NYC Eats under $20

Foralot of people, myself included, travelling can be just as much about the food as it is about exploring, but I’ve always got one eye on my budget.  A city like New York is a lot like London in that you can expect to find food from around the globe. With so many food options it can be difficult to choose, so I thought I’d share with you just a few pocket friendly places I ate at on my recent trip across the pond.
Haus Reuben Sandwich at BierHaus NYC
A seemingly strange choice on our first day in the city, as we headed towards a German themed bar for lunch. However on reflection it’s mixing of two cultures is actually a great representation of New York’s melting pot ideals.  We had a very American lunch in a very un-American bierhaus!  We were tired and starving on our first day so settling in for some comfort food was much needed, and it really hit the spot.  We were both pleased with how generous the portions were, with plenty of deli meats, cheese and dressing filling out the sandwich with the unique German twist of it also including Sauerkraut.  It came with waffle fries which we ate with plenty of dipping sauce. It was exactly what we needed after a full day of exploring NYC.
Price: $17.00 includes waffle fries.
Autumn Cupcake from Deli Mart NYC
One of the things I love about NYC that I wish we had more of in the UK are the 24/7 delis.  There is one of these on almost every street corner and no matter what time of day you pop in, there is always a large selection of fresh food available, hot and cold.  Imagine it like an ordinary corner shop you would get here in the UK, but instead of the usual stale sandwiches there’s also fresh foods.  Walking past one evening we saw the display case in the window full of cakes and had to stop by and get one.  I went for this super cute autumn themed cupcake, very fitting with the Thanksgiving holiday period.  It was surprisingly moist and really delicious with plenty of buttercream. For an 11pm stop I couldn’t have asked for more.  
Price: Can’t find exact price but around $5
Berry Pancake Combo at Andrew’s Coffee Shop
A few days into our trip and we were craving a big hearty American breakfast.  Andrew’s Coffee Shop was just around the corner from our hotel and was always busy, so we knew it must be a good choice.  We did have to wait but thankfully not long, it was typical of what you’d expect of an American diner, not the best decor or greatest service but friendly, tasty, filling food served fast.  Both myself and Harry chose the Berry Pancake Combo which consisted of two blueberry or strawberry pancakes (we had chosen blueberry but but got strawberry), 2 eggs, 2 bacon and 2 sausage for $12.50, not bad value at all for a very large breakfast!  Suffice to say it kept us full for most of the day, the pancakes were large and fluffy and the mixture of sweet and salty was a hit.
Price: A Berry Pancake Combo is $12.50
Pizza at Grimaldi’s
Grimaldi’s Pizza is a famous pizzeria in New York and Brooklyn, and one that was on the top of my list for places to try after a recommendation from my sister.  The first and most famous restaurant is located just over the Brooklyn Bridge, but we visited the location in Manhattan itself in the Limelight Marketplace.  Interesting fact for any of those of you interested in Club Kid Culture – the church this restaurant is in is the same one that used to be the infamous Limelight nightclub back in the 90’s.  Anyway back to the food!  Grimaldi’s is famous for its brick coal brick oven pizzas and one was more than enough for us to share between us.  I don’t remember exactly what we got other then there was a lot of meat and jalapeños involved (I like my pizza’s meaty and spicy what can I say) and it was really delicious.  There wasn’t too much cheese which was a plus for me as I actually like my pizzas cheese-less, but it did make for a rather messy affair as the toppings weren’t really anchored to the pizza.  Either way I’ve craved this pizza many times since!
Price: A large pizza is $16.00 and easily enough for two to share, extra toppings are between $2-$4
Bagel at Best Bagel and Coffee
What is possibly one of the simplest and most ‘New York’ things on the menu was also undoubtedly the best thing I ate the whole trip!  I knew I couldn’t come to New York and not grab a bagel, but I’d never had them fresh before and wasn’t necessarily the biggest bagel fan.  We didn’t really have a place in mind but a quick look on Yelp showed a place just around the corner from our hotel that had as close to a full 5* rating as I’ve ever seen on Yelp.  We headed down there just before lunch, thinking the place would be dead, only to find a queue extending out of the shop. Always a sign of a good place to eat!  There were so many options and variations it took me most of the queuing time to narrow down my order, but in the end I went for a poppyseed bagel with pastrami, pickles and mustard and OMG it was out of this world!  I know New Yorkers like to claim it’s their water that makes the difference to their bagels and whatever it is I am sold!  Everything was fresh and delicious, the bagels were soft with just enough bite, and the fillings were plentiful.  This is the thing I have found myself craving most since our trip!
Price: $7.50 for a pastrami bagel, prices change depending on filling and extras are between $0.55-$1.75
Magnolia Bakery Mini Key Lime Pie Cheesecake
Rather unhelpfully I only have a picture of the bag as the desert itself was scoffed late at night in our bed after a long day of exploring.  The Magnolia Bakery is famous in NYC, most usually for it’s Banana Pudding, but as I am not much of a banana fan I knew I would have to reach for something a little different.  After perusing the cabinets for several minutes (this is another location where you have to queue outside to get in, don’t worry in all these instances the queue moved fast) I finally settled on a Key Lime Pie Cheesecake, a favourite of mine from my time in Florida.  I’m not normally a big cheesecake person but we were in NYC, home of the cheesecake after all!  The base was buttery and crumbly, the cheesecake layer was so light it was almost fluffy and sweet, and the lime flavouring was pungent and tangy.  All together, it works perfectly, the flavours are balanced really well, leaving a creamy yet tart taste.  I enjoyed every moment indulging myself with this gorgeous offering.  When you hear the word mini in the UK you might be thinking bite size, here it just means ‘for one’ as it is not so tiny.  It’s rich but the perfect amount for one, or two if you are not so much a sweet tooth (I am so there’s no way I’m sharing!)
Price: $7.50

So that’s just a few of my favourite budget eats from my recent trip, got your own favourite?  Comment below and share yours!


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