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Five Best Places Around Albany For Cheap Eats

Some say the economic view from here isn’t great – and others are more optimistic. Regardless of the economy it’s always good to know the best places to have some “cheap eats” – and there are tons of places around Capitaland that offer great food for a fair price.

These are my favorite five places – and others on our staff came up with a list of their own five places too. Remember – these aren’t just *good* places to eat but also the price is just right. If you have one or two or even your own top five list to submit, please do as I’d love to do a follow up article to this one presenting your choices.

#5 Price Chopper

Yes – the grocery store. Follow me on this one as you might be put off by the idea of eating at a Price Chopper but the fact is they do a very decent job with their salad bar, soups, pizza, and wings. They have some other offerings as well and the price isn’t bad at all. Years ago when I was hosting a morning show, my cohost and I lived in an RV outside of a few different Price Chopper stores in order to collect food for the food bank. The PC people were especially awesome at their Brunswick store and to this day I’m thankful. The store manager also kept us fed and the food was pretty darn good. In short, don’t count the grocery store out when looking for cheap eats!

#4 Five Guys

It’s the one chain on the list but it’s here for good reason – cheap eats. They have a menu that they keep simple and the cost is great. Oh and of course the food is good too. It’s not as awesome as In-N-Out Burger (a chain out west) but it is similar in that it has a simple menu and good prices.  This video sums it up nicely:

And if you were wondering about the EPIC PLACE known as In-N-Out Burger – check out this video – and FYI I don’t normally eat ground beef and I drove three hours for a burger from this place once. It’s that good. For real.

Ted's Fish Fry Facebook

#3 Ted’s Fish Fry

Ted’s has four locations in Captialand (they also own Jack’s Drive-In in Wynantskill and with it being the lent season it is an especially busy time for places serving the every popular fish fry. Another fun aspect of Ted’s is that they are very retro-cool; fish fry restaurants are pretty unique to this part of the country and also many of them sprung up during the midcentury. It’s nice that Ted’s keeps the kitch alive and just makes them another wonderful destination for cheap eats in our region. Oh – and I don’t know if they have it at all four locations but their banana milkshake at the Brunswick location is MY WEAKNESS.

Lou Roberts Collection

#2 Bob’s Diner

Open 24 hours – check. Great food – check. Cool staff – check. Inexpensive prices – check. Bob’s has been a Watervliet staple for many, many years and you’ll always find it a place to get a cup of joe or even a nice home cooked meal. I used to head over to Bob’s a lot when I lived in Troy and had been out drinking but now I like to meander over for a Sunday breakfast around noon. Brother Lou just did a great article on diners and Bob’s was one of the establishments he mentioned. I lived in Arizona for a long time and out there Denny’s is a diner – we are very fortunate to have as many diners as we do here. Trust me – there is something comforting to knowing there is a nice warm diner with great food like Bob’s waiting for you on a cold winter’s night, after a summer concert at any number of places, or just because you’re hungry and want good food, darn it!

#1 Famous Lunch

This Troy landmark is amazing. I worked in downtown Troy for a year and it was a blessing to have this place nearby and affordable – especially toward the end of a pay period when cash was a little less plentiful. As a matter of fact Famous Lunch is on the cover of the current issue of Metroland. So what does it take to make the

Metroland Cover

cover of the Metroland? Tiny hotdogs. Tasty ones too. Famous Lunch has been here since 1932 and they have some best food around plus you can eat a full meal for about five dollars. The place is small but packs a huge history behind it. Their website describes “operation hot dog” plus explains a little bit about how they came to be a Troy institution. They are also one of the few places that reliably has RC Cola available.

Image: Famous Lunch Website

Oh – and they don’t have a posted menu, you just kinda have to know what to order. They have one someplace they’ll loan you if you need it but it’s not too hard to order a bunch of their dogs with the chili sauce – and they are devine. (They also have it posted on their website if you need to sneak a peek). If you want to splurge, order the rice pudding which is equally as good as everything else they serve. They also have breakfast too so if you aren’t in the mood for tiny hot dogs then you can have something else but I do advise trying at least one. They also challenge you to beat their record for the most hot dogs eaten in one sitting – the current record is 38 hot dogs in 30 minutes. You can beat that – I have faith in you. Even if you don’t you’ll only be out $.60 per hot dog. You don’t have to take my word on it – nationally recognized sites like Roadfood had reviewed this gem and if they gave it approval, it’s gotta be good!

Someone put at video on YouTube that is :60 at Famous Lunch – in case you’d like to have a look around:

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