BEST Places to Eat in New York City: Budget-Friendly & Real Ingredients


Inspiring artists, fast-paced environments, and endless opportunities for change from the clothes you wear to the food you’ll eat. It’s crazy and hectic, but worth every minute of experiencing this one-of-a-kind chaos. If you’re headed up North for the weekend, then here are the BEST Places to Eat in New York City: Budget-Friendly & Real Ingredients.

A few years ago, I started to write down some of my favorite restaurants as I would visit destinations. Typically, for a restaurant to hit my favorite’s list, it has to adhere to several criteria: cleanliness, real ingredients, creativity, and budget-friendly prices. Basically, I am REALLY PARTICULAR on what restaurants I chose when eating out. With that said, enjoy these restaurants that I will easily be eating at again...

JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana - Chorizo Burrito

JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana - The Nachos

Jajaja Plantas Mexicana

This is hands-down my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE in NYC. Their portion sizes and prices are fairly decent for being in the big city, and their warm environment is perfect for families or small get-togethers with your friends. Their creative menu inspires authentic Mexican cuisine with everything being plant-based; however, you really can’t tell that your eating meat alternatives. Their high quality of food is delicious. Highly recommended ordering their nachos!!

Teriyaki NYC - The Roasted Matcha

Taiyaki NYC

For those adventurous individuals that are always on the hunt for the next creatively scrumptious (and instagram-worthy) food, then look no further! From their ultra fluffy pancakes to their matcha ice cream served in a red bean cone, your taste buds will be taking on an adventure through Japan. Their seasonal ice cream flavors can range from tangy mango to roasted matcha.

Grace Street Coffee & Desserts

While we are on the topic of aesthetically-pleasing and scrumptious desserts, this restaurant is truly serving happiness with their festive drinks/dessert options in the heart of Koreatown. From their massive and jubilant shaved ice to their lavender milk tea to their warm Korean donuts served with crisp vanilla bean ice cream, closing your eyes and just pointing at the menu wouldn't be a bad option!

Baekjeong NYC

Speaking of Koreatown, this restaurant has been a hit for both NYC visits in the past year. It is one of the pricier restaurants on the list; however, it is worth the lively experience in the evening. A little tip is to order a side of rice for each individual and then order one skirt steak. Then, the waiter or waitress will bring out a large display of delicious, Korean-inspired savory side dishes that pair perfectly with the meal.

Maman NYC

A café, a bakery, the perfect lunch spot for catching up with the girls... Serving farm-to-table inspired dishes with a cozy environment that's superb for a rainy day or a sunny day.

Los Tacos No. 1

Only 30 seconds of walking outside the center of Times Square and you have entered into some of the most authentic Mexican food I've eaten on the East Coast. This is hands-down the place to eat some delicious quesadillas and tacos that are homemade with real ingredients and jam-packed with flavor. Also, the price? Amazing!! Only $3-4!

Cha Cha Matcha

If you're obsessed with warm milk teas and matcha like I am, then you're going to become VERY fond of this tiny drink spot. From turmeric ginger lattes to macadamia matcha lattes (highly recommend trying out!), Cha Cha Matcha is a fun pit stop to grab on your way to shop through Soho, Manhattan.

Joe & The Juice - The Herb Tonic

Joe & The Juice

Although iconic, this juice bar serves superb freshly-made juices on the spot in a very clean environment. If you're in NYC and feeling a little bit sick, then definitely swing by to pick you up some organic and natural medicine. ;) One of my favorites is their Herb Tonic.


If your heading into the tip of Brooklyn to sightsee the Brooklyn Bridge, Jane's Carousel, or DUMBO, then you're gonna wanna grab a whole pizza. Another little tip, keep your eye on their opening lunch or dinner hours and get in line about 15-20 minutes prior to them opening. Otherwise, the line gets pretty long... but the wait is usually not to bad. Every time, we've order their Bianca Pizza and man oh my, it has NOT disappointed yet!

The Butcher's Daughter

The Butcher's Daughter

Now, this restaurant is the perfect brunch spot and/or breakfast with our loved ones. Once again, the restaurant is plant-based, yet serves the most ideal breakfast menu to satisfy any savory or sweet cravings. I believe this restaurant has several locations in NYC.

Enjoy a few travel vlog of my most recent trips to NYC, featuring these restaurants:

Last Minute Trip to NYC with the Family

The Christmas Spirit in New York City

I hope you all truly enjoy this little write up on some of my favorite little finds in New York City! xxL