As The Byrds once crooned, there is “a time to every purpose, under heaven”—a time for saving, a time for splurging, a time for fancy dinners, and a time for cheap eats. In the New Year, while some of us are watching our waistlines, others will be watching their wallets. So we set out to bring you 23 affordable restaurants we love in the Hudson Valley. Our rubric? A decent bite to eat for under $10 (pre-tax, pre-tip). Here they are folks, gobble ’em up. If we missed your favorite inexpensive dining destination, let us know—and don’t worry! We revisit this list every year.
Bread Alone was baking organic bread long before it was in vogue. Since 1983, their flaky loaves have been a cornerstone of the local food scene. Try their bread at the source at any of their four cafe/retail locations. Order from the all-day breakfast menu for a $4 egg-and-cheese or opt for a hearty soup, salad, or sandwich. Bread Alone cooks use New York State ingredients and their bread is made fresh daily.
Our Pick: Carrot Bahn Mi ($9)
Circle W MarketPalenville
With a quaint white-and-red exterior, a candystripe awning, and a picket fence, this little roadside market looks straight out of another time. Serving breakfast, lunch, coffee, "bonkers" doughnuts and other baked goodies, this small and homey general store is the perfect place to pull up a chair at a creaky old table, and soak in the view.
Our Pick: Avocado Toast with Sriracha & Eden Shake ($7; add eggs for $2)
This little luncheonette has taken the familiar comfort of a local diner—with its counter stools, milkshakes, coffee top-ups, and all-day breakfast menu—and elevated it. Everything from the bread to the ice cream and the condiments is made fresh, in-house; dairy, produce, and meat are from surrounding farms. The convergence of hyper-fresh sourcing and a dedication to laid-back approachability makes this little eatery a pleasure to frequent.
Our Pick: Poutine ($8)
Founded by the owner of Buttermilk Falls Inn and Henry's at the Farm, Friday's offers breakfast, lunch, and baked goods, all made from scratch daily. With a build-your-own salad bar that includes everything from quinoa to whitefish to kale (priced by the pound), paninis, wraps, and burgers, this is a great spot for a quick lunch that hits the spot.
Our Pick: Frida's Farmers Salad ($8.50)
In a squat, snub-nosed flatiron building at a funny six-way intersection in Midtown Kingston sits an inconspicuous gem. From the outside, Top Taste could be mistaken for a bodega, but inside you'll find all the finger-licking, bone-in Jamaican delicacies you could ask for—oxtail, jerk chicken, curry chicken, stew chicken, beef patties, and goat curry, which is to die for. There is also a hot bar and rotating daily specials. It's small, though, so be prepared to order out.
Our Pick: Jerk Chicken ($7)
Palace DumplingWappingers Falls
Sharing a strip mall with Smokes4Less, a nail salon, and a dry cleaners, Palace Dumpling doesn't exactly have, er, palatial digs. But it's not lofty setting that has people coming back. Palace Dumpling offers over 30 varieties of steaming dumplings alongside a host of soups, salads, noodle dishes, and tea. For between $8 and $13, you get a plate of 12 dumplings, enough to fill you up on your lunch break, or accompany with a salad for dinner.
Our Pick: Pork with Cabbage Dumplings ($8.95)
Savor the flavors of the Middle East in this Oriental rug-clad eatery on Beacon's trendy main drag. For lunch, the pita wrap offers an affordable preview of the dinner mains—shawarma, lamb, kofta, chicken. Vegetarians will find plenty of soups, sides, and rice dishes to satisfy, from the addas (red lentil stew) to the hand-rolled grape leaves to the falafels.
Our Pick: Shawarma Wrap ($9)
Tony's Newburgh LunchNewburgh
Tony's has been a fixture in the waterfront city of Newburgh for going on 50 years, beloved by locals for its cheap hot dogs, homey feel, and special sauce (which you can order online). With breakfast specials ranging from $1.50 to $3.40, hot dogs for $2.25 a piece, and cheeseburgers for $2.75, you have to really be hungry to spend more than 10 bucks a head here. Just don't forget your cholesterol medication!
Our Pick: 1 Hot Dog with Everything ($2.25) + 1 Cheeseburger with Texas Sauce ($2.75)
In a Dutch barn-style building on Poughkeepsie's Main Street, the Drivas family cooks up a sizzling mix of breakfast food, deli sandwiches, and pub grub. Build your own breakfast skillet, dig into an egg platter with corned beef hash, sink your teeth into a chicken chipotle sandwich, or get an order of wings and mozz sticks. The common denominator? They're all delicious and all under $10.