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Good food for about a buck

Oysters at Cornelius (Christin Grech)

Nickels and dimes might not command a four-star feast, but there are plenty of places in New York where pocket change adds up to a meal. From a slice of pizza to an oyster on the half shell, New Yorkers in any borough can find a food fix for around a dollar.

Check out these cheap eats before collecting the change under the couch cushions.

99¢ Fresh Pizza
569 Ninth Ave., btwn 41st and 42nd sts., 212-268-1461
151 E. 43rd St., btwn Lexington and Third aves., 212-922-0257
Offering: Slice of cheese pizza for 99 cents, tax included. For $1.75 more, get 2 slices and a soda.
Popular pairings: Crushed red pepper, garlic powder and extra cheese are all available for free. Toppings such as mushrooms and pineapple are available for an additional 50 cents per slice. Donuts and coffee are also on the menu at 50 cents each.
Worth it?: These medium-sized, thin crust slices are always fresh – even in the middle of the night. Ninety-nine cents is just cheap enough to get us to scarf down a slice while standing outside the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. A few pennies more and we might want a chair.

Gray’s Papaya
2090 Broadway, 212-799-0243
539 Eighth Ave., near 37th St., 212-904-1588
402 Sixth Ave., near Eighth St., 212-260-3532
Offering: $1.50 hotdog (inclusive of tax). The Recession Special, two dogs and a drink, is $4.45.
Popular pairings: Ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut and onions are included. Gray’s special Papaya Drink claims to help digestion, which might be useful if you go for the Recession Special. They also offer flavors like Coconut Champagne, Orange, and Pineapple. All three locations of this popular hotdog joint remain open all day and night.
Worth it?: $1.50 for a dog loaded with sauerkraut and onions beats a street cart any day.
And according to general manager Romy Villanueva that price might include a celebrity sighting. “We are a favorite spot for celebrities like Robert de Niro, Leo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts and Rosie O’Donnell.”

565 Vanderbilt Ave. at Pacific St., Prospect Heights, 718-398-6662
Offering: $1 oysters
When: Happy hour, from 5-7 p.m. and again 10 p.m. until closing, Tuesday through Thursday; all day Monday.
Popular pairings: Oysters are served on ice with lemon, cocktail, Tabasco and mignonette (a shallot and white wine mixture). Draft beers are $4 during happy hour.
Worth it?: Although one oyster may not make a meal, a few of the shellfish and a cold beer hit the spot.

46-19 30th Ave. at 47th St., Astoria, 718-956-5601
Offering: 25-cent wings (buffalo, teriyaki, and barbecue), 35¢ for Dillinger Wings, with a Thai-inspired, sweet and spicy sauce.
When: Tuesday’s Happy Hour (6 p.m.-midnight)
Popular pairings: Carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing are served alongside wings, and $10 pitchers of draft beer help wash them down.
Worth it?: There aren’t many better uses for your quarters! Spring for some of the signature wings, the sticky sweet sauce has a fantastic spicy kick. Tip: If you bring wings home, reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees.

Deluxe Food Market
79 Elizabeth St., btwn Hester and Grand sts., 212-925-5766
Offering: Pork Sung Buns (a soft cake wrapped in egg and scallion, 80 cents), Curry Chicken Rolls (pastry stuffed with chicken and vegetables, 60 cents), or Red Bean Pastries (80 cents) are just a few of the under $1 options. Scallion pancakes are $1 each and huge fried dumplings are $1.25.
When: 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily
Popular pairings: Mix and match a few of the options behind the pastery counter (all under $1) or a plate of meat and vegetables for $2.25. Add a can of soda for only 60¢.
Worth it?: It’s standing room only in this popular Asian eatery geared toward penny pinchers. The atmosphere is hectic, but the sheer selection of cheap eats makes it worth the trip.


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