No, “budget” and “Upper East Side” in the same sentence isn’t an oxymoron. When most people think of the UES, they imagine rich old people in tailored suits, designer storefront after designer storefront, and, of course, Gossip Girl. But once you go east past 5th Avenue and head into Yorkville territory, the UES is a very different place.
After ogling at all the stunning high end fashion along 5th and Madison, head a few blocks over to find these great spots that offer the quality you’d expect from the UES for a fraction of the cost.
$3 for a great, authentic croissant? Yes please. Just the facade of this cute cafe is adorable—you can spot its yellow and white striped awning from blocks away. At least stop by to look at all the beautiful pastries on display. Small bites are as cheap as $1-$2.20, so be armed with cash: there’s a $10 credit card minimum.
This place has been lauded as a Chipotle counterpart and is working hard to destroy the stereotype that New York doesn’t have any good Mexican food. With $4 tacos, $7 quesadillas, and $8.50 massive burritos, it’s cheaper than Chipotle. The down side? Chips and salsa are not free; they’ll set you back $2.07.