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East Village—cheap

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New Yorkers know the East Village as the birthplace and historical home of Bohemian artist movements, counterculture protests, and punk rock madness. But when they think of this artsy neighborhood they also think cheap. Although its recent gentrification has made renting an inexpensive apartment in the East Village all but impossible, there are still vestiges of affordable living, dining, and shopping that are indeed great deals. Take a long walk through this largely subway-free neighborhood and enjoy the values.

Our East Village on the cheap guide gives you information below about:
Budget Accommodations
Inexpensive Dining
Clothing Stores and Thrift Shops
Cheap Thrills and Cool Attractions
Cheap Village Pubs and Dive Bars
Supermarkets and Food Stores

East Village Budget Hotels

East Village Bed & Coffee
110 Avenue C (7th and 8th Streets)

This quaint bed & breakfast accommodation proves that there is still is some soul left in the East Village, except that your poor soul will have to skip the breakfast, because it isn't served here. This European style guesthouse has a New York "loft apartment" feel, with eclectically styled rooms, shared bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, free WiFi, and computers with internet access. Room rates range between $125-$175 per night and reservations must be made well in advance at http://www.bedandcoffee.com.

Second Home on Second
221 Second Avenue (14th Street)

Second Home is a guest house with seven furnished rooms in a 19th-century townhouse, conveniently located on Second Avenue between 13th and 14th Street in the East Village—three blocks from Union Square and within walking distance of the West Village, SoHo, and Gramercy Park. Four of the rooms are distinctively decorated with interpretations of different themes: Peruvian, Tribal, Caribbean, and 20th-Century Modern. All of the rooms include double-size beds—with the exception of the Modern Apartment with its queen size bed and sofa—air-conditioning, and color television with cable. Room rates are $125 to $225 per night, with each additional room occupant charged a $25 fee. Bookings are made online at http://www.secondhomesecondavenue.com.

St. Marks Hotel
2 St. Marks Place (Third Avenue)

Another inexpensive lodging opportunity would be a stay in one of the historic hotel rooms at St. Marks Hotel. With more than 25 years in the business, their friendly staff offers a wide selection of newly renovated hotel rooms. Room rates are from $125 to $175 and bookings must be arranged well in advance. Wireless internet rates are by the hour.

Hotel 17
225 East 17th Street

The Hotel 17 is a charming hotel, conveniently located just above the northern 14th street border of the East Village. Rooms are decorated eclectically, with many of them considered to be "miniature studios" by many world-renowned photographers and movie directors. Woody Allen filmed his movie "Manhattan Murder Mystery" at Hotel 17. The hotel's eclectically decorated guest rooms create small worlds of unique elegance, charm and character. Room rates range from $150 to $175 per night.

Inexpensive East Village Eats

What are generally referred to as as cheap eats in dining guides these days are everywhere to be had in the East Village. In some instances, the dining recommendations we make here are really better suited for take-out, while others are super cheap and great if you are pressed for time and just want to eat on-the-go.

Finding a sit-down lunch or dinner in New York City that is tasty and under $10 is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. You may never find one, but some of the East Village dining options below can help, especially if you've purchased tickets to several Broadway shows, or will be attending a couple of pricy NYC events, and want to eat for cheap in order to stay within your budget and not do too much damage on your credit card. You can simply click HERE for our entire list, or read a selection below:

37 St. Marks Place

The creation of entrepreneurs David Leong and Nobu X, BAMN! is a classic automat, located on St Marks Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The selections feature hearty comfort food choices at discount prices. (Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Opulent Brownie, and NYC Corn Dog all go for $2!) Add fries and a drink and it's a fun recipe for quick satisfaction. BAMN! food takes you back to the smells, the tastes, the thrill of that immediate gratification. Best of all, it only costs a few bucks and won't slow you down. Just open the window, and there's your meal.

Punjabi Indian Take-Out
114 East 1st St

This hole-in-the-wall is an East Village insider secret, probably because the place is so small and the entrance just below street level. What you usually do see is a steady stream of patrons going in and out because the vegetarian Indian menu served buffet style for take-out is good quality, delicious, and cheap. Bring a five dollar bill here and you'll eat like a maharajah.

Benny's Burritos
93 Avenue A (6th Street)

Widely known to serve some of the best burritos in Manhattan at four different locations. The crispy avocado rolls, shrimp, chicken, and bay burritos are much beloved at Benny's kitschy-style Mexican joint on an eclectic and funky stretch of Avenue A.

