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The Five Best NYC Foods For $1

Hot tamale!
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Hot tamale! Flickr user Josh Derr

There's plenty of expensive food in this town, but there's also plenty of cheap eats, if you know where to look. Like, really cheap eats—in the one dollar range, which you should be able to scrounge up with a minimum of desperation determination (friend of Gothamist Josh Bernstein does it all the time!). Inspired by Fork in the Road's recent discovery of Kashmir's Dollar Burger near the Port Authority, we decided to take a look at five other dollar-priced treats around the city. Hungry? Start combing those couch cushions for extra change.

Dumplings: A longstanding favorite amongst cheap eaters, there are several places in all three Chinatowns to get dollar dumplings, but we prefer an old-school favorite: Prosperity Dumpling in Manhattan. Five crispy, greasy, juicy dumplings for a buck, unlimited Sriracha, plastic plates, a handful of stools—what more do you need?
Prosperity Dumpling // 46 Eldridge St // 212-343-0683

Tamales: Another perennial leader of the cheap-eater's pack. Almost all of the corn-husk steamed snacks available from street vendors along Roosevelt Avenue near 74th Street in Jackson Heights are worth trying; but for a more permanent (read: storefront) option, head to Corona for the spicy red chicken flavor Taqueria La Casa Del Idolo.
Taqueria La Casa Del Idolo // 91-07 Corona Avenue, Queens // 718-271-0384

Samosas: Again, there are plenty of one-dollar samosas around town, but for a day-or-night fix, head to the 24-hour Little Pakistan Deli Corp in the East Village, which offers the triangular Indian pastry with chicken and potato-vegetable fillings. The crust isn't always perfectly golden-crisp, but when you're stopping in at 4 a.m., who cares?
Little Pakistan Deli Corp // 200 2nd Avenue // 212-477-7744

Pirozhki: Like many great cheap eats (see: dumplings, samosas), this Russian snack is basically meat wrapped in carbs. Oblong-shaped pirozhki have a bready baked shell typically filled with minced beef, onions, and mushrooms, though sweet versions also exist. A handful of street vendors and marketplaces in Brighton Beach sell them for $.75-$1, but try Russian superstore M & I International's version for guaranteed freshness.
M & I International Foods // 249 Brighton Beach Avenue // 718-615-1011

Pizza: No mention of dollar eats in the city would be complete without mention of the ubiquitous $.99 pizza places in recent years. Here's the deal: really, none of them are that good (what do you expect?), and we think your dollar could be better spent elsewhere (see all of the above). If you simply must have a slice, here's a rundown of all of the dollar pizza in Manhattan. Proceed with caution.

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