1. BEDOUIN HILL – Boerum Hill
There are a ton of sub-$10 options at this longtime pan-Middle Eastern spot along Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. The falafel and hummus are hearty and cheap, but the best thing on the menu is the lambajin ($8), described promisingly on the menu as a “lamb pizza.” It’s basically a large pita topped with minced lamb, onions, tomato, and herbs. The pita oven in the front of the restaurant imbues the lamb (and all he other pitas) with an unforgettably dark cage, so make sure to fill up on as much pita as you can handle!
2. DHAULAGIRI KITCHEN – Jackson Heights
This tiny “restaurant within a bakery in Jackson Heights serves one of the best Tibetan Thalia in town. The sign outside reads “Tawa Food,” but enter and you will find two operations: a tiny kitchen and a separate bakery. For only $9, the waiter will bring you a metal thali plate filled with daal, chickpeas, a curry of nutrela (soy protein) and potatoes, mustard teens, and fried pieces of bitter gourd!
3. TAQUERIA COCOYOC – Bushwick
Breakfast is the best (and cheapest) meal of the day at Cocoyoc, this longtime Bushwick taqueria along Wyckoff Ave. Opt for the chilaquiles ($9), or the huevos con chorizo ($9). You should also try a steaming hot bowl of pozole (served with a tostada) for only $8.50! Better yet, the expansive backyard offers some of the most relaxing al fresco dining in the heart of Bushwick!
4. LITTLE MISS MUFFIN ‘N’ HER STUFFIN – Prospect Heights
Patties are the specialty at this little Trini spot along Washington Ave in Prospect Heights. Best of the lot is the Jerk chicken patty ($2.50), filled with spicy chunks of chicken in a piquant gravy, but the curry chicken and spicy beef versions are also excellent! If you prefer a heartier lunch than two patties, opt for one of the many daily specials from a roster of Caribbean standards or the Trini corn soup!
5. KOSHER DELUXE – Midtown West
The falafel sandwich ($7.50) at Kosher Deluxe right smack in the middle of Midtown Manhattan is fine, but the real reason for this purchase is unlimited access to the outstanding salad bar. Filled with a bounty of vegetarian delights — multiple cole slaws, beets, roast peppers, pickles, and best of all, meaty eggplant!
6. TANGXIA WANG FU ZHOU – Chinatown
Down near the base of Eldridge St. in Chinatown is one of the better, if not cheaper, sit down Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood. You can basically order the entire menu and still come in comfortably under $10. Try the wonton soup ($2), a plate of dumplings ($3 for a large order), and peanut butter noodles ($2) and you will still not have spent $10!