Let’s start with the obvious: it’s very easy to spend money in New York City. With world-renowned restaurants, designer boutiques, and overpriced souvenir shops greeting you at seemingly every corner, a hard-earned paycheck can disappear in under a New York minute.
On the flip side, if you look a little closer, you can find some unbelievable bargains that would have your College self brimming with penny-pinching pride.
So reach into those couch cushions, empty your coat pockets, and scrounge up enough change to enjoy one of these only-in-New York meals for under $5.
2 Bros. Pizza (Multiple locations)
In an age where the term “dollar store” seems to have lost all meaning, you may have given up trying to find something of value for a buck. Enter 2 Bros. Pizza. The deal here is straightforward: one slice of plain pizza for one dollar. No add-ons, asterisks, or hidden taxes; just a slice of cheesey goodness in exchange for a paltry portrait of George Washington. If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can grab two slices and a can of soda for just $2.75! While the pizza won’t top any “Best in New York” lists, it’s hard to argue against its quality given the cost. Two Bros. has more than a half a dozen shops in Manhattan but I can personally recommend the East Village (32 St. Marks Place) and Midtown West (557 8th Avenue) locations.
Crocodile Lounge (325 East 14th Street)
How do you beat $1 pizza? How about FREE pizza?! That’s the deal at the Crocodile Lounge, where the purchase of every drink earns you a ticket that can be redeemed for a free personal pie. The deal works out to about $5 or $6 for a personal pizza and a cold pint. Not too shabby! Just a heads up: It’s courteous and customary to tip the pizza men a little something as well. On a busy night they’re working just as hard as the bartenders, so keep that in mind and be generous with your savings!
Gray’s Papaya (402 Sixth Avenue or 2090 Broadway)
When you’re talking bang for your buck in New York City, it’s impossible not to mention Gray’s Papaya. Unlike the pizza joints mentioned in this post, you’re truly getting the best at Gray’s, which serves up the city’s finest hot dog, hands down. The store’s Recession Special offers two dogs and a drink for about $4.50. An added bonus? The establishment’s two Manhattan locations (402 Sixth Avenue and 2090 Broadway) are both open 24-hours a day, year-round.
123 Burger Shot Beer (738 10th Avenue)
Let’s cut to the chase: $1 burgers, $2 shots, $3 beers. That’s all you need to know about this 10th Avenue bar. While the “burgers” could be better described as sliders, they’re enough get the job done if you’re strapped for cash, especially after a few of those $2 shots. We’re not going to argue taste here and you shouldn’t expect Michelin Star quality. But where else in the city could Honest Abe get you two shots and a burger?
Halal Food Carts (Virtually everywhere)
One of the best things about New York City is being exposed to a wide array of cultural delicacies. And while it’s great to sample high-end French and Italian restaurants, doing so outside of Restaurant Week can get expensive very quickly. To save a bit of money, indulge yourself in some cultural learning while scarfing down some good old fashion street food at the same time! There are dozens of Halal food carts around the city serving up Islamic dishes that are cheap and delicious! Most plates or wraps cost about $5 and come with a free drink!
These affordable eats pair perfectly with cheap flights to New York City! Remember to use Promo Code SM17 when booking to take up to $17 off of service fees instantly!