2004_09_banhmi.jpgA while back, there was some talk about places one can find a decent meal in the city for under $10. That got us thinking -- $10 isn't that tough, but what about $5? And the same rules apply -- "no fast-food chains, no coffee shops and no slices." Our first thought was Fried Dumpling -- at $1 for 5 dumplings, you could literally gorge yourself for $5. Our second thought was any of the various banh mi places in Chinatown, like Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1, where every sandwich on the menu is less than $5. Other options include the delectable falafel from Rainbow Falafel & Shwarma ($3.50 plus tax); $2 tacos at Zaragoza (two tacos are quite filling); or you could order very carefully at Grilled Cheese NYC, but who wants to worry about going over budget? The $3.75 lunch special at 38th Street Restaurant and Bakery also fits the bill. Admittedly, 25 fried pork dumplings may cause some gastric distress, but the other options are a bit more well-rounded. What are your suggestions for a cheap, fairly decent meal for less than five bucks?

Photo courtesy of CityRag