($) 1. SHAKE SHACK – Upper Westside
Shake Shack continues to be one of the most popular post museum pit stops for its nostalgic beef patties, crinkle fries, and frozen custard!
($$) 2. GOTHAM WEST MARKET – Hell’s Kitchen
The building that houses this ground floor food hall may be of the luxury variety, but the all-star eats inside are wallet-friendly. Try Seamus Mullen’s shareable tapas, including a classic egg tortilla ($6) or an Italian spicy hoagie ($14)!
($) 3. THE AREPA LADY – Queens
Colombia-born Maria Cano has amassed a devoted following from her sizzling, buttery corn cakes with a crunchy too and an oozing queso center! Her sweet and savory pockets of cheese, along with chorizo drizzled in garlic sauce and shish kabobs with grilled potatoes, are perfect for any affordable meal on the go!
($) 4. LOS TACOS NO. 1 – Chelsea
Hand pressed corn tortilla arrive popping hot, dressed with spit-roasted adobada Pork and sweet pineapple batons ($3.50) or succulent, charred carne asafe and creamy guacamole ($3.75). You can also munch in nopal plates (cactus, beans and cheese for $6) and thirst quenching agua fees as ($3.75)!
($) 5. EL REY LUNCHEONETTE – Lower East Side
Nicholas Morgebsterb transformed the former El Rey cafe bar into this modern lunch counter, where he served California coast-inspired bites like avocado del due with chimichurri sauce ($8) and a Farris-filled grain bowl ($13). Grab a kale sale with almond dressing ($10) or a Japanese-style honey toast ($7) while you wait for the barista to prep your Mexican mocha iced coffee ($3.75), spiced with chili flakes and called with sweetened condensed milk!
($) 6. PAPAYA KING – Upper East Side
The King is the original, Upper East Side mainstay since the 1930s! Amidst the multicolored tiles and neon signs, find hickory-smoked hot dogs and milky papaya juice in a variety of combinations: The $5.44 “original” consists of two franks crowned with kraut, onions or relish along with a 16 oz drink! Or you could try the “Grand Slam” which gets you two specialty dogs (chili and cheddar, coleslaw and pickle), a papaya drink and curly fries for $11.97.