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Best Affordable Restaurants in Central Square?

I have only been out to eat a few times in Central Square and am looking for some "affordable" (under $20 for entree and beverage) restaurant recommendations.

The places that I know are good are Pepper Sky, Cafe Baraka, and Indian Pavilion.

What else am I missing?

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  1. not sure exactly what kind of food youre looking for but i'd add to the list

    royal bengal (indian)
    miracle of science

    1. Another vote for Royal Bengal. Also Cafe Baraka.

      1. Two great experiences at reasonable prices? Go to central kitchen for dinner then do some top notch lounging at the enormous room (upstairs from central kitchen). It's one of the best one stop experiences in boston (IMHO)

        1. To me, Baraka Cafe is the only bona fide capital-D-Destination in the square as far as affordable places go (Salts is just magnificent for a Canterbridgian splurge). That said, a few perfectly acceptable options that come to mind:

          Asmara has nothing on Addis Red Sea, but it's one of the few Ethiopian places around town, and it certainly ain't half bad.

          Koreana, a block up Prospect, can be a lot of fun for Korean BBQ.

          Coast Cafe is a short walk down River St. Reviews on this board range from raves to meh for their no-fuss soul food (I'm a little closer to meh, but soul food isn't really my thing). They're known for their fried chicken.

          Also down River St is River Gods, a fun bar with above average, affordable, eclectic cuisine.

          [Note on the Central Kitchen rec: while it's reasonably priced for what it is, it may be tough to stay south of $20 for entree and a drink.]

          1. I second Koreana - one of the better Korean BBQs nearby and also River Gods - great fries! Central Kitchen is delish, but will certainly be above the $20 budget.

            You might also consider Cuchi Cuchi, which has a terrific drink list including classic cocktails, a fun atmosphere, and a nice selection of small plates. It's owned by the same people as Dali.

            1. Thanks to all for the suggestions.

              I had forgotten to mention River Gods as a good place, perhaps because the kitchen can be so slow (I was told they have only 1 cook).

              I'll definitely check out Central Kitchen if I have any money left after buying presents.

              1. Mary Chungs for Chinese.

                1. Koreana is definitely a good place to get decent, reasonably-priced food. Picante is very good, too, if you like Mexican cuisine.

                  1. I am not sure you'd call Central Kitchen "affordable" ... it's near impossible to get out of there for less than $20 a head. other places of note:

                    Green Street Grill: tough to do for less than $20, but's worth a try. I guess you'd call this Caribeen food.

                    Miracle of Science: grear bar food, as discussed. good cheeseburger; quite affordable.

                    Tavern on the Square: if you dont want any of the asian ethnic stuff mentioned so far, and Miracle of Science is too crowded.

                    HiFi Pizza
                    Toscanini's (ice cream and coffee)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jogo7375

                      Green St. doesn't really do the Caribbean thing any more but you could have an entree or a couple appetizers for <$20. App. and drink for <$20.

                    2. I understand Green Street had more of a caribean/island food focus before it was re-done last year. I;d still consider the food to be more caribbean than anything else... preponderance of yucca, plantains, spices. (I know I am off subject)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jogo7375

                        I think you should check out the menu again. No yucca, plantain, etc. at all now. Focus is on New England classic comfort food.

                        1. re: coolhandluke

                          I think Menupages or the actual rest. web site isn't up to date, so maybe this person is seeing the old stuff listed still. Pork, steak frites, lobster boil of sorts, things like that these days.

                      2. I second Mary Chung's. Consistently good food and service, and very affordable.