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cheap eats SB/SLO

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I'm going to be travelling round california and can't really afford $10-15 dinners every night, but at the same time want to keep away from all the chains and fast food places..I was wondering if anyone has recommendations for good, hearty cheap food in Santa Barbara and/or San Luis Obispo? Sorry if this has been covered before...thanks.

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  1. In Santa Barbara, Cuzcatlan (Salvadorean) on De la Vina St. is reasonable and good food.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LBeff

      Also, Minnows Cafe, 8 Breakwater, downstairs and around the corner from Brophy Bros.

      1. re: PolarBear

        Have a British friend who scours SB for fish and chips and he always ends up at Minnows at the Breakwater by the SB Yatch Club down a little alley - indeed it is tiny, but sound fast food for low prices.

        1. re: glbtrtr

          Should mention that I had a tasty huevos rancheros there not too long ago.

    2. Rudy's on West Montecito Street - take out with some tables - very fresh and good Mexican food - love their Chile Relleno ala carte. - under $4.00

      Best dinner meal deal is Sushi-Teri: combos of Calif roll, rice and salmon or chicken teriyaki - fast and fresh for around $10 - I like the 1000 Bath Street location best, just off of West Carrillo and 101 heading towards downtown

      The Antipasto Misto at CaDario (East Victoria St) is great for lunch with their fantastic ciabatta bread - around $10.

      Cafe Bianco in Victoria Court has some very well priced fresh luncheon plates under $10

      1. hello, if you find yourself in SLO on a Thurs night,stroll through the downtown farmer's market for a fair variety of reasonable vendors.

        1. SANTA BARBARA:

          I know this always gets a round of groans, but for good basic home style food and set dinners where everything is fresh and well prepared in a very local setting, the Mesa Cafe on Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara is a friendly sit down in a booth sort of place - no frills but good food for little money. It is reliable and they do have a full service bar and outdoor tables.

          Another well-priced local secret SB that is a bit more formal was called "Aja" on Upper State Street near Las Positas - now under new ownership and called "Jade" - worth a try and reporting back.

          How does $25 for four courses and wine with each course sound? Santa Barbara City College has a Gourmet Dining Room on Thursday and Friday nights - up on the Mesa off Cliff Drive. One can come away from this Culinary Arts program dinner often astounded, or at least very satisfied.