Our Five Best Cheap Eats This Week – 4/16/2014


Tax Day no doubt left at least a few of you feeling a little bit poorer, and it’s for you especially this week that we present a list of five great NYC restaurants where you can eat for less than $10. Nothing striking your fancy?

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos, 271 Starr Street, Brooklyn, 718-456-3422

Part tortilla factory, part taco counter, this Bushwick standby is favored by longtime residents and noobs alike, and it offers the cheapest of cheap delights (no dish tops $3.25) and some of the most authentic Mexican cooking this side of the Rocky Mountains. Taquitos ($1.50), which, true to name, are small tacos (not skinny fried tortilla rolls) are the best choice if you crave variety; four of these make a hearty meal for $6. Go for the spicy pork, crumbled red with annato and chile, and just a hair less musky than the chorizo, which is sweeter and firmer. We also like the beef or plain pork…top it with green chile salsa for an extra kick, and sip a sweet Mexican Coke or BYO Corona. –Hannah Palmer Egan

Francela, 1429 Third Avenue, 212-335-0022

This new-ish Upper East Side Turkish restaurant is one of the city’s best grab-and-go options, and that makes it a good stop if you’re planning a picnic for Central Park. The counter vends its vegetarian sides by the pound, and you can put together a plate of spinach and garlic, baba ghanoush, hummus, cacik (yogurt with cucumber), and cracked wheat salad for under $10. Or opt for a cup of lentil soup, another traditional Turkish dish, and pair it to the outlet’s stellar homemade lemonade. –Laura Shunk

Yuji Ramen, Bowery Whole Foods, 95 East Houston Street, 212-420-1320

Yuji’s fan base at the Bowery Whole Foods grew so large, the market decided to keep the mazemen-monger on permanently rather than rotate the stall to another Smorgasburg vendor as planned. You can still get a bowl of noodles for under $10 here; try the ramen coated with egg and speckled with bacon, a la carbonara, or topped with roasted vegetables and injected with savory miso. We especially like this place if we’re forced to brave Whole Foods on a Sunday — it fortifies us for fighting the crowds. –Laura Shunk

Paranthas at Parantha Alley, Smorgasburg, Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridge Park

Stopover at this Smorgasburg roti stand for a classic Indian street treat that’ll run you just $7. Seared to order on a hot griddle, these flavorful flatbreads come stuffed with your choice of potatoes, cheese, super spicy shredded fish (machili), chicken, or cauliflower (a great new choice this spring), and a handful of sauces — cilantro chutney, fried chiles, pickled mango — so intense they demand to be taken seriously, then cooled off with a hearty ladle of cucumber yogurt, provided for that exact purpose. Brooklyn bonus: many are vegan and — new this season — available gluten free. –Hannah Palmer Egan

Happy hour at The Mermaid Inn, multiple locations

There are dozens of oyster happy hours in this town, but perhaps none so beloved as that at the Mermaid Inn, where you can get $1 East Coast oysters, shrimp corndogs, and fish tacos on the cheap each day from 5 to 7 p.m. (and, if you hit the downtown locations, all night on Mondays, and from 4 to 7 p.m. on the weekends). Put yourself together a fishy feast, and perhaps fork over a little more cash for a cheap drink, too. –Laura Shunk