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3 Restaurants in New York with Lunch Under $6

There is no doubt that New York can be expensive but it doesn’t always have to be. In this post, I suggest a few spots you can go to find lunch under $6.

#1 Punjabi Grocery and Deli

114 East 1st Street New York, NY 10009

Punjabi deli-cheap place to eat in NYC near English Language institute at pace universityAre you vegetarian? Do you need a restaurant that is open 24/7? Do you like delicious food that is a little spicy? Do you want to tap your foot or maybe sing along to some Punjabi music while you eat? The Punjabi Grocery and Deli is the place for you!

Located in the East Village, the Punjabi Grocery and Deli began as a spot for Indian and Pakistani cab drivers to stop for some grub and tea but has become a favorite of every other type of person imaginable in the East Village.

This is because the food is amazingly good and cheap! A small bowl of rice with two veggie items will only cost you $4.50, or you could splurge and get a large plate with 3 veggie items for $6.50. To choose the veggie items, simply look at what is on display in their counter, note the numbers of the vegetable dishes that look good and tell the man behind the counter which numbers you want.

If you are lucky, the food server just might sing a little ditty for you while you wait!


#2 Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine

76 Fulton Street New York, NY 10038 and 21 West 45th Street New York, NY 10036

Sophies-cheap place to eat in NYC near English Language institute at pace universityWith locations near both Pace’s beautiful Midtown Center and the downtown campus, Sophie’s and Pace go together like beans and rice.

I stop in here during breaks between my classes at Pace’s midtown campus quite often for empanadas and café con leche. My favorite empanadas are the chicken and the spinach and cheese. At $2.50 each, it’s a lunch that won’t break the bank.

Just remember to get some of their green sauce to go with them. But be careful, that stuff is seriously addictive.


#3 Papaya Dog

50 Fulton Street New York, NY 10038

Cheap places to eat in NYC near ELI at Pace_papaya DogNew Yorkers have opinions on pretty much everything and hot dogs are no different.

Papaya Dog has a location near Pace’s downtown campus making it a quick, easy and cheap spot to have a bite to eat. It has even hosted celebrities such as Rihanna and Sandra Bullock. But really any of the “papaya drink and hot dog” joints all over New York are good in my book because they cook their dogs the best way – on a griddle so the meat snaps as you bite into it.

That said, the boiled “dirty water dog” would do in a pinch. Just be sure to get your hot dog with red onions and mustard the New York City way!


These three New York restaurants might be cheap but they have delicious food. They really do the best at what they do.

So wherever you decide to eat in New York City, go somewhere that is the best at what they do.

And if you decide to come to New York to study, be sure to come to the best place to study English in New York City: Apply to Pace University's English Language Institute or contact the ELI here.


Word List:

  • spot (n.) a restaurant
  • joint (n.) a restaurant
  • 24/7 (adv. phrase) something that is open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • grub (n.) food
  • a little ditty (n. phrase) a short song
  • break the bank (v. phrase/ idiom) cost a lot of money
  • addictive (adj.) something that
  • host (v.) to receive or entertain guests
  • in my book (idiom) according to me
  • griddle (n.) a cooking surface that is broad and flat
  • boil (v.) to cook something in water
  • in a pinch (idiom) in an emergency
  • dirty water hot dog (idiom) a boiled hot dog

WRITTEN BY PATRICK RUSSELL