gooey cheese. Joe’s is always busy, especially late night, so the pizza turns over quickly, guarantying a fresh, piping hot slice. There’s usually nowhere to sit during busy hours, but that’s just fine as this is the perfect pie to fold and eat standing up, like a real Manhattanite.
Get a taste of Chinatown in the West Village at Fay Da Bakery. This chain offers hot, fresh Steam Roast Pork Buns for $1.25 each. These little buns are as sweet and savory as your favorite from dim sum last weekend. With prices so low, you can afford to splurge on a few different buns for a filling lunch or snack on the go.
Sticky's Finger Joint
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New York’s first and only counter dedicated to chicken strips – antibiotic free, hormone free, cruelty free, free range chicken strips. You’ll feel like a kid at a diner, but there’s more than just ketchup and honey mustard from your elementary school days of dipping. Choose from 18 different seasonally rotating sauces. Get adventurous with one of their signature fingers, like the wasabi-crusted, ginger-paste-rubbed, seaweed-flaked order. Each basket is just under $10, so splurge on one or more of their crazy dipping sauces. And yes, there’s even a Cray Sauce – Tomatillo, jalapeño, pineapple salsa sauce.
How could a cheap eats list in New York City be complete without including a hot dog shop? Gray’s Papaya is the NYC standard (other than your favorite cart outside Central Park) for a cheap, delicious dog. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can save some hard cash and enjoy a Recession Special (2 franks and a 14 oz drink) for under 5 bucks. And for a jolt of sugar check out their Papaya Drink, sold by the cup or gallon.
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Serving fresh, tasty tacos for under $4, Dos Toros brings a bite of the Bay Area’s Mexican food to the West Village and Union Square. The carnitas (pork) are seared and slow cooked, for a juicy and flavorful bite, wrapped in a corn tortilla along with toppings of your choice. Try some of Dos Toros’ tangy homemade sauces to personalize your Carnitas Taco.
Here at CBSNewYork.com, we’ve long debated the question of NYC’s best falafel. While we’re still not sure if Mamoun’s is the ultimate pick, their $2.50 falafel satisfies both hungry New Yorkers and tourists alike. Sure, they’ve got some serious competition from street carts and many Middle Eastern restaurants, but the value and quick service make Mamoun’s a must-try.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.