Not quite as restaurant-dense as the Village, not as street cart-dense as Midtown, Chelsea lies somewhere in the middle — but there are plenty of affordable eats if you know where to look. Here are five great lunch options for $5 or less.
Specializing in flaky, savory Australian pies, Pie Face has a few options for under $4 (pastry-encased spinach-ricotta rolls, chicken-bacon rolls, and beef and pork sausage rolls), and a far larger menu for just $5.88 — tandoori vegetable pies, Thai chicken curry pies, steak pie with red wine gravy. 169 W. 23rd St., 917-386-1300, piefacenyc.com
New York Pizza Suprema
Up near the north end of Chelsea? Your lunch options are fewer, but your pizza possibilities are far better: New York Pizza Suprema, with a solid classic slice and an even better “upside down” square slice. 413 8th Ave., 212-594-8939, nypizzasuprema.com
Three deep-fried flautas for $4, two tacos for $5 — for a fast, filling, always-affordable lunch, this taco truck right on West 14th had you covered. Corner of W. 14th and 8th Avenue
La Taza de Oro
There’s nowhere like a Puerto Rican lunch counter for a solid, no-nonsense meal. Get any of La Taza’s various soups, a hearty plate of rice and beans, or an avocado salad for well under $5; or go in with a friend and split a massive $8 plate of steak and onions, pernil, or ropa vieja, all including rice, beans, and salad or plantains. 96 8th Ave., 212-243-9946
It’s not in Brooklyn — it’s on Eighth Avenue, with other locations in Queens — but name aside, this cheery shop makes truly respectable bagels, in not-really-that-small “minis” and truly sizable “big” versions. Get a big guy with lox spread for under $5, PB&J on a bagel for just over $3; an egg sandwich with cheese runs under $5, and a two-egg sandwich with bacon just cracks the $5 mark. Or opt for one of their soups, furnished by Hale and Hearty — a small ($4.10) or medium ($5.10) both include bagel chips or, more substantial yet, a mini-bagel. 286 8th Ave, 212-924-2824, BKBagel.com