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Cheap Eats: The 7 Best Hidden Gems in New York City

Ahoy New York Food Tours Hay Hay Roasted Char Sui Tasting

Looking for cheap eat spots or hidden gems for lunch or dinner in New York City?

We are always on the lookout for good cheap eats in New York City and there are so many that are off the beaten path, so they are easily overlooked. So, with that in mind and with everything from ramen to pizza, here are our cheap eats picks for the 7 best hidden gems in New York City. You can easily get a meal for $20 or less in any of these places!

Hide-Chan Ramen – 248 E 52nd St, 2nd Fl

Hide Chan Ramen Meat Lovers Ramen

There are a lot of great ramen shops in NYC but our favorite is Hide-Chan Ramen located on the second floor of a quiet midtown street, so it is easy to miss. Their ramen is cooked so it is still a bit chewy, their broth is always full of flavor and their char sui is always top notch.

Shanghai Asian Cuisine – 14A Elizabeth St

Shanghai Asian Cuisine Shanghai Soup Dumplings 2

Joe’s Shanghai is one of the most popular restaurants in Chinatown but our favorite spot for Shanghai soup dumplings and Shanghai lo mein is less than a block away. Like Joe’s Shanghai, their dumplings are bursting with flavor and their lo mein is super tasty. Best of all, there is usually no wait, and you can easily get a hearty meal here for less than $20.

Little Poland – 200 2nd Ave

Little Poland Polish PlatterP.C.: yelp, Kate S.

The East Village has so many amazing dining options but the one that we love has been in the neighborhood for seemingly forever, Little Poland. It is a no-frills Polish diner that has diner staples like chicken parmigiana and cheeseburgers along with European comfort foods like pork schnitzel and kielbasa. Plus, their pierogies are out of this world!

S’MAC East Village – 197 1st Ave

SMAC Alpine Mac n Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of our favorite comfort foods and S’MAC aka Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese is our go to spot for this yummy dish. You can customize your mac and cheese in countless ways with so many different cheeses, meats and toppings to choose from. It can be a good takeout option but, in our opinion, it is best eaten straight out of their oven so the cheese is still perfectly ooey and gooey.

Hay Hay Roasted – 81 Mott St

Hay Hay Roasted Char Sui Over RiceP.C.: yelp, Christopher S.

Hay Hay Roasted specializes in Chinese barbecue meats and other Chinese specialties. Their juicy scallion chicken, roast duck, or char sui over rice just hits the spot for either lunch or dinner. You can taste this and a lot more on our food tours of Chinatown and Little Italy! It is a stress-free way to visit these two foodie neighborhoods.

Spring Cafe – 153d Centre St

Spring Cafe Mushroom Bao

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, we have a good cheap eats spot for you too, Spring Cafe. They have “burgers”, fresh salads and quinoa bowls but the absolute gem on their menu is the black pepper mushroom bao. It is super delicious and it is one of favorite lunches on the go.

Grand Street Pizza – 384 Grand St

Grand Street Pizza Pepperoni PieP.C.: Grand Street Pizza

Finally, all cheap eats lists of New York City need to have pizza represented. It is just that iconic. One pizzeria that we have been going to time and time again is Grand Street Pizza. They have the classic thin crust New York style pizza and it just a home run for us every time.