Astoria on a Budget: Navigating The Neighborhood’s Best Deals

Astoria is filled with great ways to spend your money—cafes, hookah lounges, shopping on Steinway Street—but at some point, everyone has to save. Where we cut back is different for each one of us, though, so where does one begin? Thankfully, Astoria has lots of hidden and not-so-hidden gems for those who need to pinch a penny or two. Here’s your personal guide to Astoria on a budget: where to eat, shop, and socialize when funds are dwindling but the spending urge is real.

To Eat: Crave Astoria
When you want to experience Astoria in one, cheap bite, head to Crave at 28-55 36th Street—or take advantage of their free delivery! This Astoria staple has all the cornerstones of a neighborhood favorite: outdoor seating, friendly staff, and authentic Greek food that you swear could have been made by Yiayia. With pita sandwiches starting at only $3.95 (8.95 for the full platter including chips, sautéed vegetables, lemon potatoes, rice, or mixed greens salad and pita bread with tzatziki) and filling “Crave Bowls” maxing out at $10.45, you’re sure to leave with a full stomach, a happy wallet, and a taste of Astoria’s finest on your tongue.

Crave bites: Fried dough puffs with honey cinnamon sauce

For The Necessities: Deals
If you’ve never been to this dollar-saving Mecca, stop reading and hop on the N train right now. Situated right outside the Broadway stop, at 31-72 31st Street, Deals provides everyday goods and basics for prices that are sure to turn heads in any New York City neighborhood. Most items average around the $1 range, from 4-packs of quality toilet paper to greeting cards to toothpaste that would run three times the price anywhere else. Throwing a party? Stop by their party supply aisle and buy confetti, streamers, plastic cutlery, paper plates, napkins, and even some decorations in several different colors and patterns all for $1 each.

For Happy Hour: Judy & Punch
Judy & Punch is new to the 30th Avenue scene, but is already attracting the eyes and thirsts of long-time Astoria residents with its charming rustic décor, friendly bartenders, and an inviting open storefront located at 34-09 30th Avenue. A self-proclaimed “craft beer & cocktail bar with small innovative bites,” Judy & Punch offers a selection of craft beers and creative cocktails that panders to all tastes and preferences. Stop in after work for their happy hour and enjoy a drink for only $5!

For a Shopping Spree: Bolton’s
This one’s for the ladies, and while the prices may not be for those on a serious budget, the new Bolton’s on Steinway Street sells quality, designer clothing for non-designer prices. Brands like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors make an appearance here, with steep discounts that exceed even the sale prices at other locations (fact: I saw a Michael Kors jacket on sale for $120 from the original retail price of $190 at Macy’s recently; I then picked up the very same jacket at this Bolton’s for $80). Owned by the same chain as this store’s Steinway predecessor, Strawberry, Bolton’s continues its legacy of in-demand brands at affordable prices at 30-98 Steinway Street.


Cristina Guarino is a writer by day, writer by night with the crippling tendonitis to show for it. She’s an Astoria native with deep roots in Queens, from her four years at Queens College to her prior stint as a full-time reporter for the Queens Gazette. She can be found at her blog,, or on her Twitter at