After holiday shopping, holiday travel, holiday nights out and holiday everything-else, your wallet might be feeling a little light these days. But that’s no reason to downgrade your eating standards. New York is full of places to eat well even on the cheap. Here are five of our favorites.
If you know of greater culinary joy that can be had for under a dollar than the steam buns at Golden Steamer on Mott Street, I’d like to hear it. The squishy, soft buns come in flavors sweet and savory — pumpkin is a winner, as are pork and the sweet salted egg yolk — and none top a dollar. 143A Mott St., 212-226-1886
David’s Brisket House
A classic Jewish delicatessen, run by Muslims from Yemen–it’s an only-in-New-York story, and that’s what you’ll find at David’s Brisket House in Bed-Stuy and Bay Ridge. Their fabulous smoked meats are a fraction of the price of esteemed delis such as Katz’s, but of the same caliber–just try to get a $7 pastrami sandwich in Manhattan. Multiple locations, facebook.com/davidsbriskethouse
Granted, these dumplings will set you back a whopping $1.25 for 5 — as opposed to $1 for five, like most of their neighbors. But you’ll want to save your quarters for these succulent, porky, crisped up fried potstickers. 54 Mulberry St., 212-349-0070
Xi’an Famous Foods
Stewed cumin lamb. In a bun. For $3.25. There are a number of reasons to love Xi’an Famous Foods, with multiple locations in Queens and Manhattan, but their Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger is definitely up there. The Liang Pi “cold skin” noodles are also a fabulous value at $4.50. Multiple locations, xianfoods.com
Ham-stuffed sandwich in Midtown, for $7? Chicken soup for $4? This no-frills Cuban diner does an admirable job with everything it serves, including the Media Noche on potato bread, a particular value at $4. 136 W. 46th St., 212-354-5013, margonnyc.com
For more bargains, see our $5 Lunch series.