The Best Cheap Eats in New York City

New York City has a storied legacy for being home to some of the world's best restaurants. The city has amazing eateries, authentic mom-and-pop spots, trendy places for people-watching, and everything in between. Luckily, taking advantage of the best dining spots in NYC does not mean dropping a fortune—there are plenty of dining establishments with options as affordable as they are delicious. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. You’ll find everything from neighborhood gems to rooftop bars, buzzy tapas spots to airy brasseries—all vetted by the types of tastemakers who know the best spots around the city. Impress your friends and family and score a table; we wish we could join you.

The OpenTable Team
Restaurants:Freds Madison at Barneys New York, Bar Boulud, Westlight
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:American, French
Neighborhoods:Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Williamsburg
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

Freds Madison at Barneys New York

$$$$·American·
Upper East Side
1,840 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Hot Spot
  • Great for Brunch

When it comes to shopping in New York City, Barneys considers itself to be one of the most high-end and expensive department stores. However, luckily, the restaurant in the Madison Avenue location of ...

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Bar Boulud

$$$$·French·
Upper West Side
7,770 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List
  • Neighborhood Gem

Daniel Boulud is one of the most famous restauranteurs in NYC. For the best cheap eats that he has to offer, then go to Bar Boulud, the most budget version of Daniel Boulud's food. Boulud is famous fo...

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Westlight

$$$$·American·
Williamsburg
943 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion

For a trendy, inspiring atmosphere that also serves some cheap eats, head to Westlight. Westlight is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, arguably the trendiest neighborhood in the entire world. Browse the menu...

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Minetta Tavern

$$$$·French·
West Village
2,600 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Hot Spot

Looking for historic, classic New York fare that is affordable? Minetta Tavern might just be the place. When compared to some of the more recognizable names in New York restaurants, Minetta Tavern com...

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Le Coucou

$$$$·French·
SoHo
2,969 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies

French food is the star at Le Coucou, the beloved French eatery where food comes artfully prepared and the service is reliably helpful and friendly. Le Coucou has a couple of options for cheap eats. O...

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Balthazar

$$$$·French·
SoHo
7,963 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Great for Lunch
  • Fit for Foodies

Balthazar is one of the most famous contemporary dining institutions in NYC, made famous by shows like Sex and the City. Today, Balthazar gets packed starting at lunchtime because they are so legendar...

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La Pecora Bianca - Midtown

$$$$·Italian·
Midtown East
1,051 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies

Midtown is notoriously overpriced when it comes to dining since it is an area home to a lot of business diners eating on expense accounts and tourists who are only in town to see Broadway shows. Howev...

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14 people mentioned the Tagliatelle
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The Polo Bar

$$$$·American·
Midtown East
700 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic

People will feel like they are at a country club when they eat at The Polo Bar, but diners will not have to pay the membership dues. The Polo Bar is surprisingly reasonable for a place that adorns its...

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12 people mentioned the Popovers
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Upland

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Gramercy / Flatiron
2,583 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Special Occasion

Upland is another newbie on the dining scene that will allow diners to revel in the trendy crowd of the fashion capital while eating. No one would say that Upland is one of the best cheap New York res...

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72 people mentioned the Duck Wings
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The Lobster Club

$$$$·Japanese·
Midtown East
306 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Special Occasion

One might think that a restaurant called “The Lobster Club” is as expensive as they come. Not so with the Lobster Club in NYC, which manages to make fine dining seem like cheap eats thanks to affordab...

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8 people mentioned the Bento Box
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Sant Ambroeus SoHo

$$$$·Italian·
SoHo
464 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Fit for Foodies

Saint Ambroeus is somewhat synonymous with luxury. There are outposts of the restaurant in places like the Upper East Side, Palm Beach, and the Hamptons. However, check out the Saint Ambroeus that act...

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8 people mentioned the Veal Milanese
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Lafayette

$$$$·French·
NoHo
2,898 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups

Lafayette is one of NYC's trendiest restaurants. The atmosphere in the eatery is unforgettable: the banquettes are comfortable, the ceiling is soaring, and the baked goods displayed entice people from...

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51 people mentioned the Croissants
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Casa Enrique

$$$$·Mexican·
Long Island City
915 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies

Casa Enrique guests can enjoy incredible food for cheap, especially when eating lunch there. Items like guacamole, lengua (cow tongue) tacos, and chicken enchiladas are some of the standout dishes tha...

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19 people mentioned the Carne Asada
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The Loyal

$$$$·American·
West Village
585 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion

Diners feel loyal to the food at the Loyal once they try their happy hour. While this trendy downtown eatery can get pricey, the happy hour allows customers to sample their outstanding dishes at a pri...

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12 people mentioned the Rigatoni
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Sea Fire Grill

$$$$·Seafood·
Midtown East
2,731 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries

Seafood can be expensive. Why not sample some of the best at the most affordable prices possible for fine dining? The Seafire Grill finds ways to make tasting their exquisite menu of delights affordab...

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39 people mentioned the Manhattan
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Temple Court on 10

$$$$·American·
Financial District
1,257 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies

Legendary restaurateur Tom Colicchio is the mastermind behind Temple Court. Don't expect fast food prices here. But, in terms of a Tom Colicchio restaurant, this place serves up some cheap eats. One o...

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30 people mentioned the Baked Alaska
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Amaranth

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Upper East Side
697 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

One of the places for best cheap eats that feels cozy and romantic is Amaranth. Amaranth is on the Upper East Side (East 62nd), and offers reasonably priced and artfully-prepared Italian food. Choose ...

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8 people mentioned the Focaccia
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ABC Cocina

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Union Square
2,531 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Good for Groups

When looking at ABC Cocina from the outside, people see a carpet store. This makes sense since the eater is inside ABC Carpet and Home. ABC Cocina, a Latin restaurant by legendary Jean-Georges Vongeri...

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63 people mentioned the Fritters
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