Tacos and tostadas from Taqueria Lower East Side (198 Orchard Street, 212-677-3910), $3-$5.50
Want to have a beer with your meal and still spend less than 10 bucks? Head to this Lower East Side Mexican joint.
When we’re low on cash but jonesing for a meal AND a beer, we, almost without fail, take ourselves to Taqueria Lower East Side. This kitschy Angeleno Mexican spot tucked into a sliver of space on Orchard Street deals in tacos, tortas, and tostados piled with succulent, juicy carnitas; piquant chorizo; and verdant nopales dusted in salty queso fresco. Two $3 tacos are enough for a meal — especially when you consider that chips and salsa are free to every table — but the best way to maximize your dollar here is to go for a tostada. For $5.50, you’ll get several ounces of the meat of your choice plus lettuce, cheese, and a drizzle of sour cream atop a freshly fried crispy corn tortilla shell. Order a Negra Modelo with a lime, and you’ll still come in under budget. And if you can spare the cash, both the guacamole and the margarita are worth the splurge.