7A Café
109 Avenue A (7th Street)

7A serves round-the-clock comfort food that’s definitely superior to your average diner grub. Burgers, nachos, pastas—7A is an especially good choice if you’ve spent the night wandering East Village bars and want to fill up and sober up for cheap very late into the night.

Moonpie Pizzeria
31 Avenue C

A slice of pizza at Moonpie Pizzeria is not the classic New York style thin greasy slice you roll into your mouth. This pizza is loaded with toppings and a single slice for a light eater can constitute an entire meal. This is an especially good choice if you want to make the kids happy.

Una Pizza Napolepana
349 East 12th Street

The pizza here is mouth-wateringly amazing and more similar in style to authentic Italian pizza—simple, flavorful, fresh ingredients, served on thin dough. The place is quite popular so you can expect a bit of wait time before ordering.

Rai Rai Ken
214 East 10th Street

When it comes to Japanese ramen, Rai Rai Ken is the insider favorite in the East Village. Authentic dishes are served in a small fourteen stool Japanese noodles stand environment, with soups that bare absolutely no trace of MSG. The food here is very affordable and an East Village must if you lust for noodles or pork-stuffed gyoza on an occasional basis. Click here if you want more East Village ramen suggestions—lots of Japanese places are sprouting like mushrooms in the area.

Hummus Place
109 St. Marks Place

Chickpea fanatics will appreciate the fine hummus served at this East village storefront in what has become a relatively tame St. Marks Place environment. You can have your fill of puffy pita, pickles, and hot sauce here for under $10.

Chick Pea
23 Third Avenue

Speaking of chickpeas, from the looks of this place through its large glass façade the fact that this place serves great hummus and shwarma is proven simply by the sheer numbers of people going in and out its doors. The ingredients are fresh and the whole-wheat homemade pita bread is warm to the touch. The added bonus is that the price range here is also extremely affordable. It's also right next door to one of our favorite bars, Continental, described below.

Caracas Arepa Bar
91 East 7th Street

Crispy Venezuelan corn muffins stuffed with mashed chicken or shredded beef sprinkled with Cheddar cheese anyone? The seventeen varieties served here are served like burgers in napkin-draped plastic baskets and can be eaten in-house or ordered for take-out. Check this place out!

Cucina Di Pesce
87 East 4th Street (2nd and 3rd Avenues)

This is the only bonafide seafood stop on our cheap eats list, but it is rare to find a sit-down restaurant anywhere in Manhattan that serves dishes like seafood lasagne, grilled salmon, or sea scallops at very reasonable prices. (The grilled eggplant is a great deal as well!). Take advantage of their early bird plate and show up before 6:30pm to beat the crowds, or stop by for the fixed menu brunch around noonish on Sundays. You won't regret it.

Old Devil Moon
511 East 12th Street

This barbecue joint has a décor that has been called hillbilly chic and serves delicious barbecue ribs, fried catfish, mac & cheese, along with scrumptious slices of peanut butter pie and fresh fruit cobbler for dessert. It pays to stop by here between 5pm and 7pm for their early bird special when $15 covers everything.

Dumpling Man
100 St. Marks Place (1st Ave and Ave A)

It is a hard claim to make in Asian restaurant rich New York but Dumpling Man on St. Marks makes dumplings better than anyone else. They range from traditional to exotic flavors. Dumpling places used to be the domain of Chinatown eateries, but not anymore. The North Asian style dumplings served here give the East Village reason to raise the dumpling flag here. It's a genuine feat and a place to be proud about.

236 East 9th St

Holy octopus balls! This place has sizzling Japanese at bargain-basement prices, and chances are you'll sample something new and unique here that's worth writing home about.

Artichoke Basille's Pizzeria & Brewery
328 East 14th St (1st Avenue)

Don't be surprised to see a crowd of people standing in front of this tiny place on 14th Street, and not because there is some New York celebrity couple inside. The star's name here is Art E. Choke, and the pizza fan base he has tapped into is nothing short of astonishing. East Villagers have a hound-like hunger for these garlic-flavored slices, you can almost see them drooling on the sidewalk outside.

East Village Clothing Stores and Thrift Shops

Tokio 7
64 East 7th Street

Cheap and chic—well, kind of. This is an East Village treasure chest that has everything from Gucci glasses and loafers to Sass and Bide dresses to Lanvin Opera gloves. High end and low end meet in this well organized downtown shop.

