For locals and out-of-towners alike, Chinatown boasts some of the most affordable (and delicious) food in the city – “cash only” of course. Dozens of bakeries sell an array of 90 cent pastries, and the produce from street vendors produce is the freshest – far cheaper than anything found at Fairway or Trader Joes.

Check out my list of the Top 4 Cheap Eats of Chinatown:

1. Dragon Land Bakery (Baxter St. and Walker St.)

The Top 4 (Cheap) Eats of Chinatown2

This place never disappoints and the options here are limitless.  Dragon Land Bakery serves everything from curry buns to french toast to red bean cakes.  Be sure to be quick though; the bakery is so busy that table time is capped at 30 minutes.

2. Xian Famous Foods (Bayard St. between Mott St. and Elizabeth St.)

The Top 4 (Cheap) Eats of Chinatown3

This gem offers a variety of authentic chinese dishes for under six dollars. Both the liang Pi Cold-Skin Noodles and the Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger are worth every penny.

*Other great finds include Banh Mi Saigon for Vietnamese sandwiches and Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles which was featured the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

3. Tasty Dumpling on Mulberry (Mulberry St. and Worth St.)

The Top 4 (Cheap) Eats of Chinatown4

If six bucks breaks the bank, head over to Tasty Dumpling on Mulberry.  The restaurant’s special, 5 dumplings for $1.25 is dynamite, and take a snapchat while you’re at it.

4. Shanghai Cafe (Mott St. between Canal St. and Hester St.)

The Top 4 (Cheap) Eats of Chinatown5

If you’re new to pork soup dumplings, look no further.  Shanghai Cafe steams dozens by the minute and offers numerous an assortment of unqiue Chinese dishes with a twist such as the tangerine chicken with charred sweet orange peels and the Shanghai noodles (dense buckwheat noodles).

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Jeff KatzFormerly a Googler, Jeffrey spent the past year in California overseeing the Development and Operations of the Google+ Community Partnerships CRM.  Jeff has both an MBA and a degree in Industrial Design from Virginia Tech with several years of startup experience in Interface Design and Business Development.  He most recently was part of Big Fuel Communications, serving as a Social Media Analyst for companies such as T-Mobile, Aflac, and Sally Hansen.  Jeff has been an NYC resident for 8 months and currently resides in Chinatown.  You can reach him at