You’re not crazy rich, but you can definitely afford more than just cheap pizzas and street cart hot dogs when holidaying in the Big Apple!
Location: Greenwich Village
Located on a tree-lined street in the Village, this charming restaurant is so much more than its imaginative and healthy dishes. Highlights from the menu include the beet and mushroom veggie burger and Israeli chopped salad, both of which go for under US$17 (about S$23). Stop by its retail space two doors down to stock up on wellness brands you won’t find easily in Singapore, such as Moon Juice, Coconut Cult, and Bamford.
Location: Nolita and Williamsburg
A breakfast and lunch spot for the egg sandwich-obsessed. This restaurant approaches eggs with the mindset of a Michelin-starred restaurant, and presents the humble ingredient in a multitude of creative ways. Its signature dish, the Egg Shop B.E.C, US$10 (about S$13.50), is a must-try. You get a sunny side-up egg with the yolk broken into the roll, served with a sharp melted New England cheddar and crispy bacon strips that balance out the sweet and savoury tomato jam. Expect to wait two hours for a table on weekends, so pop by on a weekday to skip the queue.
Location: East Village
New York City lives on pizza. Ask any New Yorker and they’ll each have their own favourite pizza joint, so you can’t visit the city and not have at least a slice. Affordable options are aplenty, and you’ll find $1 pizza slices on just about every street corner. For something different, try Violet at the East Village, where the pizzas are not baked, but grilled to crisp perfection and served with scissors to cut your own slices. Prices start from US$10 (about S$14).
JACK’S WIFE FREDA
Location: SoHo, West Village, and Chelsea
NYC is home to the largest American Jewish population, and Jack’s Wife Freda is your spot for Jewish comfort food. It’s an all-day bistro, where entrees for breakfast and lunch are comfortably below US$25. Highlights include Green Shakshuka (US$13 or about S$18) and Chicken Kebab (US$18 or S$24). Dinner entrees are pricier, but there are still plenty of affordable options. We recommend the Jewish staple, Matzo Ball Soup (US$10 or S$13.50), which gets the special treatment here with duck fat instead of the usual chicken fat. The aromatic Kefta Kebab (US$15 or S$20) served with a nutty tahini sauce and topped with pine nuts is another great pick. The space feels like an extended living room and with its great cocktail menu (all US$13 or S$17), this could very well serve as your go-to drinks spot on your trip.
Location: Greenwich Village, Morningside Heights, and Bryant Park
You didn’t fly all the way to NYC to eat Chinese food, but when it comes to travelling on a budget, it’s one of your best bets. Hit up Junzi, a bright and airy casual spot celebrating the flavours of Northern China. Like a salad bar or taco stand, you start by choosing your base—chun bing (the Chinese version of a burrito) or knife-cut noodles —and then the toppings like braised pork, grilled tofu and stir-fried bean sprouts. The portions are generous and a typical dish goes for around US$12 (about S$16).
Location: West Village
This gem is known for its cozy, natural light- filled atmosphere and views of the Hudson River. Despite being located just a block away from tourist spots like The Whitney Museum and The High Line, it hardly gets packed. On the menu, you’ll find classic pasta and pizza entrees, like lasagna and margherita pizza (from US$18 or about S$25).
Tip: go during sunset for amazing selfies with your travel buddies!