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Bang for Buck

What are the best places to get amazing food at the amazing prices around
the bay area? any cuisine welcome.

La Taqueria, or Top Dog comes to mind, but I'm always looking for more.

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  1. The new list of Bargain Bites came out recently on www.sfgate.com.

    1. As bargain bites go, I enjoy the meat and rice empanada at the Nicaragua Restaurant on Mission St. between 26th and Cesar Chavez. Four bucks, I think, for beef, rice, and peppers housed in mashed plantain. Good enough for a not-super-heavy meal.

      1. Mr. Chan on Mission in Daly City is a great Chinese cheap eats. Really good Cantonese style fried chicken, salt & pepper chicken wings, general chicken, fried tofu, beef chow fun and chicken fried rice. Most items are under $5.
        Denny's Cafe on Geary by 19th Ave has great specials throughout the day, from 8am to midnight (later on Fri and Sat nights). Breakfast specials are under $3, which includes coffee or hot tea. Daily/dinner specials started at around $6 that includes a cup of soup, garlic bread, entree and a drink.

        1. It's pretty hard to top a $1.25 taco truck taco for value, for me El Novillo. Although, one might argue that a meal at Chez Panisse gives you a lot of bang for your buck too. As long as the meal is good, I'm not that concerned about price. What I really dread is spending a lot on a so-so meal.

          1. Truly Mediterranean on Valencia and 16th. Shwerma or falafel. Fantastic. Quite a filling meal for 6 or 7 dollars.

            4 Replies
            1. re: peepswang

              Another great place for that is Sunrise Deli on Irving by 22nd Ave. Great falafel at great prices. I believe they're $3 a dozen. If you can't/don't want that much, you can always opt for the falafel sandwich. Great kebab and shwerma, too.

              1. re: anna

                I tried the falafel at Sunrise a few months ago (post below), and they're really not compelling. The folks who run the place were really nice, but I found little other reason to return.

                Sunrise falafel post -

              2. re: peepswang

                I guess I'll have to try Truly Mediterranean's schwarma, then. I absolutely love falafel, and I found their sandwich to have zero flavor.

                1. re: Atomica

                  Agreed with you on Truly Med. I enjoyed them until I visited the middle east and realized what falafel is really supposed to taste like! I do like Gyro King near Civic Center.

              3. Top Dog is still a bargain but it's up to $5.50 for two.

                At Taqueria CanCun the regular burritos is still $3.80. It's the Jarritos or beer that kicks things up past $6.00.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ML8000

                  and ceviche tostadas piled with fish are like 2.40 or something...

                2. Hard to beat a banh mi at Saigon Sandwich at $2.50 each.

                  1. i've always been more partial to Baguette Express, right up the street from SS on Larkin @ Ellis. I think SS charges 25 cents less, but i think their banh mi is much tastier. the extra quarter doesnt break the bank.

                    another cheap favorite of mine is the grilled fish tacos as Nick's Crispy Tacos on Polk at Broadway. Best ones i've had in the city for about $2.50 a piece.

                    1. pacific catch tuna poke wasabe bowl, hands down!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mrsricho

                        Can you provide any more info on this? Where is this place, how much, etc? Thanks.

                      2. I am addicted to the chicken buns at Slanted Door To Go in the Ferry Building. They're 2 for $3.50 or so.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Mari

                          They changed it - now you get one bun per order, for $2. Still a good deal but when I was expecting 2 buns in my carton, I was very sad!

                          1. re: Maya

                            Oh well - I guess I always ate the extra bun because it was in the box and not because I really needed it. I hope they're still good. I'll have to check out their new outlet in the Westfield Shopping Mall and check the prices.

                        2. A "small" bowl of pozole (weekend special) at Otaez in Alameda. Big bowl of soup, side plate with a couple of taquitos, and a big basket of chips and salsa for $4.95. I think there might be some freshmade tortillas on the side as well.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            sounds great before the A's game this weekend... Otaez is on International right?

                            1. re: kc72

                              I've only had it at the branch of Otaez in Alameda -- can't swear by its availability at the branch on International.

                              Go A's!

                          2. Crepevine in Burlingame. Counter service/food delivered to your table; pasta, sandwiches, crepes, salads, etc. Really good food, and a lot of bang for the buck. It was in 96 Hours a few weeks ago as a Bargain Bite.

                            1. Last Supper Club during happy hour has FREE APPETIZERS! The appetizers usually consist of some generic pasta and little crostini things, but still, it's free food.

                              1. A big bowl of noodles for $5.50 at Vien Huong, a Chinese/Vietnamese place in Oakland Chinatown. I like the Chow Jew Wonton Noodle (skinny egg noodles) or Chow Jew Ho Fun (wide flat rice noodles). It's basically a big bowl of noodles in broth topped with a combination of duck, ground pork, fish balls, shrimp, and kidney. I never knew I liked kidney until I tried it here. Definitely my favorite comfort food of late.

                                It's at 712 Franklin Street and is only open until 6 or so.

                                1. House Special Chow Mein - HK style noodles. Prawns, calamari, chicken, char siu, bok choy. Impeccably non-greasy. Might need a dash of soy sauce (unpredicable). 6 bucks.