The Eat Index, Vol. IX

7 top-notch NYC chefs name their favorite cheap eats

By Shari Gab

7 Top-Notch Chefs Name Their Favorite Cheap NYC Eats
Share This

21 June 2018

You judge a barber by his cut. A tailor by his fit. A personal trainer by his girlfriend.

So when it comes to dining out, we want to go where the chefs go.

Ergo: The Eat Index, a series in which we hunt down some of the city’s most well-regarded chefs and ask them where they chow down when they’re not on the clock.

The catch: cheap eats only. Novel concept in this city, we know.

From the corner bodega to a hole-in-the-wall watering hole, here’s where seven culinary experts like to grub on their own dime.

Executive Chef Cassidy Hallman of Morimoto
Sunny and Annie’s Deli in Alphabet City

“It’s been around forever and I have been going there for years. I love it cause they’re open 24 hours, are consistent and have a wide range of sandwich options. A popular order is the Pho Sandwich, but my go to is either a breakfast sandwich with hash browns and housemade salsa verde or the special BLT with swiss cheese. Note: The Salsa Verde is a gem, but you need to ask for it.”

CEO/Co-Founder Nick Devane of Pilotworks
Cheeky’s, Chinatown

“This is easily the best fried chicken sandwich in NYC, and it’s only $6. The mashed potatoes and biscuit buns are too good. I often get two at once. The whole menu is bomb, though. Make sure to have some of Din’s Beignets.”

Chef Jordan Andino of Flip Sigi
Vanessa's Dumplings, Various locations

"Vanessa's Dumplings are 50 cents per dumpling (or less!), and they're so delicious. You never wait too long, the amount of dumplings that you get for the price is incredible, and it's one of the best quick and cheap eats in New York City."

Chef Thomas Chen of Tuome
Wah Fung No.1 Fast Food in Chinatown

“I get the BBQ Roast Pork over Rice. I'm a huge fan of roast meats, and the BBQ roast pork over rice is delicious and cheap. The box is jam packed — makes for a really hearty lunch. Also go for Joe's Steam Rice Roll. This reminds me of the rice noodle carts that used to be abundant in Chinatown while I was growing up. It's made fresh when you order, and you can customize the roll with whatever protein and vegetables you want. Get the peanut sauce."

Chef Michael Chernow of Seamore's
Di Fara, Brooklyn

"One of my all-time favorite 'cheap eats' is a slice of pizza from Di Fara. The slice is perfect, the place is a piece of NYC history and never, ever disappoints. Well worth the trip out there!”

Chef Mimi Weissenborn of Vinateria
Ayurveda Cafe, Upper West Side

"My top cheap eat is the vegetarian thalis at Ayurveda cafe on 94th and Amsterdam. It’s an all vegetarian plate that caters to the six flavor profiles of India’s ancient Ayurvedic principles: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent. Each little dish is presented with a variety of spices and always prepared with fresh vegetables that change daily."

Chef Jared Braithwaite of Colonie
Xi'an Famous Foods, East Village

"I love the spicy lamb noodles at Xi'an. I’m obsessed with noodles and I love trying them in ways that highlight other cultures, other than Italian, which is my personal comfort zone. The lamb noodles have so much flavor and it’s just wrong they cost so little. So I get two!"

Share This