Eat Like a Local at These 5 Spots For Cheap Eats in New York

New York’s dining scene is cream of the crop. The culinary landscape is so vast and diverse, in fact, that exploring it proves a daunting, but delicious, task. Of course, everyone has an opinion about the best joints — especially when it comes to cheap eats. These are among the best.

Arepa de Choclo — griddled corn cakes oozing with salty queso — are the specialty at Arepa Lady (77-17 37th Ave., Queens, 347-730-6124), a brick-and-mortar Jackson Heights upgrade to the eatery’s street cart roots. Be sure to get a chorizo arepa, too.


When you’re craving Cantonese cheong fun — or just want to try something new — hit up Joe’s Steam Rice Roll (136-21 Roosevelt Ave., # A1, Queens, 646-203-7380). The translucent, jiggly protein-stuffed noodles, zapped with sweet soy, are a definitive cold  weather restorative. Tucked within a subterranean food court, the Flushing stand also serves Chinese pancakes and crepe-like jianbing.


When you’re dreaming about warmer climes, the smoky, fiery, juicy jerk chicken from Peppa’s (791 Prospect Pl., Brooklyn, 718-450-3987, in Flatbush is not to be missed. Chopped behind the counter and served with the likes of rice and peas, it’s all the better when doused in hot sauce — provided you don’t mind a five-alarm fire.


Take a trip to the tropics, sans plane ticket, at Pilar Cuban Eatery (397 Greene Ave., Brooklyn, 718-623-2822, The Bed-Stuy haunt serves flaky picadillo empanadas and skirt steak-stuffed tostones — not to mention a mighty fine pressed Cuban sandwich — you don’t want to miss.


Sometimes, nothing but a brothy bowl of noodles will do. That’s when you visit Shigetoshi “Naka” Nakamura’s Nakamura (172 Delancey St., 212-614-1810, The Lower East Side shop’s signature torigara ramen features delicate chicken-bone broth laced with ginger and offset by chewy noodles, a silky soft-boiled egg and lush chashu pork. Get yours with an order of gyoza, the dumplings’ super-thin wrappers fried to the perfect crackly crisp.


We know, we know. You’re hungry for more. Check out our blog for more tasty ideas.

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