Cheap Eat of the Week: MATTO ($2 Everything)

Written by Aurora Hinz, editing and pictures by Sabine Smith

As a college student in NYC, having a cheap food connoisseur is essential. We all want to save money, but why sacrifice a good meal? We’re here to let you know that you’ve got options! From deals to discounts, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re in need of a cheap cafe with good wifi connection to be productive and do homework, then look no further! This find will definitely save lives this coming finals season with its amazing prices, fresh food and drinks, and speedy service. The large windows that open up the cafe advertise its “limited time only sale” of everything being two dollars, however, I’ve seen videos from older FIT vloggers that have talked about this sale dating back to 2016. It is located at 7th ave and 21st street. The menu includes small sandwiches, cold drinks, hot drinks (coffee, espresso, hot chocolate, and tea), fruit, juices, oatmeal, pastries, and they even have non-dairy options all for two dollars. However, keep in mind that the card minimum for the place is $4. In all, we got a soy-chai latte, a red eye, homemade chocolate babka, toasted potato boureka, honey-pecan baklava, and a dulce de leche alfajor.   

Our ratings are as follows:

Soy-chai 6/10- While the size was a little small, for $2 with soy milk, I’m not complaining. It could’ve used a little more spice in my opinion.

Red-eye 7/10- This was a super yummy dark roast, and it wasn’t too bitter either. Even though it tasted a little watered down, for the cheap price point and the vast selection of pastries to pair with it, I’d definitely get it again.

Chocolate babka 7/10- Sabine or I had never had babka prior to this, so we had nothing to compare it to, but we thought it would pair very well with a strong coffee. The chocolate inside was rich, and the bread was dense yet sweet.

Potato boureka 9/10- This was our favorite thing we tried overall! The barista toasted it for us so it was warm and crispy. The inside was filled with potato and cheese, similar to a pierogi except the outside was puff pastry. The only downfall was that it got a little messy, but it’s nothing some napkins can’t clean up.

Baklava 8/10- This baklava was very dense and sweet. Just picking it up you could feel how heavy it was. Pairing this with a stronger coffee would be the way to go.

Alfajor 7/10- Traditionally I’ve only had alfajores with a crunchy cookie, so I found it interesting that these ones were soft and more cake-like. You’ll definitely need a drink the pair with this because your mouth will get dry without it.

The cafe itself is a relatively good size and offers limited seating. They have small tables for one or two people and even a large table in the back of the cafe that could fit around 8 people – perfect for messy group projects. For everything being so cheap, the atmosphere was actually very clean and the staff was extremely patient and helpful. All of our food was ready to go within five minutes, which also makes this place perfect for a grab-and-go snack! Sabine and I got a feast of goodies all for $10.89. We’d give the entire experience a 10/10 and highly recommend that everyone checks this cheap eats spot out!

Here are the facts:

Address: 201 West 21st Street New York, New York

Vegan/Vegetarian Options- YES, due to the prices most savory options do not include meat products. They had gluten free and dairy free options as well!

Delivery Options?-  Unfortunately, no. It’s less than a five minute walk from FIT though!

Easy to Find?- YES, this restaurant is right on the corner of 21st and 7th and has large yellow circles on the window advertising the $2 sale.

Food Safety Grade- A (YAY!)

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