in honor of my previous post about life on a budget, i’d like to share my favorite “cheap eats” in my neighborhood, williamsburg, brooklyn.

$30 per person will get you plenty of food and at least one drink.

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pates et traditions (french bistro/crêperie)

why is it great? cozy place with delicious crêpes & affordable wine

  • savory crêpes $9-12
  • pasta – $12-13
  • dessert crêpes – $4.50-$6
  • wine – glass $6-8 / bottles $26-30

menu sample:

forestiere ham, mushrooms, swiss cheese, cream, garlic

bergere goat cheese, swiss, fig, honey, onions caramelized, rosemary


bozu – sushi/japanese small plates

why is it great? inventive sushi and small plates give you a chance to try and share so many things

  • snacks – $5-7
  • sushi bombs – $4.50-6
  • sushi rolls $5-7
  • shime & soups – $12-14

menu sample:

mexican bomb salmon, avocado & green tomato sauce

salmon stinky roll salmon, cucumber & garlic sauce

fried tako ball snack made of a wheat flour based batter, filled with diced octopus

sanuki udon flat udon noodle in choice of hot or cold soup, comes with shrimp tempura


oregano – traditional italian/byob

why is it great? cozy all brick space with wood burning oven. save on drinks by bringing your own wine, that can be purchased from liquor store across the street.

  • appetizers – $6-12 (daily selection of cheese & meats most expensive)
  • salads – $9-11
  • pizza $12-14
  • entrees $14.50-17
  • dessert – $7

menu sample:

caesar salad romaine lettuce, wood fired croutons topped w/ shaved parmigiana reggiano

four cheese pizza fior di latte, parmigiano-peggiano, ricotta, porgonzola and extra virgin olive oil.

pastrirma pizza air dried cured beef, san marzano tomatoes, fior di latte and extra virgin olive oil.

chicken parmigiana breaded and topped with fior di latte served with our homemade fettuccine.

shrimp fettucine with choice of alfredo sauce or garlic and oil. served with arugula and cherry tomatoes.

tiramisu or canoli


caracas – venezuelan arepas bar

why is it great? have you ever had an arepa before? personally, i believe they’re even better than tacos. i recommend sharing a salad, two arepas, and a side dish, and i promise you will leave with a full tummy and wallet

menu sample:

ensalada fresca watercress, cherry tomatoes and avocado salad over a crispy yucca and cucumber bed, dressed with salty cheese and a tangy passion fruit vinaigrette ($9)

croquetas deep fried yucca potato cakes with chorizo, corn and cilantro ($5)

de pabellon arepa shredded beef, black beans, white salty cheese and sweet plantains $(7.50)

la surana grilled chicken, hearty chorizo, with avocado slices and the classic and always enigmatic spicy chimi churri sauce ($8)

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beco – brasilian bistro

why is it great? cozy place with exotic food and tropical cocktails, that has live music every week, check their calendar here

menu sample:

joanna d’arc linguiça (portuguese sausage) finished with cachaça ($6)

arugula salad baby arugula, steamed beets, butter beans, red onions, with goat cheese crostini ($9)

feijoada the national brazilian dish: black beans and smoked meat stew with rice, couve, farofa, and hot sauce ($18)

moquecam shrimp stew with coconut milk, yellow peppers, cilantro, ginger, and dende oil. served with rice, couve, and farofa ($16)

caipirinha or roska muddled fruit, sugar, and cachaça, vodka (lime, caju, pineapple-mint, maracuja) ($8)


samurai mama – japanese snacks and udon 

why is it great? homemade udon noodles and broth. plus the design of this place is just as amazing as the food, beautiful all wood space. i recommend sharing sushi, dumplings, and two orders of noodles, and a glass of their only draft beer sapporo.

sample menu:

sushi taco/roll $5-7

  • guacamole tuna tuna, guacamole, cilantro
  • ab crunchy boiled shrimp, cucumber, tempura flake


mama’s pork gyoza handmade pork dumpling 6pc – $7

Udon $8-14

  • nikujil kake udon with cooked pork belly & scallion
  • kinokojil kake udon with assorted cooked mushrooms