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Challenge: a week of cheap eats

The semester's over and my roommate and I are sticking around for a week. Campus dining halls are all closed (a blessing and a curse), so we need a week's worth of dinners. We thought this would be a good opportunity to do some exploration. So, Boston chowhounds, can you come up with 5-7 restaurants, takeout joints, trucks, or anything else cheap and good?

- Cheap ($10/person or less)
- Accessible by public transportation

Other than that, anything goes!

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  1. Not exactly a challenge, now is it? You could do that at a single T stop. You'll have to be more specific.

    1. Thai (Coolidge Corner or Fenway): Rod Dee
      Mexican (Coolidge Corner or Kenmore): Boca Grande
      A good Pie (Cleveland Circle): Presto Pizza
      Another good Pie (BU): T Anthony's
      Middle Eastern/Turkish (Brookline Village): Brookline Family Restaurant

      1. Flat Patties, Harvard Square
        Bostone Pizza, Newbury St.
        Gourmet India, Coolidge Corner and Pru Food Court

        1 Reply
        1. re: tamerlanenj

          i LOVE gourmet india! such a great deal!

        2. Thai: Dok Bua in Coolidge Corner (up Harvard Street.) A dinner special is less than $10.00 and is absolutely fantastic.

          Chilean: Chacerero in Downtown Crossing (Washington Street.) Easy to find- ask anyone. Everyone in that area can point you in the direction. Enormous sandwiches, and definitely filling for dinner.

          Crepes: Paris Creperie- one in Coolidge Corner, one In Beacon Hill area. Yummy crepe sandwiches, and you could even afford a dessert Crepe.

          I imagine you can find numerous places that hit the "under 10 dollar" mark anywhere in Boston. Most sandwiches, burritos, salads, etc.. tend to be in that range.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bex77

            NB: the Beacon Hill branch of Paris Creperie is no more. That said, general sentiment was that it was inferior to its CC sibling anyway.

            I'll throw in a rec for the all-Asian food court in the Porter Exchange building, most notably Cafe Mami for some really terrific cooked Japanese dishes like oyako, curry rice, and homemade teriyaki.

            Near Fenway, El Pelon tacqueria has legitimately tasty fish tacos (better than many versions I've had out west) and great fried plantains.

              1. re: bex77

                Chacarero is only open M-F from 11-7 according to their website.

              2. Let us know what T-stops are close to you and you will get great recommendations!

                1 Reply
                1. re: chowfamily

                  We're in Cambridge (Harvard Square) but will go anywhere. Keep suggestions coming! What places would you be sure to stop at if you were leaving town for a few months?

                2. Chinatown, the Super88 food court, Tacos Lupita, South American Places in East Boston, Various places in Dorchester (vietnamese, Jamaican, etc.)

                  1. Take the T to Field's Corner in Dorchester then get Vietnamese at Pho So 1, Pho 2000, or Pho Hoa.

                    1. Easy. Every night go to the corner of Harvard ave and Brighton ave in Brighton, pick a direction and walk a few yards and you'll find something good and cheap. You have Pho Pasteur, Reef Cafe, Vi majestic,Rangoli, New Trend eatery, Punjab Palace, Cafe Belo, Biuk Kung (spelling?),
                      Carlo's is there too but is probably a little bit higher (but not much) than $10.
                      If it's a nice night walk further east on Brighton to Yo Ma (Burmese) or west to Super 88 (food court). There are plenty of eateries north or south on Harvard too. You can't miss.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: catspercapita

                        This is a good suggestion. You probably don't make it out there very often, but it's easy to get to from Harvard. Rather than take the subway all the way in and then deal with the green line, you can take the 66 bus from Harvard Sq, a faster and cheaper way to the cheap eats. If you stay on the bus a few more stops it'll get you to Coolidge Corner as well, which is where a bunch of suggestions are pointing.

