The 101 Best (New) Cheap Eats, Ranked

So much has changed in the world of Cheap Eats since the last time we ranked our 101 favorite inexpensive and moderately priced restaurants in New York that we decided it was high time to do it again. Way back in 2006, Shake Shack was only two years old and its potent influence on the cheeseburger-scape had yet to be fully felt. Smoked-meat scholars still considered the term “New York City barbecue” a hilarious oxymoron. And what we had dubbed earlier that year in these pages the New Brooklyn Cuisine was a mere hint of what it’s become today. Since then, a lot of trends have come and (largely) gone. Remember the Korean-fried-chicken craze? What about the cheese­steak boom? We’ve watched the food trucks rev up, then shift into neutral. We saw favorites close (arrivederci, ’ino) or be priced out of Cheap Eats contention. On the plus side, New York has seen the ascension of the mighty Lanzhou-hand-pulled-noodle movement. And on the pizza front, we watched as dollar-slice joints proliferated, even as the Great Neapolitan Pizza Invasion prompted a reinvigoration of our own classic hometown slice. Over the past eight years, New York has seen unprecedented growth in Isan Thai food and regional Chinese. New ramen players keep stirring the pot, and the fetishization of tacos and Mexican cuisine in general continues unabated. Bar food keeps getting better (and so do drinks). And let us not underestimate how the Smorgasburgization and food-courtification of New York have altered our daily diets. To reflect this great seismic shift, we’ve only included restaurants that have opened since we published the last 101. The mix is as eclectic as you might expect, and even more delicious. If you simply want to see the full list, you’ll find it below. To find out why each spot is deserving of its place, read through our slideshow.

1. Neerob

2. Gaia Italian Café

3. El Rey Coffee Bar and Luncheonette

4. El Quinto Pino

5. Saltie

6. Black Seed Bagels

7. Little Pepper

8. Xi’an Famous Foods

9. Porchetta

10. Ivan Ramen

11. Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan

12. Taste of Persia NYC

13. Bunker

14. Pok Pok NY

15. Parm

16. Okonomi

17. Carnitas el Atoradero

18. Real Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen

19. Mumbai Xpress

20. Meat Hook Sandwich

21. Somtum Der

22. Ippudo

23. Bar Primi

24. Otto’s Tacos

25. Mimi’s Hummus

26. Han Dynasty

27. Ayada

28. Roberta’s

29. Sullivan St. Bakery

30. Spicy Village

31. Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles

32. Sao Mai

33. St. Anselm

34. Wheated

35. Wafa’s

36. Eim Khao Mun Kai

37. Saiguette

38. Lulu & Po

39. Bunna Café

40. Uma’s

41. Lali Guras Restaurant

42. Tortilleria Nixtamal

43. Breads Bakery

44. Mission Cantina

45. Papa’s Kitchen

46. Fu Run

47. Pork Slope

48. Nightingale 9

49. Café Nadery

50. The Commodore

51. Dimes

52. Glady’s Caribbean

53. Torst

54. Cocoron

55. Best Pizza

56. Francela

57. Boubouki

58. Elza Fancy Foods

59. Court Street Grocers

60. Chuke

61. The Dram Shop

62. Lumpa Shack Snackbar

63. Curry-Ya

64. Thelewala

65. Café Hong Kong

66. Pauline & Sharon’s

67. Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter

68. BrisketTown

69. Earl’s Beer & Cheese

70. Gotham West Market

71. El Tenampa

72. Oda House

73. Bark

74. Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue

75. No. 7 Sub

76. The Queens Kickshaw

77. Red Hook Lobster Pound

78. Larb Ubol

79. Eastwood

80. Terroir

81. Umami Burger

82. Wangs

83. Gueros Brooklyn

84. Henry Public

85. Pickle Shack

86. Rockaway Taco

87. Cutting Board

88. Cheeky Sandwiches

89. Patacon Piaso

90. Pies-n-Thighs

91. Il Salumaio

92. BurgerFi

93. Schnitz

94. Victory Garden

95. Taquitoria

96. Sweetgreen

97. Sticky’s Finger Joint

98. Mark

99. Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

100. Emmett’s

101. Daheen Wang Mandoo

*This article appears in the June 30, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.

Read more posts by Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite

Filed Under: cheap eats, cheap eats 2014, guides, slideshow, underground gourmet

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