No Bank Broken: 9 Best Cheap Things to Do & Eat in NYC

When it comes to living in New York City, sometimes the finances of the whole situation get rough. So much so that we're like saving money ninjas, always on the prowl for ways we can hold onto a buck or two.

We mean, we have to be. Our rents are ridiculous, certain bars want us to pay $14 for a watered down mixed drink, and ATMs all over the place want us to pay money to access our own money.

Luckily, there are certain spots in NYC that are a breath of fresh air to our finances. Believe it or not, there are places that charge a dollar a bud, and $5 for a burger.

Yes, these places do exist. No, we're not kidding. We're also not referencing dollar slices, though we'd certainly recommend these for convenience and deliciousness, as well as maintaining a hold on one's finances.

You don't need to wreck your bank account to have fun in NYC, and we plan to prove it to you. Read on to find out how.

1. Happy hour at The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue - Brooklyn)

amelissameyer #theskins crushing on stage tonight at #theknittingfactory

We're huge fans of The Knitting Factory. It's a raging, hopping spot, with musical performances just about every night of the week, and free comedy shows that are usually punctuated with surprise performances by huge names on Sunday nights.

If that wasn't enough to convince you, though, we're sure this will. From Monday to Friday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., you can get a burger and fries for $5, and a good old can of Bud for $1.


Yeah, you read that right. Dollar. Beers. They're definitely doing something right at the Knitting Factory, and you should check it out.

2. Jackie's West Indian Bakery (1203 East 233rd Street - the Bronx)

edbrock1 Made my own combo meal... Jerk chicken sammich from #JackiesWestIndianBakery #Bx & a side of Cajun fried from #Popeyes smh. #JudgeMe

We really only have one word for Jackie's West Indian Bakery: yum. Okay, we're kidding. We have more words, but that's really the first one that comes to mind.

This Jamaican gem serves fluffy coco bread stuffed with tender jerk chicken, oxtail, or codfish for $5. Stuff it with vegetables and cheese instead and get it for $4.

This bakery will definitely make an impact on your hunger and cravings, but it'll make a tiny, barely-there dent in your finances. Delicious food at an amazing price? This has got to be our favorite combination since Beyoncé married Jay Z.

3. John's of Bleecker Street (278 Bleecker Street)

johnsofbleeckerstreet Seriously... #amazingpizza #johnspizza #pizzaforlife #originaljohnspizza #newyorkcity #newyorkpizza

We're not talking about any of John's of Bleecker Street's branches. It has to be the original.

There are plenty of pizza shops in this city that are fighting the good fight, that grind out the most delicious of pizza pies every day.

In our very humble opinions though, John's of Bleecker Street is the only one of those OG spots who are still spinning up thin-crust pizzas at a reasonable price.

John's of Bleecker Street's been selling pizza since 1929, and they still have $10 heroes and $20 pies. Things are well at John's of Bleecker Street.

4. Pete's Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street - Brooklyn)

petescandystore Another day, another classic cocktail. But what's inside Greg's Pants? Come by tonight to find out.

We love Pete's Candy Store. It's eclectic, niche, artsy places like Pete's Candy Store that remind us why it's so amazing to live in this city.

Pete's Candy Store has free music performances on just about every night of the week, comedy, fiction, and poetry events, as well as Wednesday night trivia that could win you a $75 bar tab.


They've got $3 PBRs, too, and $4 Narragansetts, Tecates, and Buds. You can also munch on a really delicious grilled cheese for $7, or a Reuben sandwich for $9. You could definitely do worse than a night out at Pete's Candy Store, that's for sure.

5. Bronx Alehouse (216 West 238th Street - the Bronx)

bronxalehouse Smoked 1/2 chicken with sautéed broccoli and cauliflower, jalapeño cornel read and fried mac n cheese!

Down in the Bronx and looking for a bite to eat? Well, you just found your spot. Bronx Alehouse has a deep, strong hold in our hearts.

Do we love the burgers, wings, and hearty sandwiches? Certainly. We're also enamored by the huge selection of craft beers. What we love more than anything though, as you may have guessed, is Bronx Alehouse's prices.

For $11, you can satisfy yourself with 11 wings smothered in Bronx is Burning Hot Sauce (or a variety of other sauces, we just like that one the best).

You can also munch on a burger for $12, and down a nice cold beer for $6. Also, their brunch deals are to die for. So, yeah, you should check it out.


6. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle (144 East Broadway)

ericabackus The best hand made noodles ever. The more sketchy a place looks and the more hateful the staff ...the better the food. #TRUTH #Chinatown #noodlesoup #dumplings #lamzhouhandmadenoodle

Okay, this makes our stomachs rumble in protest to even discuss them, but those dumplings though. They're amazing on their own, but smother them in soy sauce or hot chili oil for a truly divine experience.

Is Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle the best place in Manhattan to satiate yourself with dumplings? We're not sure, but it's definitely the best place in Manhattan to do so while keeping your finances in tact.


We mean, you can get an order of 11 pork and chive dumplings for $3, so... you see what we mean. This deal really can't be topped.

7. Wednesday nights at Bat Haus (279 Starr Street - Brooklyn)

dadarria Drink and draw, OR: KD needs to learn how to draw things that are not dogs. #drinkndraw #bathaus #butts

Do you want to amp up your drawing skills? Will that give you an opportunity to fulfill those good old New Year's resolutions you've devoted yourself to?

Okay, even if you don't care about drawing this deal is pretty good. Every Wednesday evening from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., $10 at Bat Haus will get you in, it'll get you all-you-can-drink beer, and two-and-a-half hours of drawing time with a professional, unclothed model.

So, yeah, staring is sort of encouraged at Drink N' Draw. This deal is hot, because there are plenty of places in this city that would charge you $10 for a single beer, not two-and-a-half hours of unlimited beer.

8. Plant Love House (86-08 Whitney Avenue - Queens) 

plantlovehouse Today's special. Egg noodle with roasted duck $10.95. #plantlovehouse

We kind of really love Plant Love House's name, but they also delight us with their "laugh a lot," house rule posted to the front door of the restaurant.

Also, it was kind of love at first ice cream on top of sticky rice, if you know what we mean.


They've got a pork blood noodle that's really genuinely Thai, and is difficult to find with such authenticity in NYC.

Where they really get us, of course, are those prices. You can eat well at Plant Love House for under $10, making it a shining star in our books.

9. Sunday and Thursday Nights at Full Circle Bar (318 Grand Street - Brooklyn)

austindaniells Photo by @jillschweber on her Contax. #fullcirclebar

Nothing can amp up a night out like a little competition, right? 

That's why Thursday and Sunday nights at Full Circle Bar are key. They're the free Skee-Ball nights. So you can earn bragging rights from all your friends while freeing up your credit card to buy beer.

Yeah, also, your drink comes with a free hotdog. So, there's that.

Plus, they've got a happy hour that knocks a dollar off all drafts and frozen drinks, and $5 cocktails from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every night but Friday.

Also, every drink costs $4 from 11 p.m. to close on Sunday, so that's pretty great too.

Check out 6 Delicious LIC Eateries That Won't Break the Bank

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

get spoiled in your inbox