Pho from Saigon Shack (114 MacDougal Street, 212-228-0588), $7-$10
This pho won’t change your life, but it will fill you up for cheap — and sate a Vietnamese noodle soup craving in a pinch.
New York may not want for noodle soup — ramen joints cover the landscape rather thickly these days — but there’s a notable lack of good pho. The version at Saigon Shack isn’t going to change your life, but it will sate a craving, and, possibly more importantly in these winter months, it’ll warm you up and get you full. Extremely full. We’d pick a beef-based version (though we’re fairly certain every meat-based pho with the possible exception of the chicken is made with the same broth), and our preference leans toward the fat-ribboned brisket. The soup itself is rich with lip-clinging collagen and deepened by notes of garlic, the massive nest of noodles just visible below the murky surface; enliven your bowl with basil, bean sprouts, and jalapeño. Though it verges on rude to doctor your broth with chili sauce in more authentic Vietnamese joints, it’s a happily accepted practice here — and a squirt of Sriracha goes a long way.
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.