The entire menu at Stage Restaurant (128 Second Avenue, 212-473-8614), $1.85-$9.95
The entire menu at this East Village diner comes in under $10 — and the breakfast sandwich is the best in the city.
When you’re looking for a cheap meal, it’s rewarding to stumble into some of the city’s old diners, where rent-controlled leases (we assume) keep prices low. One such spot is Stage Restaurant, a sliver of space outfitted with just a counter that deals in classic greasy spoon fare and traditional dishes from Ukraine and its surroundings. Not a single item on the menu costs more than $10, and portions are generous — and this is one of a few places in the city where you can sample white borscht or tripe stew paired to a ham and cheese sandwich. We’ve outed ourselves as fans of Stage’s egg and cheese on a roll ($3.75) in the past — for our money, it’s the best in the city. But you can venture into Eastern European fare, too, sampling goulash ($9.25), kielbasa ($7.95), and stuffed cabbage ($8.60), each of which comes with two sides (think sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, noodles, or beets). Don’t miss the specials, which run the gamut from spare rib to Swedish meatballs. Oh, and you can get a dozen pierogis for $9.95.
Hungry for more? See the Cheap Eat of the Day archives.
Restaurants open at a dizzying pace in New York City, and keeping up with what’s hot takes some serious cash. If you — like us — need the occasional reprieve from a food-forward spending spree, you’re likely always on the lookout for cheap eats of high quality. In this space each day, we’ll highlight a tasty dish that rings in for less than $10, spotlighting places worth checking out when you’d like to get full while giving your wallet a break. Know of a great affordable bite? Email us.