Eat Cheaply: Dumplings, Hot Dogs, and Tabouli Salad


While we comb the boroughs for good meals, we’re always on the lookout for cheap eats, and we round up five of those sub-$10 meals for you here each week. This week’s line-up includes wontons and dumplings, hot dogs, and a pair of Middle Eastern restaurants in different parts of Manhattan.

Happy hour at Ilili, 236 Fifth Avenue, 212-683-2929
We favor this spot as a post-work go-to in the Flatiron neighborhood thanks to a happy hour that runs from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. During that window, dip into some hummus, have a little labne with vegetables, or snag the beef shawarma, substantial enough to be a light dinner. Nothing on the list climbs above $9, and you can pair your bites to a reasonably priced drink or two, too. –Laura Shunk

HK Wonton Garden, 79 Mulberry Street, 212-349-1495
This place is known for its namesake wontons, and those are pleasantly plump, stuffed with pork and shrimp. At around $5 with noodles and broth, they are a worthy lunch any day of the week. But HK Wonton’s sleeper cheap eats are the dumplings: fist-sized and steamed soft, you’ll only need two (maybe three) to feel full. We like the vegetarian ones, cased in thinnest noodle wraps and stuffed with diced mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, onion, and glass noodles. These also come with or without noodles, in broth or dry, or stuffed with pork and chive or shrimp and pork. –Hannah Palmer Egan

Fresh-squeezed juice at Mr. Kiwi’s, 957 Broadway, Brooklyn, 718-453-2640
In a city now awash in cold-pressed and fresh-squeezed juice, this Bushwick organic grocery store stands out not just for juicing-to-order, but also because it’s so inexpensive: A large 16-ounce cup is $4; an eight-ounce serving is $3. You’ll have to create your own combo — we like kale, pineapple, and ginger when we’re looking for liquid vegetables, and fresh squeezed orange juice when we want to elevate breakfast. –Laura Shunk

Asiadog, 66 Kenmare Street, 212-226-8861
After developing a following at the Brooklyn Flea, Asiadog opened a storefront in NoLIta in 2011, bringing with it the signature Asian-inspired burgers, sandwiches, and hot dogs. Despite featuring a wide range of ingredients including kimchi, pickled vegetables, curry, and nori, not a single item on the menu costs over $8. –John Luong

Tabouli salad from Au Za’atar, 188 Avenue A, 212-254-5660
Look, you’re going to want more than this one mezze plate from Au Za’atar, so it behooves you to gather a gaggle of friends and split a feast, which, even with wine, is going to ring in fairly inexpensively in comparison with other restaurants in the neighborhood (sub-$40 per person, we’d say). But we liked the tabouli salad so much, we’d consider stopping in for just this one item, which rings in at $8. You likely know the formula here — bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, scallions, mint, lemon juice, olive oil — but the version here is deftly executed, with good fluff to the grain, and tongue tickling acid in each bite. Our group fought over the dregs. –Laura Shunk