Launched as a direct response to "Cheap Eats" lists published by Time Out New York and New York Magazine, Real Cheap Eats garnered a surprisingly large following. It became a labor of love for the editors, writers, and photographers who wanted not only to share their tips on local food, but also show appreciation for the local business owners who moved heaven and earth to offer a piece of themselves to anyone who walked through their doors.
For a few reasons -- some business, some personal -- Real Cheap Eats has closed its doors.
You can still see the full directory of eats we had recommended over the years here, but since that information may be outdated, please double-check on the internets before trekking out to eat.
If you’ve been using our site to find your next great bite, please continue following our most active contributors, as they continue to trek across all five boroughs to connect with the full range of people and foods that make New York one of the world’s best places to have a meal:
Anne Noyes Saini is now the producer of a wonderful, New York-based food podcast called The Sporkful. She continues to write about food as a freelance journalist.
Charles Bibilos has relocated to Colorado, but continues to build relationships with the cooks of New York as he inches ever closer to fulfilling the mission of the United Nations of Food.
Dave Cook, our local patron saint of food blogging, continues to deliver daily bites of local food and local culture at Eating in Translation.
Jamie Feldmar still writes about food as a freelance journalist and consultant. Her first cookbook, “Taste and Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking,” was released in 2016.
Jared Cohee is still on the international eats beat throughout the NYC metropolitan area. Follow along at Eat the World NYC.
Jeff Orlick continues to lead the annual Momo Crawl and other events supporting new immigrant entrepreneurs.
Krista Garcia continues to prove that the beats of international fast food and chain restaurants are eternal paths for the noble among us at Goodies First.
Max Falkowitz is the executive digital editor at Saveur. His first cookbook (co-authored with superstar Helen You), The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook, was released in 2017. You can follow hist story (and stories) by following him on Twitter.
Robyn Lee is still the best food blogger the universe has ever given us. Keep following along with her adventures at The Girl Who Ate Everything.
Wendy Wong is sharing her most memorable local and global food experiences, as well as the people behind them and their stories, at Person Place Food.
Yvo Sin continues her reign as New York’s most consistent, independent, opinionated food blogger at Feisty Foodie.
The team that built all of Real Cheap Eats’ working parts are still at large as creative and technical professionals:
Angel Perez, platform engineer
Cassandra Brinen, designer
Christian Moscardi, teacher and software developer
Jayson Phillips, software engineer and instructor
Matt Yu, design director
The founders of Real Cheap Eats no longer write about food, but are still very involved with New York’s food communities:
James Boo is now a full-time documentary filmmaker and multimedia director. His final testament to food is 1 Minute Meal, a gallery of micro-documentaries that use food to create a more inclusive and dignified media portrayal of America identity.
Noah Arenstein is co-owner of El Atoradero and Madre Mezcaleria in Brooklyn, serving the best homestyle Pueblan food and mezcals in New York. He also directs the annual Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair, in collaboration with The Workmen’s Circle.
As you continue to navigate the world of food in NYC, please keep in mind the socioeconomic issues that “cheap” food inevitably exposes. Tip your local restaurant staff well, treat them as people before products, and try to hear the stories and struggles behind your meals. If there’s anything that we’ve passed on as a legacy, we hope that it’s compassion for the people who nourish us and make our daily lives more than a hand-to-mouth existence.
James and Noah,
Co-founders of Real Cheap Eats