Jane's Exchange
191 East 3rd Street (Avenue A)

This unique children's and maternity consignment shop is located in the heart of the East Village. Shopping is a great way for parents to reuse/recycle clothing and other products, shop on credit, and enjoy a unique variety of new and gently used items at affordable prices. Kids clothing, always in excellent shape, goes from infant through teens. Open daily noon-6pm.

Trash & Vaudeville
4 St. Marks Place

Whether it's a distressed outfit for the next punk show, ancient t-shirts, accessories from the dark side, or denim and leather that makes you feel way cool, Trash & Vaudeville remains one of NYC's premier locations for vintage clothes. The staff are legendary, and actually quite eager to please. A must-visit, even for window shoppers.

Search & Destroy
25 Saint Marks Place

Desperately seeking the perfectly ripped punk t-shirt? Or some other overpriced vintage item you can't find elsewhere? You'll find it here in this loveable East Village temple of more-than-gently-used clothing.

325 East 5th Street

Some terrific finds here, including silk and muslin dresses from the 60's and 70's, hand made vests, and lovely high-waisted skirts with pockets and funky colors. Aside from the vintage clothes, everything sold in the shop is strictly hand-made. The tiny boutique features feathered jewelry by designer Phillippa Price, stunning headpeices by NY/LA designers Pas Comme les Moutons, and a bevy of other treats from local New York designers.

Amarcord Vintage Fashion
84 East 7th St

Shop here and you'll find yourself collecting wearable art you couldn't find anywhere else. Your wallet will be noticeably lighter but your closet will thank you forever.

Want even more recommendations? Read through our Vintage Style Maven guide.

Cheap Thrills—Cool Attractions In the East Village

Tompkins Square Park
East 7th Street and Avenue A

Beautiful Tompkins Square Park offers something for everyone, including dog runs, basketball courts, a weekly market, outdoor music events, and occasionally local characters chatting late into the night, and for those who know their New York history, the occasional riot. To be fair, few other parks in America have played such an important role in radical or anarchist history. Boxcar Bertha was known to hang out here when not hopping freight trains.

Kitty Nights Burlesque
170 Avenue A

Sunday nights the windows at this East Village bar steam up from the saucy burlesque performances performed inside. Audience members get to see talented artists shake, shimmy, and twirl their fluffy tails off for a mere five-dollar cover charge.

P.S.122 Performance Space
150 1st Avenue

Performance Space 122 is a not-for-profit arts center serving the New York City dance and performance community. P.S.122 is committed to supporting the development of work by individual artists who create live art with an authentic vision. Weekend events are usually in the evenings, although occasionally there are weekend matinee performances.

Ukrainian Museum
222 East 6th Street

The Ukrainian Museum is dedicating to informing the public about the remarkable scope and diversity of the Ukrainian culture and it's achievements, past and present. In the Museum the emphasis is on the cultural legacy of the Ukrainian people, who have over a thousand years shared cultural experience. Tickets are inexpensive, making this a good visit to make with the whole family. It's also directly across from McSorley's Old Ale House, described below.

Astor Place

Astor Place is an interesting section of the East Village to go to for a variety of reasons. Commencing where St Marks Place ends—ie Eighth Street west of Third Avenue—it features inexpensive hair salons, skateboarders, Cooper Union, and the Papp Public Theater. You'll find it is easy to find entertaining things to do here with little or no money.

Nuyorican Poets Café
236 East 3rd Street

A non-profit organization, the Cafe has emerged as one of the country's most highly respected arts organizations and has become an acclaimed forum for innovative poetry, music, hip hop, video, visual arts, comedy and theatre. Home to the slam poetry movement in New York, NPC offers a variety of musical, poetic, and theatrical events that are interesting and inexpensive.

Cheap East Village Pubs and Dive Bars

Blue & Gold Tavern
79 East 7th Street (near 1st Avenue)

A family owned bar since 1958, the Blue and Gold remains a great neighborhood bar with reasonably priced drinks and a great jukebox. The bartenders are friendly and efficient and the clientele ranges from 25-35. Visitors can play pool, board games,
or just hang out and drink some Blue and Gold Lager.

Blarney Cove
510 East 14th Street

Blarney Cove is a well-known East Village cash only dive bar. Cheap brews and veteran drinkers drop by here to drink cheap drafts and talk about sports from 8am to 4am in the morning. Sunday through Wednesday is usually when the locals hang out. Weekends tend to be the time for tourists and trendy hipsters.