                        The cheap eats I personally would hit before leaving town are: Ken's for some ramen (Super 88 in Allston), Punjabi Dhaba for roadside Indian or chaat (Inman) Mulan for Taiwanese (Kendall), and maybe a few slices at Emma's (Kendall). Relatively cheap eats on my list to try are Cafe Barada (N Cambridge nr Davis), Cafe Mami (Porter), Flour (South End), Rami's (Brookline), and a few that are not as accessible (Wang's, Paddock). Get some ice cream before you go, whether your fav is Christina's, Tosci's, JP or whatever, because the ice cream scene here is pretty good.

                      2. Bukowski's burgers and dogs (Hynes Convention Center stop), Soul Food sandwiches (Harvard Street B-line), Boca Grande burritos etc (Coolidge Corner), Bartley's burgers (Harvard Square), Shino Express sushi (Copley).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: steinpilz

                          Sorry, make that Soul Fire BBQ on Harvard in Brookline. Great pulled pork sandwiches with sides for around $6, add a beer and it's $10.

                          1. re: steinpilz

                            Important to note that the *best* deal at Bukowski's is the $1.69 burger, every weekday until 8pm (there are other pricier burgers on the menu, this one's just a basic burger -- make sure you ask for the right one). Add fries for an extra buck. Make it a turkey or veg burger for another buck. Save your $$ on the burgers and spend it on the beer!

                            (There's also a Bukowski in Inman Sq -- not as easily accessible by T as the downtown outpost, but if you're in the Harvard area, this one is closer to you. And, the front windows at the Inman location open floor-to-ceiling, which makes it a lot nicer atmosphere-wise than the Hynes outpost which, can sometimes feel a little cave-like.)

                          2. Souper Roll Up Cafe - East Cambridge - fresh, flavorful salads and soups. Creative rolls ups. Perfect fruit salad too.

                            New Saigon on Washington Street/Chinatown - Sandwiches, plus fresh springrolls and salads.

                            UBurger in Kenmore - Cheeseburger, fries and soda for $8.

                            Tacqueria La Mexicana in Union Square/Somerville -- Delicious tamales and chile rellenos.

                            Smoothie Guy, Harvard Square T station - All smoothies made with fresh ingredients ranging from apple and orange to mango and avocado.

                            Food Court @ Super 88 in Allston -- Wide variety of inexpensive Asian foods. Jakarta stall features fairly unique indonesian food but every stall offers quality, inexpensive fare.

                            1. Sam LaGrassa's downtown, behind the Omni Parker House, for lunch. Get the pastrami with mustard and a side of fries. I guarantee you wont regret it.

                              Regina's original location on Thacher St. in the North End. Just don't go at peak times or you will wait forever.

                              1. Galleria Umberto on Hanover..North End. Very good inexpensive piizza, arancini (rice balls filled with meat and veggies) and panzarotti (mashed potatoes stuffed with mozzarella and deep fried)..Lunch only.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: 9lives

                                  I second G. Umberto. Other faves: Baraka Cafe in Central Sq. (N. African), O Cantinho in Inman (Portuguese) and, thanks to 9lives, Taiwan Cafe in Chinatown for beef w/ poblanos and eggplant w/ basil.

                                2. The Paradise Lounge on Commonwealth Avenue has a daily special from 5 to 7 PM in which all items on the menu are $4.95. Portions vary, as does quality, but most of it is a solid 7.

                                  1. Mexican: Anna's Taqueria (Porter, Davis, Brookline, Kendall) or Tacos Lupita (Porter)

                                    Italian: Bottega Fiorentina (Coolidge Corner)

                                    Japanese: Porter Square Exchange food court

                                    Also, I've done a few $20 a day roundups on my blog, which might be helpful (http://blogs.menupages.com/boston/cat...).

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: leilacohan

                                      Sunrise Viet & Chinese, Dorchester
                                      Haymarket Pizza
                                      Madarin Reading Lunch Buffet