The Best Cheap Eats in New York City

The OpenTable Team

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.

Restaurants:Freds Madison at Barneys New York, Bar Boulud, Westlight
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:American, French
Neighborhoods:Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Williamsburg

Freds Madison at Barneys New York

$$$$·American·
Upper East Side
1,846 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Sunday Lunch
  • 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 MadisonRead more
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Bar Boulud

$$$$·French·
Upper West Side
7,991 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Fit for Foodies
  • 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 foodRead more
95% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Westlight

$$$$·American·
Williamsburg
942 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
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 woRead more
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Minetta Tavern

$$$$·French·
West Village
2,634 reviews
  • Cozy
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
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 restaurantsRead more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Le Coucou

$$$$·French·
SoHo
2,925 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 optioRead more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Balthazar

$$$$·French·
SoHo
7,978 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Brunch
  • Authentic
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 Read more
92% recommended
Fit for Foodies in New York / Tri-State Area
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La Pecora Bianca - Midtown

$$$$·Italian·
Midtown East
1,050 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
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 BRead more
96% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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The Polo Bar

$$$$·American·
Midtown East
699 reviews
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 pRead more
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Upland

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Gramercy / Flatiron
2,581 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 besRead more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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The Lobster Club

$$$$·Japanese·
Midtown East
307 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
  • 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 eatRead more
82% recommended
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Sant Ambroeus SoHo

$$$$·Italian·
SoHo
434 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Great for Brunch
  • Authentic
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 SaiRead more
93% recommended
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Lafayette

$$$$·French·
NoHo
2,809 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
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 displayeRead more
89% recommended
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Casa Enrique

$$$$·Mexican·
Long Island City
913 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
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 theRead more
87% recommended
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The Loyal

$$$$·American·
West Village
540 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch
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 outstanRead more
88% recommended

Sea Fire Grill

$$$$·Seafood·
Midtown East
2,501 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 Read more
90% recommended
Seafood in New York / Tri-State Area
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Temple Court

$$$$·American·
Financial District
1,135 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
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 soRead more
95% recommended
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Amaranth

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Upper East Side
574 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
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 IRead more
95% recommended

ABC Cocina

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Union Square
2,543 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 Read more
91% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Covina - Permanently Closed

$$$$·American·
Midtown East
678 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
For cheap eats at one of the city's most exciting new restaurants, head to Covina for their happy hour. This American-Mediterranean fusion restaurant has a happy hour daily for eatRead more
95% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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