Our NYC (Cheap) Foodie Finds

Our NYC (Cheap) Foodie Finds

We have to admit that our New York City college visit trip was a thinly disguised foodie trip, but of the cheap variety. Count us in for dives, and assembly line restaurants versus fancy food. There were some requests of things that are specific to New York City and must be sampled.

Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery NYC

The highest on that list was the Cronut, at the original bakery that invented it. Sadly, we found it overrated though there were items at the bakery — mini Madeleines fresh out of the oven — that were worth coming back for.

Cronut bakery

Bagels were also quite high on the list. The water sourced from Catskills in NYC is famous for its drinkability and is one the biggest reasons why a bagel anywhere else is never as good as a NYC one. PickyKidPix polled her NYC connected friends and came up with Absolute Bagel as the bagel to try. That definitely panned out.

best bagel in NYC Absolute Bagel in Harlem

Grasshopper and Sensei also did some foodie research. She wanted to try Bobba Guys, purported to make “life changing bobba.” We can confirm that! Two Hands is also her find; she spend a summer in Australia and they did not disappoint. They also had the best Pressed Juice, hands down, even compared to the Juice Stores.

life changing Bobba, NYC Bobba Guys

What are your favorite NYC cheap eats? Thanks for sharing. We plan to go back!

Our NYC (Cheap) Foodie Picks

We did some food comparisons.

Bagel Off: Pick-a-Bagel vs. Absolute Bagel vs. Black Seed Bagels

Winner: Absolute Bagel (by far). It’s near Columbia University though.

Hand-rolled, housemade bagels plus spreads & other toppers draw crowds to this bare-bones joint. Address: 2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Absolute Bagel

Donut Off: Dough vs Donut Plant vs Cronut

Winner: Donut Plant (by far). Cronut is overrated.

Bustling outlet for handcrafted doughnuts in unusual varieties such as crème brûlée & tres leches. Address: 220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Donut Planet


Pure Green pressed juice NYCFresh Pressed Juice Off: Pressed Juicery vs. Pure Green vs. Joe & the Juice

Joe and the Juice fresh pressed juice in NYC

Winner: We actually like the juice best at Two Hands. Pressed Juicery had the best prices. The Greens 2 or Greens 3 were out so we tried Greens 5 which wasn’t our flavor combination. We suspect we’d like Greens 2 or Greens 3 enough to make Pressed Juicery the winner, but this is due to being a good value.

Pressed Juicery NYC

Brunch/Lunch: Two Hands vs. Butcher’s Daughter vs Jack’s Wife Freda

Butcher's Daughter fresh pressed juice

Winner: Two Hands (by far), but all three restaurants are excellent and we would recommend them all!

Two Hands

Bobba Off: Bobba Guys vs. Pa Tea

Winner: Bobba Guys (by far). There’s a second location near NYU. They have locations in San Francisco too!

Boba Guys – Lower East Side
23 Clinton St.
New York, NY 10002

Boba Guys – Greenwich Village
11 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10003

bobba guys by NYU in NYC

Assembly Line Restaurants: Wise Fish Poke vs. Fresh and Co. vs. Chopt

Winner: Wise Fish Poke (for Poke), Chopt for salad

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Hawaiian counter-serve spot for buildable bowls of poke, with raw fish or tofu, plus add-ins. Address: 263 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

We also tried and recommend:

Momofuku Noodle Bar, though the line is crazy long. We waited 1.5 hours to be seated and then another half hour for food to arrive. We were at the restaurant at 6pm also, hoping to avoid the line.

Momofuku Milk Bar.


Best Marketing: Jack’s Wife Freda. The food is good too!

Jack's Wife Frida

p.s. Want to see our 5 days in NYC? I made short videos here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5. We covered 4 colleges, 4 museums, 2 galleries, 12 Broadway show, and numerous foodie & shopping stops.

Our NYC (Cheap) Foodie Finds

p.s. More about Art Colleges from our college tours:

RISD Pre-College Program

Visiting Emily Carr Art + Design University in Canada

Visiting Pratt

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

Top Art and Design Colleges

Applying to Art School: School of Visual Arts

Visiting West Coast Art Schools & Foodie Stops Nearby

Applying to RISD: Advice from Antonio Peters in Admissions

Tips for National Portfolio Day


and some fun stuff …

If you are visiting New York City, here are our cheap foodie finds.

Our NYC (Cheap) Foodie Finds

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids (by my arty daughter)

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Best Toys for Arty Kids

An Arts Studio of One’s Own

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. What a great five days in NYC. Love your video. Can’t believe you saw visited four schools, and saw 12 Broadway shows in five days — and museums. You’ll have to go home to relax! Glad you had a great time together.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…The Someday Birds by Sally J. PlaMy Profile

  2. Thanks, Mia!! I’ll keep these in mind, since I’ll be in NYC this summer with my daughter. And while we’re there, I’ll be doing a book launch at Books of Wonder 🙂

  3. Amazing! Did you do way in advance planning for the Broadway shows? So much fun!! I hope I can try some of those places one day.
    Joan Gladstone Kramer recently posted…APRIL IS SCHOOL LIBRARY MONTH/NATIONALPOETRY MONTHMy Profile

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