Lonely Planet Writer

Feast in New York City for just $5: the Queens Night Market is back!

New York mightn’t be the easiest city in the world to tackle on a budget but this seasonal food market is back so you can pig out with nothing more than five bucks in your pocket.

Friends in New York tuck into cheap street food
There are plenty of opportunities for sharing cheap eats in New York. Image by RyanJLane

The Queens Night Market is returning this weekend for its fall season. It runs outdoors at the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park every Saturday until 28 October, starting at 6pm and closing at midnight. Most meals are available for $5 with the occasional splurge at $6 and beer and wine will also cost no more than $5.

The market has a distinctly international flavour and this season local foodies can choose from dozens of vendors making fresh food from around the world, including jollof rice from Nigeria, chimney cakes from Romania, arepas from Colombia and Filipino delicacies.

In between snacks, visitors can wander through performances from DJs, dance troupes and local bands from all genres, all of which are picked to reflect the culture and diversity of Queens. On the last night of the market they’re also planning a special Halloween party. Souvenir-hunters can find plenty too, with everything from abstract art, locally designed clothing, vintage jewellery and handmade cosmetics.

Entry to the market is free every night but the opening night this weekend is being held in honour of the American Cancer Society and visitors will be asked to donate $5 to breast cancer research.

Attendance is always expected to be busy so attendees are encouraged to use public transport due to limited parking facilities. The park is next to the New York Hall of Science which closes at 6pm Saturdays, making it easy to combine a visit.