How to Dine in NYC Without Spending a Lot

Posted by Dodi On Friday, October 17, 2003 0 comments
A vacation in the Big Apple can be costly. Hotels and restaurants are comparatively more expensive, and even theater and museum tickets cost a tidy sum. So what is a New York tourist on a shoestring budget to do? For one, you can read this NYC restaurant guide and enjoy some of the culinary best the city has to offer without having to spend too much money. With a little creativity, you can make your NY vacation one of the most memorable ever, at least gastronomically speaking.

Definitely, prices of anything at Times Square are ridiculously high so better get out of there when cash is a primary concern for you. Take a short trip to the Upper East Side to a little joint called JG Melon and have one of the best burgers in the nation there. You may not find this diner in most NYC restaurant guides. For less than $15, you'll get their famous burger, fries, and bloody Mary combo. Quite a steal compared to the $18 - $20 burger and it's not even Kobe beef you can get from a Times Square food chain.

If you prefer Italian, make a detour to the East Village and look for the restaurant called Supper. Surprisingly, this dig is frequented even by big name celebrities like Martin Short, Andrea Martin, and Victor Garber. It features daily risotto specials and a great selection of wines. Supper is a small, quaint family-style diner that may find you sharing a table with other guests. This is part of the appeal, though; just don't go there during the weekend as you may be made to wait a long time before getting seated.

Brunch is something common to the busy New York locals. So why not have one while you are there? Aside from having a true NY experience, you get to save a meal as well which is good for your pocket. Brunch also means a festival of food and set menus in NY that usually offers a combo of breakfast menus with biscuits and coffee - for $10 to $18. Try one at Clinton Street Bakery for the best in country style breakfast, or Prune for a more unique fare, or Paprika where you can get green eggs (scrambled eggs served on top of grilled polenta and pesto with chopped tomatoes) for only$10.

Pizza is another delicacy NYC is famous for. There are many affordable pizza joints you can choose from such as Bravo and Two Boots. Bravo near Union square offers some of the best White Pie slices you will ever taste as well as the best Margaritas in NY. On the other hand, Two Boots in East Village features "The Byrd", a buffalo chicken and blue cheese pizza combo that can put most other pizzas from more expensive joints to shame.

Remember that when in New York, you can find anything including affordable food. Be adventurous. You do not always need a NYC restaurant guide to find some of the best yet affordable diners in the city. Sometimes you can find these family-run shops and small cafes in mom & pop stores or in drives.

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