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8 Enjoyable NYC Meals for $8

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NYC can be a bitch especially when you’re strapped for cash waiting for your paycheck and starving it. When I lived in Greenpoint I knew everywhere I could get a sandwich for cheap. Avoiding fast food can be tough as you’re counting quaters and convinced the only option is taquitos from 7-11 or the pick 2 at McDonald’s. (That’s not a dig. There’s a time and a place for those….it’s usually 3am on a Saturday.)

Grubhub/Seamless/Devilery.Com links provided in the restaurant’s name.

1. Don Pepe Tortas & Jugos (39-08 5th Ave, Brooklyn – Sunset Park) 

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Just off of Sunset Park sits the Mexican hot spot Don Pepe (Not to be confused with Boerum Hill’s Don Pepe). Not only do they have tasty tortas but literally a million smoothies…yea they’re a smoothie bar too. Basically, you can eat terribly and healthy at the same time! It’s like when I run 4 miles and then go to 5 Guys.

Meal Options: Chicken Tostada $4 + Mexican Soda $2 = $8 or Any Smoothie $6 + Any Empanada $2.50 = $8.50

2. Luu’s Baguette (134 E 26th St, Manhattan – Kips Bay)

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Luu’s is a sweet lil Vietnamese restaurant located in Kips Bay that specializes in pho & banh mi sandwiches. Most of the dishes are under $8 and their sandwiches are absolutely worth it. And if you’ve never had pho this is a great place to try it out! And if it doesn’t tickle your fancy you didn’t break the bank being adventurous with your chow.

Meal Options: Banh Mi Nem Nuong $7.50 + Soda = $8.50 or Pho Ga Soup = $7.95

3. Northside Bakery (190 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn – Greenpoint)

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One of my old Greenpoint/Williamsburg haunts, this Polish place is absolutely delightful and it costs next to nothing. I used to wonder in there just for their pierogies, which are world class! I encourage you to try anything pickle if you’re feeling brave about Polish food. They really found a way to master this vegetable in so many ways!

Meal Options: 4 pierogies = $7 or 2 pierogies $3.50 + Pickle Soup $3 = $6.50

4. Landin Mac & Cheese (701 Melrose Ave, Bronx – Morrisania)

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I refuse to believe that there is a person out there who doesn’t enjoy mac and cheese. Next to ramen it might be the patron food for broke ass folks everywhere and Landin is a shining beacon in the Bronx. With no meal more than $9 it certainly jumps to the top of the list when you’re down to the change in your pocket and weighing your options.

Meals Options: Cheeseburger $4 + Mini Mac $2.25 + Soda $1 = $7.25 or BBQ Mac & Cheese $6.50 + Bottled Water $1 = $7.50

5. Casablanca Grill (1132 1st Avenue, Manhattan – Upper East Side)

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If Mediterranean flair is more your speed try Casablanca’s. This cafe nails falafel and shawarma and all while being reasonably priced. Most of the combo dishes are around $5.50 and include the main dish and two veggies.

Meal Options: Chicken Kebab Combo $6.95 + Mint Tea $2 = $8.95 or Lentil Soup $4.95 + Baklava $2.95 = $7.90

6. Casa Adela (66 Avenue C #45, Manhattan – East Village)

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This Puerto Rican restaurant opened in 1973 and has been roasting chickens to perfection ever since. And being an old school business, it’s cash only…but lucky you won’t need much of that. For real!  A whole rotisserie chicken with beans is only $8.50. Personally, I love a good Cubano and their’s is only $6.50.

Meal Options: Roast Pork Sandwich $6 + Soda $2 = $8 or 1/2 chicken with plantains/french fries $8

7. Grotto Pizzeria (69 New St, Manhattan – Financial District)

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This family-owned pizzeria located downtown has a big menu and it’s not just a million slices of pizza either. (Seriously, there’s 25) And there are just as many Italian staples too, all around $6-$8. Being half Italian I’d say finding quality food from the homeland (in NYC) is pretty easy but finding it for a really great price is just as important. You can totally Ben Wyatt out on their delicious calzones also.

Meal Options: Calzone $6.60 + Grotto’s Signature Soda $1.93 = $8.53 or Slice of Pepperoni Pizza $3.85 Soda $1.38 + Cannoli $2.48 = $7.71

8. Crave Astoria (28-55 36th St, Astoria)

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I’ve been here a handful of times with my Astoria pals. While Queens has amazing Greek food (like most of Astoria) Crave honestly has some of the best burgers in the 5 boroughs. And they’re anywhere from $7 to $10 bucks. Lots of salads and super healthy foods (that’s tasty too) at half the cost, win-win.

Meal Options: Lamb Gyro Pita (w/chips & tzatziki) $4.95 + Soda $1.75 = $6.70 or Avgolemono Soup $4.35 + Bifteki Greek Meatballs $3.50 = $7.85

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Sheilah Villari - Dollar Bin Darling

Sheilah Villari - Dollar Bin Darling

Southern hospitality mixed with Northern sensibility. This native Charlestonian is one quirky hobby away from becoming a Wes Anderson character. Fluent in Jack Russell and Sportsball. She can be found perusing your local comic/coffee shops. She is the Managing Editor of BAS-NYC.