The East Village is one of the most diverse and eclectic neighborhoods in all of New York. Located in downtown New York, the East Village is home to NYU, countless bars, and most importantly, some of the best restaurants and eateries in the entire city! No where else will you be able to walk by restaurants that offer cuisine from all over the world all within a stone’s throw away. It truly is a foodie’s paradise and if you’re lucky to stop by be prepared to bring your appetite. However, eating out in this area can get quite expensive. Good thing there are plenty of little hidden gems scattered throughout the neighborhood that are cheap and taste amazing. Here are the top 10 best cheap eats in the East Village.
1) Xe May – Vietnamese Sandwiches
Xe May is one of my favorite go to shops whenever I am in the mood for a sandwich. If you’ve never had a Vietnamese banh mi, I would definitely try to come here and experience it for yourself. You can get a classic banh mi with pork pate, head cheese, pork roll, etc. If pork pate and head cheese isn’t your thing, you’ll definitely love the lemongrass chicken, beefsteak, or meatball sandwiches. All sandwiches come with the typical banh mi garnishes, such as carrots, cucumbers, daikons, and cilantro in a light vinaigrette. They also have an assortment of Vietnamese tacos, salads, and homemade drinks.
Average cost – $6.50 per sandwich/salad
2) Caracas – Venezuelan Arepas
If you are wondering what an arepa is, then stop by and let Caracas do the talking. These are Venezuelan corn flour rounds that are light and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Their arepas are always handmade and they sure won’t disappoint. You can also get all sorts of yummy goodness stuffed into your arepa, such as spicy chorizo with cheese and jalapenos, shredded beef with cheddar, pork shoulder with tomatoes and spicy mango sauce, and the list goes on. If you’re hungry and can wait out the line, definitely stop by here.
Average cost $6 – $8 per arepa
3) Crif Dogs – NYC Hot Dogs
Crif Dogs is truly a special place. No where else can you get a unique hot dog, such as The Spicy Redneck, which consists of a deep fried hot dog wrapped in bacon, coleslaw, chili, and jalapenos AND get a drink by some of the best mixologists in all of New York City. For those that don’t know, this hole in the wall hot dog joint also has a cleverly disguised speakeasy attached to the other side of a telephone booth that is located inside of the restaurant. To gain access, make sure to call ahead for a reservation at Please Don’t Tell.
Average cost $3 – $5 per hot dog
4) Japadog – Japanese Hot Dogs
Japadog is the Japanese answer to Crif Dogs. They are unique hot dogs with an Asian twist. One of my favorites is their hot dog topped with Japanese mayo, teriyaki sauce, and fried soba noodles. This is a must try in the East Village and is also a big time favorite among celebrities.
Average cost $2 – $5 per hot dog
5) Pommes Frites – French Fries
French fries are an American classic, but this joint isn’t your typical ketchup and fries place. Pommes Frites makes super thick cut and golden french fries with an assortment of toppings and more dipping sauces than you can imagine. I highly recommend the Poutine, which is french fries topped with big pieces of white cheese curds and gravy. The best meal you’ll ever eat at 2 AM is just around the corner!
Average cost $6 – $8 per order of fries
6) Mark – Sliders
Mark is one of my all time favorite places to go for amazing sliders, chili cheese fries, and ice cold beer. It is as simple as it comes and it is glorious. I usually go with some loaded grilled onions on my sliders. Check it out if you’re ever in the area.
Average cost $2 – $5 per order
7) Mamoun’s – Falafel/Shawarmas
This place has got to be one of the BEST falafel and shawarma joints in the city. No one comes close to the perfectly seasoned and ridiculously crispy falafels that Mamoun’s churns out everyday. You got to try it to believe it. Their lamb shawarmas are also to die for!
Average cost $3 – $6 per order
8) 2 Bros Pizza – Pizza
This list would not be complete without mentioning dollar slice at least once. No where else in the city can you get ridiculously huge slices of pizza for only a buck. The slices at 2 Bros aren’t the tastiest or prettiest slices of pizza you’ll ever eat, but they get the job done and is the best bang for your buck! They also make an assortment of other pizzas with tons of toppings, so they definitely don’t disappoint.
Average cost $1 – $3 per slice
9) Atlas Cafe – Vegan
For all you vegetarian and vegan lovers out there, this is a must try. Atlas Cafe is a tiny place, but they pack a big punch with amazing vegan wraps and sandwiches. They also have homemade organic juices that you can order to top off each meal. Absolutely delicious! Who knew that I would love eating vegan food so much?
Average cost $6 – $9 per sandwich/wrap
10) Pukk – Vegetarian Thai
For our last place on the list, I will again go with a vegetarian option, but this time around it will be Thai inspired. Pukk is an incredibly tasty vegetarian option that serves authentic Thai food at extremely low prices. All of the appetizers, soups, and salads don’t run you more than $4 or $5, which is pretty hard to find in the city. Also, their $6.50 lunch special is pretty hard to beat, which comes with a house made soup, choice of appetizer, and a choice of entree. Best bang for your buck for all the vegetarians out there!
Average cost $4 – $7