Great, cheap New York Restaurants: An intern’s budget picks for delicious eateries that won’t break the bank

With restaurants crowding every block, finding a great place to eat in New York City can be an overwhelming undertaking. The perfect slice of pizza, a great steak, the world’s best burger and the flakiest, most delicious pastry this side of the Atlantic are probably all located in New York City. But, how do you find these tasty treats? The sheer number of options in the Big Apple can totally bog you down and keep you from finding the true winning restaurants. The world’s best and the world’s worst pizza are probably both located on the island of Manhattan and probably look strikingly similar on the outside. So, when you are hungry in the city that never sleeps, how do you sort through all the mediocre places to find that truly delicious option?

Last week, I gave you New York City resident Lindsey Brown’s 5 favorite places to drink. In keeping with this trend of talking to New York’s best experts (those that reside in and love the city), I interviewed Jordan Crucchiola, intern at Rolling Stone magazine and gourmand extraordinaire, about her favorite NYC eateries. This girl always seems to have honing device for finding the greatest eateries wherever she finds herself, from New York to Eugene, Oregon, so I’d trust her recommendations. Here is what she came up with:

Jordan Crucchiola’s Top NYC Restaurant Picks

John’s Pizzeria
Greenwich Village, 278 Bleecker St (at Jones St) New York , NY 10014

You’ll have to get a whole pie and bring cash if you visit this well-loved Greenwich Village institution, but you won’t be sorry—especially when you have leftovers for a pizza breakfast the next morning. Cooked in wood-fire ovens, this thin crusted treat has the greatest sauce to crust to cheese ratio on the island. Jordan claims this is the best pizza she’s had since returning from Italy, and is enough to get me on board for sure. If you are looking for some great New York City pizza, this place just can’t be beat.

>>Visit John’s Pizzeria’s web site

A Salt and Battery
Greenwich Village, 112 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011

If you are looking for some amazing fish and chips on this side of the pond, this is the place to go. Jordan says it best, so I’ll just quote her directly: “Now, I’m discriminating with my fish and chips, so I wouldn’t take this lightly, but it was probably the best battered and fried fish I’ve had, and the tartar sauce was perfect.” You’ll also get authenticity, as the guys who run this place are a group of, according to Jordan, “sassy” Brits. If you trust the British with no other food item, trust them with their fish n chips.

>>Visit A Salt and Battery’s web site

Fat Sal’s Pizza
Hell’s Kitchen, 730 10TH Ave, New York, NY 10019

Everywhere you turn in NYC you’ll see places selling pizza by the slice. It’s almost always thin crusted, but it is not always delicious. According to Jordan, Fat Sal’s has the best by-the-slice pizza in town, and I trust her. It’s crispy, it’s delicious and it’s cheap. A hard to beat combination of greatness.

>>Visit Fat Sal’s web site

Rocco’s Pastry Shop and Espresso
Greenwich Village, 243 Bleecker Street New York, NY 10014

This bakery has been pleasing New Yorkers for 31 years and has an awe-inspiring large selection of baked goods for reasonable prices. Jordan says, “Down the street from John’s there’s an Italian bakery called Rocco’s that has an incredible pasty case. It runs pretty much the length of the room with mini and giant treats of all kinds – creamy things, chocolaty things, coffee-y things, tarty things. They charge for the stuff by the pound, but I’ve gone in there a couple of times and got small assortments of mini items for under $5. I thought it was a super deal. It is also very quaintly Italian.” Apparently, their pastries aren’t the only steal of a deal here. Coffee lover, friend and former roommate Emily McNab said her Hazelnut latte from Rocco’s was the best of her life, all for under $2, about 4 bucks less than she paid and Dean & Deluca the day before.

>>Visit Rocco’s web site