Pizza in NYC

You'll find that good eats are never far away in New York City. (Tribune Co. photo)

Where to eat in NYC

Eating out can get awfully expensive in New York City, but there are plenty of smaller eateries that won't cost you an arm or a leg. Keep a lookout for neighborhood delis, cafes and pizzerias.

And don't turn your nose up at all those street carts – the food at some of them is actually pretty good. New York magazine publishes an annual round-up of the city's best street food and budget dining called Eat Cheap.

Cowgirl Hall of Fame
The vibe at this West Village favorite is more like Texas than New York, but kids love the Wild West ambiance and a menu that runs a youthful gamut from corn dogs and burgers to root beer floats and apple pie.

Johnny Rockets
This nationwide retro diner chain has two outlets in Manhattan – 8th and Greene in Greenwich Village and 56th and Third in Midtown. The dedicated kid's menu includes burgers, dogs, chicken and grilled cheese at prices that are rock bottom by New York standards. Their malts, shakes and sundaes are also pretty rocking.

Mars 2112
Perhaps the only Mars themed restaurant in the entire universe, this offbeat Times Square eatery offers a glittering chrome-and-neon take on the Red Planet. Their "Martian Cuisine" includes down-to-earth dishes like burgers, steaks, nachos and chicken, as well as space age desserts like the Mercury Oreo Miracle. Numerous celebrities have "dined on Mars," including John Travolta, Jamie Lynn Spears, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman and Jason Kidd.

Peanut Butter & Co.
Not your usual sandwich shop, PBC specializes in gourmet and off-the-wall PB&Js. Among the house specials are The Elvis (peanut butter, bananas, and honey), the Peanut Butter BLT and the Fluffernutter (Peanut butter and marshmallows). There's also tuna and chicken salads, grilled cheese, bagels and five different kinds of peanut butter dessert. Located on Sullivan Street, a block off Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Katz's Deli
A Lower East Side landmark since 1888, this is New York's oldest and most celebrated delicatessen. Even if your kids aren't into pastrami or liverwurst, they're sure to dig the chili dogs, cheeseburgers or "kugel" noodles. No meal is complete without a chocolate or vanilla New York egg cream.