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How To Save Money Eating Out At New York City Restaurants

Updated on November 26, 2010

New York City has the widest and most diverse restaurant scene in the world. And it is not an overstatement. More than 20,000 New York restaurants serve any possibly imaginable food with a wide price range from $15 to $300 per dinner. Unfortunately, there are not many good cheap dinner options in New York City; however you still can save some money eating out. Here are some tips how to save money still having great food at New York restaurants.

Inexpensive Restaurants in New York City is always a safe option to save money eating out. Some of them are good, some of them are not. You have to do a research to find best inexpensive restaurants in your neighborhood, particularly if you prefer a certain cuisine. Check out the restaurant listings and critic's reviews; also pay attention to online recommendations of regular people who goes to a restaurant you chose. Here you are few New York Magazine critics' pick and my personal favorite inexpensive restaurants. Fig & Olive (808 Lexington Ave., nr. 62nd St.) is a nicely decorated café, which is totally devoted to olives and olive oil as a featured ingredient in nearly every dish . Hong Kong Station (128 Hester St., Chinatown) is cheap, simple and absolutely delicious everything, from noodles to curry fish balls. 'inoteca (98 Rivington St. at Ludlow St.) - casual, small-plate dining Italian style in the center of hot Lower East Side neighborhood. offers you a $25 gift certificate to local restaurants for only $10. If you use this certificate at least once a week, you'll save $60 per month. Unfortunately these certificates are not available for all restaurants in New York City, but you can check quite extended listing and find several worth-a-visit restaurants. offers to take 15 -20% of your entire dinner check for dozens of New York City restaurants, check it out - some of their deals are great.

Early Bird Menus are served in some New York City restaurants usually between 5 -7 pm. For the price $13 to $25 you can enjoy full dinner menu, sometimes even including drinks. Cucina di Pesce (87 E. 4th St.) - great Italian food on a budget with $12.95 early bird menu. La Paella (214 E 9th St.) - great Spanish paella and delicious tapas bar with $16.99 early bird menu. Alouette (2588 Broadway, nr. 98th St.) - stylish French bistro with really creative delicious food with three-courses pre-fixe menu for only $24.99.

Pre-Theater Dinner Menus is a version of early bird menus served in restaurants in Theater District. Even if you don't go to see a Broadway show, still you can take advantage of these offers in a variety of restaurant in Theater District restaurant row. Most of these restaurants serve pre-fix dinner menus with price range $30-$45 starting 5pm.

Four Star Restaurants in New York City don't usually offer any mercy to your bank account, however there is a trick that can save you a lot of money - go there for lunch instead of dinner. In this case, you can get lunch menu prices for dinner quality entrees! Aquavit (65 E. 55th St.) serves fantastic Scandinavian food with great lunch menu. Le Bernardin (155 W. 51st St) serves different types lunch pre-fixe menus. Jean Georges (1 Central Park West) offers great two-course lunch for only $28.

Occasionally New York City neighborhoods offer temporarily dining discounts. For example, in November and December 2007 due to Broadway strike most of the Theater District restaurants offered 15% discount on lunches and dinners. You always can take advantage of offers like that if you follow the news.


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    • profile image

      Broadway Tour 7 years ago

      i strongly recommend walking tours of NYC. THis way you really get to feel this unique genuine impressive city's life at maximum. You will stumble upon all kind of cozy or crazy restaurants every corner. Be your own J.L. Picard while you travel.

    • profile image

      Ziv 7 years ago

      The best thing to do when you want to travel and manage your budget is to do it online and free of charge


      it is an online simple income/expenses budget manager

      and it is completetly free

    • jgw899 profile image

      jgw899 7 years ago from Santa Cruz

      I'll have to try out your recommendations - especially the inexpensive ones ! It seems like I'm out of my league a lot of the times I eat out in New York.

    • Chloe Comfort profile image

      Chloe Comfort 8 years ago from Long Island

      Another cool hub! Don't forget about Restaurant Week. WHen it comes around you can get some great food at some of the best restaurants for a really good price. Kudos!

    • dirnewyorkcity profile image

      dirnewyorkcity 8 years ago from New York City, NY

      Thanks for these recommendation!

    • A2JinMI profile image

      A2JinMI 8 years ago from Ann Arbor, Michigan

      Great point on the early bird menu!

    • profile image

      TapIt 9 years ago

      One of the unexpected expenses in New York City is buying bottled water when you are on the go. Tap It ( is a new community of cafes and businesses that provide tap water. You can find out where to fill your water bottle by visiting or by downloading an iPhone application which utilizes google maps. It's good for you pocket and the environment, too!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I hope I can visit soon :-)

    • Wanderlust profile image

      Wanderlust 9 years ago from New York City

      Yes, Princessa, Dean & Deluca on Broadway is still there, and I like this store and cafe too. I live closer to another store location on Madison Ave., so go there pretty ofen. A lot of new restaurants and cafes are opened in New York almost every month. Therefore next time you are in New York, don't hesitate to ask, I will update you with new hot places to experience!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Very good info. It has been a long time since my last trip to NY. I used to love going to Dean & Deluca in Broadway, it is not a restaurant but it is one of the most attractive and charming food stores I have seen in NY. I wonder if they still there?In any event I have some ideas where to go next time I am in NY. Thanks :-)

    • The Washingtonian profile image

      The Washingtonian 9 years ago from Washington, DC

      Eating in NYC I expensive it can be, not so much :) This was a great hub

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Useful info for the traveller - one day I'll make in to NYC!