New York on a budget

Published November 23rd, 2012

Anyone in a New York state of mind right now? I know there are still some parts that are recovering from Hurricane Sandy (that old witch!), but most of the city is back to buzzing at its very best and ready to put on a party for you. So if you’re planning a trip to NYC soon (New Years Eve perhaps) – or just heart New York in general, here are some great ways to get more bang for your buck in the Big Apple.

6 Times Square Times Square in New York


Where to stay: It’s no secret that accommodation can be expensive in New York, but we know of some cheap-yet-cheerful pads to rest your head at. Like Times Square House, a fantastic guest house located in the heart of the city. If the house’s location alone doesn’t sell you (just a 5 minute walk to central park), its award for cleanliness will. But if staying in Manhattan is too much coin, head to where the hipsters are in Brooklyn. We love the bargain that is Lefferts Manor Bed and Breakfast, one of Brooklyn’s best B&Bs and just a 20minute train ride to Manhattan.



What to eat: Whether you have $10 or $1000, New York has a meal to suit your budget. Yes, some of the city’s restaurants are known for their extravagant prices, but who wants to dine next to Donald Trump anyway. His hair alone is enough to put me off my food. See:


HA! In any case, Manhattan is home to an endless supply of delicious cheap eats. Head to Midtown for Taiwanese dumplings from A-Pou’s Taste Cart or sink your teeth into a falafel from Ba’al Café and Falafel on Sullivan Street. For pizza under AU$4, Bleecker Street Pizza on 7th Avenue will rock your world but not your bank account while Thai Market on Amsterdam Avenue serves delicious Pad Thai for AU$10.


For something truly NYC though, the Peanut Butter & Co on Sullivan Street sells a serious range of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Alternatively, you can embrace your inner meatball by eating one (or seven) at The Meatball Shop on Bedford in Greenwich.


Where to party: For a tongue-in-cheek-tacky beverage, Trailer Park in Chelsea takes its name literally. Think Christmas decorated ceilings, garage door windows, pink lawn flamingos and pregnant mannequins smoking.  Much like the pretence, the drinks are cheap too. And when at Trailer Park – there’s no judgement either. Cheap drinks and cute kids can also be found at Welcome to the Johnsons in LES, where the pool tables are worn and the room is reminiscent of a seventies rec room. Travelling nerds should also head to Gotham City Lounge in Brooklyn for a cheap shot of whiskey amongst comic-book and super hero surrounds.


Budget tips: If you’re not willing to part with US$25 just to head up to the main deck of the Empire State Building, consider seeing a similar view from one of New York’s numerous roof top bars. Sure a cocktail at Sky Room in Midtown (the highest roof deck in the city) may not cost much less, but at least you can admire the city skyline while sipping on something divine.  


Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.