25 3rd Avenue (near St. Marks Place)

5 Shots of anything for $10, all drinks under $5. Need we say more?

Parkside Lounge
317 East Houston Street

This East Village bar on the southern border of the neighborhood is not only everything that you crave in a good old-fashioned NYC dive bar, it also has a small performance space in the back with regular comedy acts, local bands, and DJs sessions which are reasonably priced and sometimes free.

85 East 4th Street

In the years since it opened in 1993, KGB has become something of a New York literary institution. Writers hooked up in the publishing world read here with pleasure and without pay to an adoring public over drinks almost every Sunday evening (fiction), Monday evening (poetry), and most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The crowd loves it.!Admission is free, drinks are cheap and strong.

Village Pourhouse
64 Third Avenue (11th Street)

The Village Pourhouse features over 60 feet of bar length, 21 high definition flat panel and projection televisions, a wood burning fireplace and a sports memorabilia gallery. Frequent Special Event nights, happy hours, and Friday Night Ladies Night.

Arrow Bar
85 Avenue A (Basement)

Weekly parties and drink specials are the norm here to attract plenty of folks and convert them into them regular patrons. On Heavy Metal Happy Hour Fridays cheap drinks and thrasher music flows freely. Every night before 9 PM the bar serves up two-for-one drinks, so there’s more of an incentive to get the party rolling sooner rather than later. Professional drinkers: not miss the $20 all you can drink draft beer specials on Monday nights with Monday Night Football and live DJ.

Mars Bar
25 East 1st Street

Mars Bar is as it always was—covered in graffiti from ceiling to floor, full of punks and drunks, local celebrities, NYU students, aging hippies and dreadlocked white rastas. Most happening after the midnight hour, the legendary jukebox has all the classics from the Dead Kennedys to the Clash and many others you haven't heard for two decades. Drink prices remain ridiculously low.

McSorley's Old Ale House
15 East 7th Street

Superlatives abound when you are talking about one of New York's oldest continuously-operating bars. For over 150 years, McSorley's has been brewing its own, and just entering the place and noting all the antiques, memorabilia and sawdust on the floor, it hearkens back to an earlier time. Ordering your beers, you'll receive two smaller glasses rather than one pint, which is just part of the McSorley tradition. Although there is food here too, we stick to the alcohol. St. Patrick's Day here is a madhouse scene, don't miss it.

Supermarkets and Food Shops

Associated Supermarkets
409 East 14th Street/342 East 8th Street

This large supermarket has two locations in the East Village. It is part of a retailers' cooperative of grocery stores with locations in all five boroughs in New York City and worthy of mention here because its groceries are a cut below prices you would find at pricier national chains such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

Key Food
52 Avenue A

This chain store founded in 1937 in New York City is definitely not known for its glamorous presentations or health-conscious, organic food offerings, but you can definitively save a little moolah by stopping in at its convenient East Village location. Film junkies will recognize this Key Food as the one Ethan Hawke strolls past in his movie version of Hamlet.

Trader Joe's
142 East 14th Street

Manhattan has its own Trader Joe's and it's located just beyond the East Village. With a huge array of its own private-label products, TJ's has long been known on the West Coast as a source for great, fresh and lower-priced items ranging from prepared foods to coffee, dips, spreads, chocolates.

East Village Cheese
40 3rd Avenue

This inexpensive cheese shop is an East Village institution. With over a hundred varieties of cheese available at rock bottom prices it definitely pays to pop in here if you're a serious cheese lover who wants to buy cheese and not skimp on quality or quantity.

Jas Mart
35 Saint Marks Place (near 2nd Avenue)

This funky little Japanese supermarket in the basement—with a cool upstairs bakery—offers you the world of colorfully-packaged snack foods, cheap groceries and other staples imported from Japan and sold at fairly reasonable prices. So if you're craving rice crackers, fish cakes, seaweed salads, or vacuum packed pickled eggplant stop in here.

Sunrise Mart
29 Third Avenue (East 9th Street)

The previous Japanese supermarket was in the basement; this one's on the second floor and reached by elevator. Expect quality packaged sushi, sashimi, other tantalizing Japanese snack foods and a wild assortment of canned beverages.

4th Street Food Co-Op
58 East 4th Street

This relatively low profile co-op offers super cheap organic food local and organic produce, the largest selection of bulk dry goods in lower Manhattan, plus vegetarian grocery. Although it is mostly run by unpaid working members. anyone can shop and memberships with discounts are available.

Organic Direct
123 First Avenue

Home delivery of organic groceries and produce services the East Village neighborhood. You can save big here on a number of items when compared to conventional store prices.