Once a rough and tumble quarter full of Irish immigrants and hot dog carts, Hell’s Kitchen is now a fashionable Midtown neighborhood that boasts some of the best eateries on the isle of Manhattan. Its proximity to the theater district and the famed Actors Studio has long made Hell’s Kitchen a haven for the artistically minded, and now that the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has made its home there, the area is even more of a hot spot for Manhattanites and tourists alike. But, you can’t drain your wallet every time you want a night out in the city, so here is a list of some of the best inexpensive (and fun) restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen that could please even the fussiest foodie.
While Empanada Mama on 9th Ave has a full menu, including entrees, salads, and desserts, you really need to try some of their famous empanadas. With over 40 flavors to choose from, you will be able to satisfy your appetite for something savory with the Caribbean-style pork filled Brasil empanada, something spicy with the Spicy Chicken Empanada, and something sweet with the American as apple pie USA empanada. Allergies? Fear not, empanadas come in both wheat and corn flour. Picky eaters? There is a plain old burger on the menu too. All empanadas are priced between $2 and $3 each, which will leave you plenty of cash to try one of their delicious drinks too!
Stecchino’s is known for its Italian-style burgers. While you can grab an entree here, the best bang for your buck is one of the burger plates which range between $12.50 and $14.50. These burgers range from the adventurous, The Butchers Block pork and black truffle burger, to the aristocratic, Caesar’s Palazzo with shredded romaine and Caesar dressing. Each plate comes with a generous helping of the familiar and the unexpected, and every burger satisfies. IF by some chance you are still hungry after dinner, you can always top things off with a traditional cannoli for dessert.
Pizza is always the perfect choice, whether you are dining with a large group or a small one, and New York always knows how to do pizza right. At Merilu’s you can go for a plain NY Pie for as little as $12 or a Prosciutto di Param Pizza for $23, or grab one of their delicious salads or homemade Italian dishes to satisfy your appetite. The folks at Merilu’s have a huge menu for you to choose from, and even offer gluten free options, because no one should have to live without pizza. You can round off the night with some Classic Nutella.