Situated between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, it takes after its original MacDougal Street location, except with shorter lines. They offer their falafel sandwich, now priced at $2.50, a signature classic wrapped in tin foil, complete with ample tomatoes, lettuce and tahina sauce (be sure to grab extra paper napkins!). Mamoun’s also offers a vast selection of discounted Middle Eastern Cuisine, with options like lentil soup, tabouleh, hummus and shawarma. There are a couple booths inside Mamoun’s St. Marks, as well as a few small outdoor-seating tables, a perfect vantage-point to enjoy some cheap-eats while you check out the heart of the St. Marks scene.
Another $2.50 falafel option, around the corner from Mamoun’s, at 2nd Avenue between St. Marks and 7th Street. It is an incredibly simplistic eatery, with its no-frills stools and flat-screen television playing in the back. At Cheep’s, you can order a few fried falafel balls to be put into a pita, then followed by an offer of chopped lettuce and tomato. After the first round of this personalized sandwich creation is handed to you within a folded wax paper, you are then given the many personal choices of dressing your snack how you want it. First, there is the salad bar. If you do not think you are getting your fill of chickpeas by a few balls of falafel, you can dress your sandwich with chickpea salad and hummus. Other options include a pickled cauliflower and carrot concoction, raw red onions and shredded cabbage salad. Finally, you can top it off with any of their sauces, whether you’re into ketchup, tahina, hot sauce or extra hot sauce. Although they do not offer plates with their falafel, there are plastic forks in the back, so even if you pack in your sandwich to the extreme, you’ll be able to eat it all somewhat gracefully. Be sure to fill up your pita the way you want before you walk away; they charge $1 for extra salad! Some other options at Cheep’s include chicken shawarma, lamb shawarma, Turkish rice and French fries.
If cheap pizza is what you’re craving, there is always 2 Bros on St. Marks, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. In this part of town, 2 Bros was so popular that it actually has two separate locations on St. Marks a few doors down from one another, if one happens to be too crowded. Though it may not be the best slice of pizza you can get in the area, it is definitely the fastest, cheapest and easiest option. If you’re feeling like you want to be frivolous at 2 Bros, you can purchase a pepperoni slice for $1.50.
For those who are bored of the standard budget options of falafel and pizza, but still do not have a ton of money to spend on food, they can head to Xi’an Famous Foods on St. Marks, between 1st and 2nd Avenue. Named after a city in Western China, Xi’an Famous Foods is a cheap-eats Chinese eatery chain. This particular location shows off its reviews on the window outside; on the inside, there are 12 stools on small tables and wall counter. Their menu is mostly focused around different types of noodles, such as Buckwheat Cold Noodles and Mount Qi Vegetables Hand-Ripped Noodles. This place also sells soups, salads and burgers, and has other locations throughout NYC.