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Cheap eats in/around Costa Mesa

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I know I’m probably opening a can of worms, but here goes – what are your favorites for casual meals in and around Costa Mesa – let’s say under $30 (incl.), but preferably under $20, for two people without booze, within about a five-to-ten-mile radius of Costa Mesa. Sit down, take-out, or delivery.

My wife and I have lived in CM for about 5 or 6 years, and feel fortunate to have the all the cool choices that we have, but realize that we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg – there are hundreds of inconspicuous little hole-in-the-wall places, and we’re still discovering new ones all the time.

Not unlike most of you, we’re not too into the chain restaurants, but are not above eating at them if the food is good. We eat at a lot of little ethic places – various Asian and South American places, particularly, and a few other little joints we’ve discovered over the years. And it doesn’t have to be artisanal, exotic, or ethnic – although it certainly CAN be – I just want to hear what you guys think; what kind of choices you guys make when you want to eat out casually.

Would love to hear what you think…

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  1. sandwiches-Tummy Stuffer, Franks Philly
    Mexican - Super Pollo, taco mesa, el matador, Los Primos Cantina (and a million others)
    BBQ-The Beach Pit
    Pizza-Masimos

    These are all in the vicinity of 17th st and Newport Blvd.

    1. I always think of Costa Mesa as two cities. There is the Costa Mesa by South Coast Plaza/Bristol area and the Costa Mesa Newport Blvd/Harbor Blvd/17th &19th Street area. I love them both and they both have great cheap eats.

      I will add to the 17th St & 19th St.area. These are mostly take-out joints.

      For great cheap and casual Greek on 17th St. give Greek Town Grill a try. All fresh nothing frozen or pre-prepared like Daphne's.

      For great Mexican/Tex-Mex on 17th St. I love Caliente. It looks and taste as good as a high end Mexican restaurant.

      For great authentic street vendor style tacos on 19th St give El Toro Bravo a go. Sooo good. Can you say spicy goat tacos!!!

      I had wonderful El Salvadorian Pupusas for lunch on Saturday at Pupusería San Sivar on Harbor Blvd and 19th St.

      The list goes on and on.

      1. kohryu for ramen. thanx to rameniac. here's his review: http://www.rameniac.com/resource/comm...
        891 Baker St., #B-21
        Costa Mesa, CA, 92626