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Spending money might be NYC’s favorite hobby, but for every pricey meal, there are a dozen other excellent options that will barely register in your bank account. Here are 20 of the best cheap eats in NYC you can always count on.

RELATED: The 16 Best Healthy Restaurants in NYC Right Now

1. Arepas from the Arepa Lady ($10)

If you’re not into oozy, melty cheese and crispy cornmeal deliciousness, then we can’t help you. Now offering takeout and outdoor dining.

Two locations in Jackson Heights, Queens and Downtown Brooklyn; 917-745-1111 or instagram.com/arepalady

2. Bánh Mì at Ba Xuyên ($6)

Yes, there are some great bánh mì in Manhattan, but this Sunset Park gem is in a league of its own. We’re partial to both the classic pork-and-pâté combo and the meatball option—and at just $6, you’ll have plenty left over for an avocado shake. Now open for takeout only.

4222 Eighth Ave. (at 43rd St.), Brooklyn; 718-633-6601

taim falafel NY
Taim/Facebook

3. Harissa Falafel at Taïm ($9)

No matter how much time passes, we keep coming back to this downtown (and mobile) staple for our falafel fix. The perfect alchemy of spices, crispiness and unlimited toppings never fails to deliver. Now open for contactless delivery, pickup & curbside pickup.

Multiple locations in Manhattan; taimfalafel.com

4. Spicy and Tingly Beef Hand-Ripped Noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods ($10)

Few things in life give us as much joy as a big, beautiful bowl of noodles. And Xi’an’s addictively chewy version is totally worth the chile oil splatters we inevitably incur while slurping like a maniac. Now offering pickup.

Multiple locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens; xianfoods.com

5. Cheese Slice from Joe’s Pizza ($3)

At this point, Joe’s is like an older, wiser friend who always knows just what we need. And what we always need is a classic thin-crust slice. Available for takeout.

Multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn; joespizzanyc.com

6. Jerk Chicken from Fish N’ Ting ($9)

This Bronx Jamaican spot is known for its seafood and rum punch but also does a mean jerk chicken that comes with a choice of sides (salad, rice and peas, steamed cabbage or white rice). Just don’t forget to budget for a couple of glasses of the punch. Now offering takeout and delivery.

4063 Boston Rd.; 718-881-6116

7. Snow Cream at Snowdays ($7)

Happiness is light-as-a-cloud shaved snow, Oreos, chocolate sauce and Fruity Pebbles. Offering delivery and takeout.

Two locations in East Village and Bay Ridge; snowdaysnyc.com

8. Bacon, Egg and Cheese at Best Bagel & Coffee ($7)

You didn’t think we’d leave our go-to source of nourishment off this list, did you? This uptown staple is not only one of the city’s best bagel spots, its prices clock in a little lower than some of its fellow heavyweights. You can place online orders via GrubHub.

225 W. 35th St. (at Seventh Ave.); 212-564-4409

9. Empanadas from La Masa ($10)

With over 26 different flavors to choose from, there’s something for everyone at this Morris Park spot (including vegan and dessert options). Oh, and four empanadas will only set you back $10 so feel free to sample a selection. The chicken lime and beef are popular but we hear the mac and cheese with bacon and the roasted eggplant are also excellent. Offering delivery and takeout.

1000 Morris Park Ave, Bronx; 718-822-8400 or lamasa.us

cheap eats in nyc Kopitiam1

10. Nasi Lemak from Kopitiam ($8)

Not familiar with Malaysian food? You’ll soon be hooked on this Southeast Asian cuisine. If there’s one thing to try from this Lower East Side spot, it’s the Nasi Lemak, an all-day breakfast dish that happens to be the country’s national dish. It’s a bowl of coconut rice topped with fried anchovies, peanuts, hard-boiled egg, and spicy sambal. The sweet and salty flavors work together like magic. Offering delivery, takeout and outdoor seating.

151 E Broadway; 646-609-3785 or kopitiamnyc.com

cheap eats nyc ital health food

11. Vegan Plate from H.I.M ITAL Health Food ($9)

Tucked inside a health food store, ITAL Health Food is all about vegan cooking with heart, soul and Caribbean flair. Fill a plate with flavorful dishes that change on the regular, and from the looks of the Yelp reviews, are always delicious. (The above photo includes: portobello mushrooms, soy chicken, kale, stewed white beans and black rice.) Doing pickup and delivery.

4374B White Plains Rd., Bronx; 718-798-0018

12. Tacos from Los Tacos No.1 ($4)

With four locations in Manhattan (Times Square, Grand Central, Chelsea Market, and Tribeca), you’re never too far from excellent, authentic, and cheap tacos. It’s hard to pick a favorite but we’re fans of the carne asada (grilled steak), pollo asado (grilled chicken), and adobada (marinated pork) tacos. They’re all less than $5 and they’re far from skimpy, so two will probably fill you up as quick lunch or hearty afternoon snack.

