Feature

Best Meals Under $40 in 10 Hot NYC Neighborhoods

By Kelly Dobkin  |  October 28, 2014

Even in a city as expensive as NYC, dining on the cheap doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality. New to our annual NYC Top Restaurants survey is the Best Under $40 category, which points out high-quality dinners available for less than $40 a head (with the price including main course, one drink and tip). In some cases, these are sit-down spots with a table service and a full bar; in some pricier parts of town, our picks are strictly standing-room-only. In all cases, the food is top-notch. Check out the top pick in 10 trendy NYC neighborhoods below.

  of  
  • Credit: Clay Williams

    Hell's Kitchen: Gotham West Market

    From cheap tacos at Choza ($7.35), to affordable bowls of shio ramen ($13) at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, this bustling indoor market is awash in both value and flavor. Snag plates of albondigas ($11) or pan con tomate ($6) at Seamus Mullen's El Colmado or grab a turkey sandwich to-go at Court Street Grocers. Gotham West Market is one of our Top Newcomers this year; read more about it here.

    For the full list in this area, click here.

  • Chelsea: Num Pang

    Think you can't afford a gourmet meal on a dime in this trendy nabe? Think again. The Chelsea Market outpost of the popular Cambodian-inspired sandwich mini-chain uses high-quality ingredients to compose sammies like the duroc pulled pork, the brisket with ginger aïoli and the signature roasted cauliflower. Sandwiches range from $7.50-$11.75.

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.

  • Midtown: Pure Thai Cookhouse

    Authentic Thai food doesn't have to come at a price. Choose from an array of noodle, rice and stir-fry dishes like pad Thai and pad see ew for only $8 at lunch and $10 at dinner. Appetizers like steamed dumplings and green papaya salad will only run you between $5-$7.50.

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.

  • Crown Heights/Prospect Heights: Chuko Ramen

    This Brooklyn-based ramen-ya is also our winner for Top Ramen of 2015. Choose from soy, veggie, kimchi or miso ramen for only $13, bites like roasted Brussels for only $8 and snacks like pork buns for just $5. 

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.

  • Greenpoint: Paulie Gee's

    Also a Top Pizza winner for 2015, the pies churned out by owner Paulie Giannone are second to none. He's especially adept at mixing sweet and savory toppings, as tasted on his signature Hellboy pie, which features sopressatta and Mike's Hot Honey. Pizzas will run you between $10-$18 depending on your choice of toppings, and do expect to wait—there are no reservations. Watch our new video on Paulie Gee's here.

  • East Village: Taverna Kyclades

    The East Village outpost of this classic Queens Greek go-to is stacked with favorites like spinach pie, grilled octopus and Greek salad. But the best part is most dishes are under $20 with many under $10, including pork kebab and Greek-style burgers for lunch.

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.

  • Credit: SRO

    Williamsburg: Fette Sau

    ​This Billyburg 'cue hall sells its smoked meats by weight, so you know you're going to get a lot of food for a decent price. Enjoy a half-lb. of Berkshire pork cheeks for $9, boneless ribs for $9.50 or brisket for just $8 per half-lb. 

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.

  • West Village: Taim

    This pricey nabe doesn't offer many bargains with those high rents to pay. But this sliver of a falafel joint, known for its authentic Israeli-inspired falafel ($6.25) from chef Einat Admony, is both affordable and delicious. Note: there isn't much room to sit, so this is mostly a to-go spot.

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.

  • Upper West Side: Luke's Lobster

    The UWS outpost of the Maine-inspired lobster hub is our best-value eatery in this uptown hood. Their signature lobster roll will only set you back $15 or $17 for the combo with chips, pickle and a drink. Or try three half rolls (lobster, clam and shrimp) for $20 with soda, chips and pickle.

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.

  • Greenwich Village: Ippudo

    ​If you can stomach the two-hour waits, which are de rigeuer at this Village ramen mecca, your stomach will thank you. The Akamaru Modern Ramen ($14) and an order of pork buns ($9) is lunch or dinner perfection. 

    For the full list of affordable eats in this area, click here.