How To Be Broke and Eat Well in NYC

Don't feel down just because you have $5 in your checking—just follow our guide to the best cheap eats in NYC.


I'm a writer. For a digital publication. Lets just say I'm not spending 100's of dollars eating Beluga caviar and driving around in a Bentley. But over my past three years of living in NYC—for parts of which I have been very, very broke—I have never not eaten well. Eating well, no matter how little money I find in my ever-dwindling bank account, is of grave importance to me. Because good food and memorable dining experiences are a large part of what makes me happy.

I'm not the first to eat spectacular meals on little to no income. Look at Hemingway and the other broke-ass artists of early 1900s Paris. They made pennies, and saved those pennies and used those pennies to purchase briny oysters and glasses of absinthe and whiskey. They became regulars at bars and curried favor with the bar staff, they saved money by cooking simple meals at home, and they truly savored that perfect piece of Pont l'Eveque when it fell into their laps. “We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other,” says Hemingway in A Moveable Feast. If Hem could do it, so can you. Just follow my lead.

I present to you, broke and hungry urban warrior, a guide to being nearly penniless but still eating well in NYC.

Click to start the list
  • Carey Grant

    I was scared that this list would expose all the good spots to all of those non-New Yorkers who are too scared to leave Williamsburg and Manhattan. Thank god it didn’t.


  • Georgie Porgie

    You forgot about all the Domincan Spots in the Heights!!!! A platter of Mangu, Salami, fried cheese, Onions for 5 bucks! You’ll need to sleep it off in Fort Tyron after that

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