eat well not (too) expensive?

Meals in new york: where to eat well not (too) expensive?


This is a question that comes up very often when planning a first trip to New York: what budget should you plan for meals? It’s a concern that I also had myself before going to NYC for the very first time. When you stay at a hotel and you have to eat every day, noon and evening , you tell yourself that it will quickly cost a fortune!

Well don’t worry, this article is here to prove you wrong . It’s actually quite easy to eat in New York for not too much money . For what ? Because New York has quite an impressive array of food outlets, ranging from small, tiny kiosks to large, popular , rather inexpensive restaurants . So today we are going to review all the types of establishments that allow you to eat in New York, without breaking the bank!

These catering brands offer a wide variety of hot cooked dishes, salads and other raw vegetables in self-service buffets , all at very attractive prices. Everyone chooses a tray size and then fills it as they see fit. It is therefore a very good option because everyone can choose the meal that makes them want the most! And above all, you can eat healthy if you wish. You then pay for your tray by weight.

So be careful with the  quantities , it is easy to have your eyes bigger than your stomach and to use disproportionate portions. By taking a reasonable quantity, we get by at a very affordable price. Only small drawback: not all delis allow you to eat on site. Then you have to find a nice little park or at least a bench to enjoy your meal.

This is a concept not very widespread in our country but which is very common on the other side of the Atlantic. Food courts are large food courts that feature several distinct signs as well as a large common area of ​​tables for eating. The advantage is that here, everyone can choose the sign where they want to eat. Not everyone has to eat at the same place. We order where we want and everyone can then sit down together to enjoy the meal.

Fast food in New York

When you walk in the streets of New York, you quickly realize how huge the offer of fast food is. Where in our country fast food simply rhymes with hamburger, here the term has a completely different definition . Of course, there are many hamburger fast food outlets, but above all, there are also fast food outlets for all kinds of other foods!

Asian food fast food (Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Korean…), Mexican food, Italian pizza & pasta fast food, there is literally something for everyone!

Some fast food burger brands:

The best known in New York are Shake Shake ( more info here ) and Five Guys ( more info here ). Otherwise, there are of course also the classic Mac Donald’s and Burger King as well as other typically American brands such as Wendy’s.

Food trucks in New York

Often located in business districts (especially Midtown, Midtown East and Lower Manhattan), food trucks are a very good alternative for a well-stocked and inexpensive meal . Be careful though, they are very quickly taken over by office workers during lunch breaks! So don’t be surprised by the long queues that can be seen on the sidewalks , they are finally reduced quite quickly. The other option to avoid the crowds is to opt for a meal just before or just after office lunch breaks.

There are also many hot dog stands in the streets of New York, especially in busy streets and tourist areas. These little colorful carts can be found on every street corner and allow you to taste the sacrosanct New York hot dog, a typical meal taken on the go.

Whole Foods Market: The organic brand not to be missed in New York which offers all-you-can-eat buffets of hot dishes (organic!) or sandwiches, wraps and salads to take away. Some even have a food court with a few kiosks. See more info about Whole Foods

Poke Bowl: Practical, often generously garnished and giving pride of place to plants, Poke Bowls quickly invaded the sidewalks of New York. You will easily find the most popular Poke chain in New York for the good and simple reason that it is called… Poke Bowl!


Manhattan’s Chinatown, in addition to its aesthetic appeal, is also an excellent spot for inexpensive dining . In the space of a few streets, there are dozens of addresses to be found: from the classic restaurant to the small street corner fast food restaurant to feast on the best Chinese specialties (fried noodles, ravioli, soups and other emblematic dishes like lacquered duck…).

Pizza corners (pizza to take away)

Emblematic of New York, the famous giant slices of pizza continue to attract tourists and locals alike. Even if the famous $2 slice of pizza is becoming increasingly rare in town, you can always enjoy a good slice (and even more) for a few tickets . Of course, we won’t be expecting a gourmet pizza here, but rather a good, hearty slice!

You can find these mini take-out pizza shops  all over New York. Just take a good look around and you will always find one not far away! Be careful not to confuse it with more traditional Italian restaurants , which are no longer really cheap (with rare exceptions!).


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *