Expect to Spend: New York

Expect to Spend: New York - New York, United States

New York is not obviously a Cheapo dream city. But scratch the surface a bit (and use us as a resource) and you can find decently priced restaurants and hotels.

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Hotel Rates

Hotels in New York are among the most expensive in the world. Average hotels in New York can easily run upwards of $300 a night, and every New York resident has heard stories of visitors spending in the neighborhood of $800 per night for a relatively unremarkable double room.

For outsiders and natives alike, these rates are more than a bit shocking. Our hotel listings, by way of contrast, cap at low-season rates of $250 per night (and go as low as $80 per night for a double). One easy way to slice dollars off your nightly rate is to choose a room with a shared bathroom, should one be available.

Know that all hotels in New York City carry the additional cost of the New York State sales tax, 14.75 percent, in addition to an Occupancy Rate Charge of $3.50 percent per night. It is very rare that these additional charges are included in the room rate you'll be quoted, so keep them in mind.

Restaurant Prices

With more than 20,000 restaurants, New York is a gourmand's paradise. Despite this, restaurants in New York City are not, in general, a huge bargain. To be sure, some truly amazing restaurants can be found, but you'll also find many overpriced and mediocre places.

Entrees at midrange restaurants cost between $12 and $25. Add between $8 and $12 for a glass of wine and between $20 or $40 for a bottle of wine. Diners will charge between $5 and $12 for a main menu item. Sandwiches at nice cafés will run between $6 and $12.

A Cheapo tip when dining out in New York: Avoid the heavily touristed areas. Times Square, for example, is dominated by overprices, mediocre restaurants, many of the large chain variety. Just off Times Square, however, you'll find an array of more interesting and affordable options, both along Restaurant Row (46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues) and a few blocks farther west in Hell's Kitchen. Little Italy, likewise, can be dicey. Tourists flock there expecting good, authentic Italian, but many of the restaurants are tourist traps, and far more costly than the food is worth. 

For some good eats at good prices, check out our cheap restaurants in New York guide

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