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Jun 10, 2007 08:30 AM

"cheap eats," anyone?

Periodically, someone will post on a board, asking for 'cheap eats,' or suggestions for an 'inexpensive restaurant."

As a bit of a hole-in-the-wall diva myself, with most of my more memorable meals when traveling found on the street, I think that cheap eats generally refers to eating a meal with a price tag that comes to around $10-$15ish per person, but often much less. I'm thinking tacos, pho, falafel, a good local diner, etc.

I wonder, however, how others out there in CH-land define eating on the cheap.


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  1. For me, it's gotta be under $10 and if under $5 woohoo!

    3 Replies
    1. re: justagthing

      For a regular day-to-day meal, under $10 is cheap for me. Years ago, it was under $5, but nowadays, prices have gone up. For a sit-down restaurant, I'd say $15 for a meal is cheap.

      I prefer meals for under $10. :)

      1. re: justagthing

        That would be my definition as well. I can especially keep to this figure as I don't usually order a drink, just water.

        1. re: chaddict

          same here, not a soda person and don't really drink alcohol much, so water it is!

      2. For lunch, in SF, most of the places around my office are in the $8-12 range. So, to me, "cheap" would be $6 or less. There are a couple of places where that can happen, I just have to go a bit further away from my office (in a big university, so the slightly higher prices in the immediate area make some sense, really).

        It also, though, has to do with the food, especially at dinner time. $5 for a bowl of pho is great and would definitely qualify as cheap eats for me, but so would $20 for reasonably good sushi.

        1. For everyday eating: $5, give or take
          Where I live, you can get awesome tacos, burritos, Vietnamese sandwiches, pho, and Chinese dishes for this amount.

          1. Depends on the cuisine- $15 for sushi is cheap; $15 for good sushi is a great find; $5 for sushi is suspect and I probably wouldn't eat it (meaning $5 for a substantial combo, not for one maki for example). $15 for Vietnamese is high end; $5 is cheap...

            1. There was a Belgian place in Philly that closed a few years ago. They had a $5 menu that included: Duck Confit w/ side salad, Tough Steak (Steak Fritte), Cassoulet, Coq au Vin w/ side salad, and a few others that have faded from memory. Not huge portions though so you'd order two.
              Our cheapest night however was one when at closing (2:00AM) the bartender suddenly refilled our drinks (there were maybe ten of us at the bar, the restaurant being empty). We proceeded to finish off the refill quickly and it was again refilled (Trois Pistoles Unibroue). He'd turned down the lights really low but to a point where we could still see each other. But when the cops would roll by he'd turn them down completely until they'd passed. We talked and drank and ducked (to avoid being seen by the police) until 4:45. That was one of the best nights of my life because I didn't know when or how it was going to end.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chinon00

                I would say under $10 per person is "cheap." But that's only my definition after moving to LA--in places in PA where I grew up its still easy to come in under $5 in many places for good cheap eats.