Multiple locations; lostacos1.com

13. Wontons with spicy chili oil from White Bear ($7)

Flushing, Queens boasts some of the best Chinese food in all of New York City. And if you need some motivation to cross the East River, keep in mind that $10 stretches pretty far among the eateries that line Roosevelt Ave. One must-visit spot is White Bear, an unassuming hole-in-the-wall where you should order the no. 6, a paper plate full of plump and delicate wontons filled with pork and vegetables and tossed in seriously spicy chili oil. Now doing takeout and delivery.

135-02 Roosevelt Ave. Queens; 718-961-2322

14. Ham Banh Mi from Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli ($8)

In Nolita, a neighborhood full of trendy, Parisian-inspired cafés and upscale restaurants, you might not expect to stumble upon a nondescript Vietnamese deli serving up some of the city’s best Banh Mi. But don’t underestimate Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli, a tiny counter on the corner of Mott and Broome Street now offering takeout. There are a dozen banh mi on the menu, and the still-warm French baguettes are filled with everything from grilled pork, salami, and ham (the house special) to curry chicken. Whichever banh mi speaks to you, take comfort in knowing it will cost less than $8.50.

369 Broome St.; banhmi.nyc

15. Matzo Ball Soup from Veselka ($9)

It’s not easy to find a bowl of matzo ball soup in NYC as good as your bubbe’s version, but Veselka’s comes very close. A large bowl of chicken noodle soup with a fluffy matzo ball served with two slices of buttery challah bread will set you back less than $10. Best of all, Veselka is open until late, so when you’re craving a bowl of pure comfort at 10 p.m., you’re in luck. Now offering curbside pickup and delivery.

144 2nd Ave.; veselka.com

16. Baby Cauliflower from Miznon ($10)

Sometime in the past decade, cauliflower went from being a bland cruciferous vegetable to one of the trendiest ingredients around. And Miznon, a Mediterranean street food eatery that started in Tel Aviv before expanding to New York’s Chelsea Market, is partly to thank for that. On the menu for $9.50 you’ll find the “world famous baby cauliflower,” which is essentially a roasted whole head of cauliflower drizzled in olive oil that is crispy on the outside but buttery and tender on the inside. Even if you’re a vegetable hater, this decadent creation will probably change your mind. Now available for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery.

435 W 15th St.; miznonnyc.com

17. Rice Roll at Joe's Steam Rice Roll ($6)

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine sinking your teeth into a soft pocket of glutinous rice paper stuffed with shrimp or pork with bright pops of corn, punchy scallions and crunchy beansprouts, all topped with hoisin, peanut sauce and a spicy chili oil. Sounds pretty good, right? Happily you can now tuck into these flavor-packed pillows of joy in Flushing or St. Marks Place for just $6.

265 Canal St. or 36-21 Roosevelt Ave # A1, Flushing; instagram.com/steamriceroll

18. Roast Pork Over Rice from Great NY Noodletown ($4)

Walking into the hole in the wall on the Bowery can be an overwhelming experience if it’s your first time, so let us make it easy for you. Order the heaping plate of crispy, juicy, sweet-and-tangy pork over rice (imagine the best boneless spare ribs you’ve ever had). If you don’t love pork, you’re still in luck because 95 percent of the lengthy menu here costs less than $10. The wonton noodle soup with or without duck and the seriously generous portions of lo mein never disappoint. Currently offering takeout only.

28 Bowery (at Bayard St.); 212-349-0923 or greatnynoodletown.com

19. 295 Breakfast Sandwich at Southside Coffee ($9)

We're insanely jealous of anyone who lives within walking distance of this unassuming spot, whose breakfast sandwiches haunt our dreams. It's impossible to pick a favorite, but we have to award bonus points for the genius combo of avocado, eggs, Swiss cheese and pickled peppers on multi grain toast.

654 6th Ave., Brooklyn; 347-599-2884 or southsidecoffeenyc.com

20. Roll-N-Roaster Beef at Roll-N-Roaster ($6)

A south Brooklyn institution for nearly 40 years, the roast-beef sandwiches here are out-of-this-world good. Layers of thinly sliced meat are beautifully folded and pressed between warm, toasted rolls. Do yourself a favor and follow the restaurant’s recommendation: “You can have cheez on anything you pleez.”

2901 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn; 718-769-6000 or rollnroaster.com

RELATED: The 16 Best Healthy Restaurants in NYC Right Now

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