Our staff and freelancers had to chime in – here’s what they recommend:
Larry Sombke, Gardening
Bros Tacos on Ontario Street in Albany is one of my favorite cheap eats places. They have really authentic and delicious soft corn tortilla tacos for $2, $3 or $4. Two tacos and a bottle of Mexican soda is good for me.
Town Tavern in West Sand Lake has great barbecue, steaks, sandwiches and pizza that are delicious and not too expensive. They smoke the chicken first to make wings. Lunch specials are incredible. Big beer selection, too, in a German hunting lodge motif.
John Gray, Last Page
Jacks Drive In in Wynantskill. You can get a hamburger, fries, drink for under 5 bucks. The only drawback is that they don’t open until the spring.
Arlene DeAngelus, Horoscopes
I recommend Ravenswood on Route 146 in Clifton Park. They have an extensive menu to choose from including chicken wings, char-grilled burgers, grilled sandwiches, deli sandwiches and hot sandwiches, as well as appetizers, salads and side dishes. Each night they serve that night’s soup and a dinner special. My favorite is their Wednesday night special which is the Hot Turkey Dinner for $7.50. It is freshly cooked turkey served with dressing, coleslaw, corn, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and gravy (I get sweet potato fries with gravy). For years, I have also considered their coleslaw the best in the area.
Danielle Pitanello – Freelancer
Gershon’s Deli in Schenectady is a full-service deli with a great selection of meats, cheeses, breads, salads and toppings. Everything is always fresh and the sandwiches are HUGE. I have loved everything I have ever had there. They also cater.
Jumpin’ Jacks in Scotia. Open from late March – September, it’s the BEST PLACE for that yummy cheeseburger and onion rings. They offer a large variety of burgers, fish fry or chicken. You can also enjoy the water ski show on Tuesdays. A great place for the warm weather and outdoor dining.
Vikki Moran, Co-publisher
The Jewel of India on Lark is great for a $6.99 lunch. Their Indian food is fantastic and the staff is very friendly.
The Angry Penguin is another great one in downtown Waterford. The chef-owner was at The Ginger Man years ago. The food is great at good neighborhood pricing.
Ciara McCann, Freelancer
The Western Diner in Guilderland is one of my favorite places to go for a cheap bite. Diners are notorious for dishes with that home-cooked feel, but are easy on the wallet. Being a sucker for breakfast, I love that I can order one of their delicious omelettes no matter what time of day it is!
Randy Cale, Parenting
Pasta Pane in Clifton Park, are great for a reasonable meal. Great food. Great service. And yet the tab doesn’t break the bank. It might not quality as cheap, but it provide great value for awesome Italian food.
For breakfast, a great find is the Ugly Rooster in Mechanicville. Great breakfast. Unique and tasty. Definitely qualifies as cheap eats, but awesome comfort food.
Diane Piegarie, Treasurer
The name suits the deal at Gold Coin in Slingerlands …you get a bit of a gold for a few coins. I tend to fall back on my favorites–eggplant with garlic sauce, bean curd szechuan style and braised wor sue duck. The portions are plentiful, each with its own wonderful flavors served quickly and hot.
Marci Natale, Freelancer
More Perreca’s, located next to Perreca’s Bakery in Schenectady’s “Little Italy" section offers, breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, my pick is the Eggs in Purgatory. For $5.50 you get three eggs poached in their homemade red sauce with a generous potion of Perreca’s Italian bread for dunking. For dinner, I suggest the thin crust Eggplant Pizza from their brick oven. The cost is just $9, leaving plenty of spare change for a Perreca’s Famous Cupcake!
FRESH healthy café, on the lower level of Crossgates mall is like a breath of fresh air! Not only is the cafe healthy, but it’s also fast. Mid-afternoon smoothies or wraps, panini’s salads and soups are nutritious and affordable. My suggestion: the Asian Chicken Wrap and a Pomegranate Passion Smoothie.
Dan Moran, Career
Angry Penguin – love the food and the beer and the owners. Great fun in Waterford
Maurice’s on Wolf Road – best sandwich at a great price!