In times of uncertainty, nothing satisfies like a cheap meal. For under $10, the return on investment is higher than any retirement fund or gym membership. These dishes are often handheld, sweet and savory, and a way to support the area’s local businesses. Bring cash and you’ll eat well.
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We sorted these by subway stop for maximum convenience, but feel free to explore on foot or bike. All prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you want more cheap eats, check out our guide for Ridgewood.
On the L Train
Off the Grand Avenue Stop:
Wafa’s turns out delicious Lebanese food that’s healthy and interesting. We love the mujadara with lentils and caramelized onions as well as her hummus and spinach pie.
Gran Morelos is open late with Mexican and diner classics for after a night out. It’s also a great takeout option.
OfF the Montrose Avenue Stop:
Three Guys Gyro sells Falafel sandwiches for $4.50. They’re fried to order and they do run out by the end of the day. They also make a great burger.
Jessi’s Coffee Shop has breakfast burritos perfect for the morning after and some of the area’s best coffee (a large is only $2). Ask for extra green sauce.
Dunwell’s Vegan Doughnuts are the perfect sweet treat, and only $2.50 or $2.75—try the peanut butter and jelly one. They also have super smooth cold brew ($3.25) from Brooklyn Roasting Company.
Topaz: At this beautiful cocktail bar, Old Fashioneds are $6 during happy hour and the grilled cheese is always $7.
Off the Morgan Avenue Stop:
Tina’s Place: Before $11 am, you can get a full breakfast for $4.50. Open till 4 pm, it’s a cash only diner that will cure any hangover.
El Kucho has a spacious dining room and a menu packed with high-quality Mexican favorites. Get a torta for $9, a cemita, burrito or quesadilla for $10. Their salsas are great as well.
For a Greek fix try the Chicken/shrimp/veg/falafel sandwiches at Yia Yia’s Taverna
Off the Jefferson Stop:
Queen of Falafel is a great falafel spot located inside House of Yes. Skip the party and eat a giant pita sandwich instead. The sabich, ($8) with fried eggplant and an egg, is another good bet.
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos: A Bushwick legend, this is BYOB Tortilla factory with a taqueria. Tacos are 3 for $9, perfect for a low cost dinner out.
The House of Yes Taco Truck: If you’ve ever had a late night here, you’ve been grateful for this truck and the tacos it provides.
Mally’s Deli and Grocery: Tacos ($2.50 or $3) and Burritos ($8) right near Maria Hernandez Park
Mad Tropical is affordable every day (we love the chips and guac) but Tuesday is a great time to visit with $6 Cocktails, $5 Drafts, 2 Tacos for $6 or $10 for 2 Tacos & Pacifico or $12 with a Cocktail.
Off the DeKalb Stop:
Klom Klorm: The Thai lunch special goes until 4 pm offering an appetizer and entree, including Pad thai at $8.95 for chicken, vegetable or tofu or $9.95 for shrimp, beef, or roasted pork.
Santa Ana Tacos at the Corner of Irving and Stanhope has some of the neighborhood’s best al pastor tacos for $3 a piece.
Inca Chicken’s spicy chicken sandwich is a local favorite and we also love their platters. Get half a chicken with two sides for $8.50 and ask for the spicy green sauce. They deliver as well.
Doña Amanda sells Salvadorean pupusas by Maria Hernandez Park. Made by hand with a variety of fillings (we love the classic bean and cheese), they’re only $2.50
Sal’s Pizzeria is a Bushwick institution. Grab a slice and an order of garlic knots.
Mama Mecho serves Dominican food in a friendly setting. Order the chicken.
Taqueria Coyoc has fresh guacamole, molé enchiladas and an array of tacos including barbacoa and nopales.
Off the Halsey Stop:
Fazio’s of Bushwick: Sicilian slices start at just $3.25 Try the classic grandma, spinach and mushroom, or margarita, and end with an Italian ice.
Off the Lorimer Stop:
19 Cafe is the perfect place to work or catch up with friends. In addition to affordable coffee, there’s a full menu of Korean food and sandwiches, carefully made to order. Get a breakfast sandwich or the pork belly.
La Cocina 2 serves Dominican/Puerto Rican food with filling bowls and large portions.
Off the Flushing Stop:
Westway Bagels has some of the area’s best bagels next to Woodhull Medical Center. Buy a dozen and freeze them for lazy mornings.
La Isla Cuchifrita has been serving Puerto Rican and Dominican goodness since 1960. Get chicken and rice and turn any day around.
Off the Myrtle Stop:
Tony’s Pizza has been open since the 70s with pizza slices, and Italian specialties like lasagna.
Regalo de Juquila’s quesadillas come highly recommended. Eat in to enjoy $2 beers with your meal.
Off the Koscuiszko Stop:
Santa Panza: A 6 inch Neapolitan pie with any toppings is under $10 and this spot makes top quality pizzas for an affordable dinner out.
Off the Central Stop:
Taqueria Sofia is a reader favorite for $3 tacos (try the al pastor), a salsa bar, and sweet and creamy homemade horchata.
Visit El Sol de Cholula for tacos (chorizo and al pastor recommended) in the back of a bodega.
Archie’s has some of Brooklyn’s best pizza and the massive slices range from $3.50-$4.75. They also have a full menu (and a full bar) including $9 chicken parm and $10 baked pasta bolognese.
Off the Knickerbocker Stop:
Lucy’s Vietnamese: Try the vegan pho or any of the summer rolls at Lucy’s for a dose of Vietnamese comfort food.
Another location of La Isla Cuchifrita has been serving Puerto Rican goodness since 1960. Get chicken and rice and turn any day around. Plantains too.
Off the Myrtle/Wyckoff Stop:
El Dorado serves a wide range of Dominican dishes, including fresh juices, breakfast, and $10 mofongo.
Phil’s Bar looks like a classic dive, except there’s a full wine list, cheese boards and high quality cocktails. They also have $3 hot dogs.
Nearly everything at Dromedary Bar is under $10, including Pat LaFrieda Burgers, a Hot Chicken Sandwich, and a Big Kahuna nacho platter. They also host frequent performances.
Himalayan Momo is a cart right outside the subway selling three styles of momo, the popular dumplings from Nepal and Tibet. You get 8 for $5 and you’ll want to try both sauce options.
Off the Gates Avenue Stop:
Toad Style: This vegan spot has gluten and soy free comfort food and a brunch menu. Almost every item is $10 or less.