If you are lacking the money to eat at a sit down restaurant, fast food chains aren't your only option. McDonalds is actually pretty expensive. A mush cheaper way to eat is at a take out place, usually pizza or chinese. Take out is the authentic new york cuisine anyway, its what everyone eats around here. It tastes good also, although its not too healthy.
An even cheaper food option is to get a bagel, again, a very usual source of food for new yorkers. A bagel with creamcheese should only be $1-$1.50 too, just don't get it at dunkin donuts, go to a real bagal place.
This is an ingrained custom and I would do it even if in a hotel. The oldest standby (as seen on Seinfeld) is take-out Chinese but you can get almost any cuisine by calling the restaurant and ordering. Collecting take-out menus is a good idea. The food is usually excellent and arrives relatively quickly. This is way of life in New York. You do need to tip.
I live on the West Coast now and it is impossible to get delivery and it has ruined my life.
Most New Yorkers either don't have time to cook, and even if they did, their kitchen would be too small to handle little more than boiling noodles. That's why it is customary that every restaurant in town will deliver, some into the wee hours of the night. Take advantage of this luxury, just don't forget to be gracious and tip the delivery man.
Yes indeed. This is THE way for me to cook. I have a pile of menus about 2 inches high with different places to order from. Anything you want you can have delivered in this city. This include groceries and beer if you feel like cooking but dont want to go out.