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Food & Drink

5 Tasty But Cheap Restaurants For Eating With A Group

By Claire Leaden

5 Tasty But Cheap Restaurants For Eating With A Group

From meze to tapas, these spots follow cultural traditions that are all about shareable plates — which makes them the perfect cheap restaurants for a group of family or friends.

The worst part of eating with a group is when the bill comes, as you divide items and try to appease the friend who only chose water to drink. Luckily, there are NYC restaurants focused on shareable dishes — plates that are actually designed for multiple people to enjoy.

Instead of having decision fatigue over the menu, you can try a bit of everything. And that’s what most of us want anyway, right? 

Here are five spots to try the next time you need cheap restaurants for a group:

1. TRU, Astoria

 

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First is TRU Astoria, whose Greek owners believe in genuine “family style” eating. This is why they encourage shared meals with their meze-style menu. “Meze” literally means “taste” or “bite” in Greek. They have over 30 different menu items across categories like seafood, meat, vegetables and cheese. 

And forget happy hour, TRU offers “meze hour” instead from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with $4 small plate and drink specials. 

Address: 35-19 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105

Average Price: $9-18 per small plate, with options like: warm pita with a medley of Greek dips like tzatziki, hummus and tirokafteri (a spicy whipped feta), grilled halloumi cheese, Greek fries with oregano and olive oil, and more.

See more on their website.

2. Au Za’atar, East Village

 

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If you’re even a bit of an NYC foodie on Instagram, you’ve seen photos of Au Za’atar’s mouth-watering tableside shawarma. They serve rotating meat on a skewer and carve it right at your table, over a pile of thin-cut French fries, vegetables and spices. In other words, definitely meant for sharing.

But this is only an addition to their super group-friendly menu, which mimics the type of food mothers and grandmothers in Lebanon make for family dinner. Rounds and rounds of food comes out, including plenty of Lebanese mezze like pickles, eggs, halloumi cheese, makanek (sausages), baba ghanoush and tabouli.

Address: 188 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Average Price: $58 for tableside chicken shawarma, serving four people or more.

Read the full menu on their website.

3. Mercado Little Spain, Hudson Yards

 

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This Spanish mini-market was one of the most-anticipated parts of Hudson Yards — and for good reason. The Chef José Andrés establishment was dubbed his “love letter to Spain,” and allows you to try the best food from all over the country, right here in New York. The Mercado (or “market”) is your best bet for sharing food — you can each take your own “tapas tour” around the space and meet up to share bites of all your treasures. 

Address: 10 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

Average Price: Food items range from $5-16 and include: authentic bocatas (sandwiches), empanadas, bravas (crispy fried potatoes), churros and more.

Check out more on their site.

4. Būmu, West Village

 

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The brand-new Būmu from Chef Joaquin Baca (of Teo and Momofuku Noodle Bar) is modeled after an izakaya, a casual Japanese “gastropub” of sorts. The menu is loaded with shareable small plates. For instance, there is a creative raw bar of uni and salmon, yaki (grilled) skewers like baby octopus with shiitake and horseradish, and crispy pork belly with pineapple and hoisin. 

Address: 61 W 8th Street, New York, NY 10011

Average Price: Plates range from $11-27

See more on their site.

5. Le Club, Meatpacking

 

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At Le Club, formerly Le Grill, French-inspired small bites encourage socializing and sharing. The menu is divided into four sections. “Garden” features options like charred avocado with pickled red pepper. “Sea” includes a Maine lobster roll and kusshi oysters. “Land” offers the likes of Crescent Farms duck and beef sliders. And last but not least, “Sweet & Cheese” features items like warm beignets and a cotton candy cloud.

Moreover, lounge seating with velvet upholstered banquettes encourage kicking back with a group and enjoying high-quality food in comfort!

Address: 85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Average Price: Plates range from $7-24

Find out more here.

 

Featured image: @f00die_with_a_b00ty