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Best Deals for good eats under $5 person

Yea I like to eat out, but also cheap eats thats good

you can only have so many $1.50 Costo/Sams club hot dogs, Tommys/In OUt burgers,

some good places for Chinese lunch specials ? something that will actually fill you up

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  1. You don't say where you're at.

    Falafel sandwich at Top Falafel (6424 1/4 Coldwater Canyon, North Hollywood) - $4

    Vietnamese sandwiches at any Banh Mi Che Cali branch - $2.25-$2.50 each, buy two get one free

    Bowl of pho at any pho shop not located in a fancy part of town - $5

    Bowl of hand-pulled noodle beef soup at Ma Lan Noodle in Hacienda Heights - $5

    If you can read Thai -- or if you are adventurous enough to just point at a bunch of squiggles on a sheet of paper and hope for the best -- Bua Siam and Sunshine Thai and Swan Thai on Sherman Way in North Hollywood have $2.50 items (it has been a couple of years since I did this, I now live in OC, so your mileage may vary).

    Several pieces of dim sum from MHL Bakery in Monterey Park, Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, Yum Cha Cafe in San Gabriel, or BBQ Unlimited in East Hollywood or North Hollywood -- $0.50 to $1 each.

    Com tam ("broken" rice plate) with three toppings at Com Tam Thuan Kieu in Rosemead/San Gabriel, or Westminster, or Garden Grove - $5.50 (OK, 10% over, sorry)

    Matambre sandwich at El Gaucho #2 in Anaheim - $5.50 (also over, sorry)

    Ceviche tostada (like a pint plus of ceviche plus two tostadas) at Mariscos Los Mochis in Anaheim - $4.95

    Two or three tacos at any of a hundred taco trucks (check Bandini's Taco Hunt blog) - $1-$2 each


    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I never fail to be amazed at Das Ubergeek's (a) excellent taste (b) encyclopedic knowledge an (c) amazing memory. As always, thanks.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge.

      2. Howzabout India Sweet & Spices - $4.99 gets you 2 sides with rice and a mango lassi. naan and pickles too. Definitely fills you up.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Lynndsey Rigberg

          The whole way to lunch I kept thinking up other things -- and this was one of them. This is a DEFINITE recommend, but the best one is on Topanga Canyon and Sherman Way in Canoga Park.

          Also, a quarter chicken and two sides at any of a dozen Peruvian or Mexican rotisserie chicken places -- Super Pollo, Pollo Mundial a la Lena, Pollo a la Brasa, Juan Pollo, King Pollo...

          Most of the menu at any Zankou Chicken is in the $5-$7 range... mmmm, garlic sauce...

          Two fish or shrimp tacos, chips and salsa, all the blistered chiles gueros you want, carrots en escabeche, radishes and a small drink at El Taco Nazo (several locations) or Senor Baja (ditto), $5 or so.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Also the Senor Baja has $1 taco specials, that aren't listed on the menu (at least the one near me does.) I can't remember if it is Mon/Tue/Wed or Tue/Wed/Thu, but first night is hard shell beef tacos, next night is the soft tortilla fried fish taco, next night are potato tacos.


            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              IMO, Pollo ala Brasa at Victory and Kester makes better chicken than Zankou. I think they serve up a chicken plate for $4.99

              Rigo's Tacos has burritos for $4.99. You can get al pastor, carne asada, sesos, buche, barbacoa, and yes even chicken.

            2. re: Lynndsey Rigberg

              The samosas there are awesome. I think you can get two for less than five bucks, can't remember. Every time I go there I just place my order, pay what ever they ask and go home and enjoy what are possibly the best samosas in L.A.

              1. re: ohdaylay

                Concur. These are the samosas by which I judge all others.

            3. There are tons of $3.99 or $4.99 lunch deals in Thai and Chinese places like President Thai in Pasadena, almost all the Chinese restaurants in SGV, etc
              There's $1 daily special at Bamboodles in San Gabriel.

              And like Das Ubergeek says, a bowl of pho is $5 almost everywhere in SGV.

              During happy hour, you can get a pizza at Pitfire Pizza for $5 (50% off).

              If you're constrained to a certain area then let us know.

              Also, you might want to check out http://3buckbites.com/

              1. falafal sandwich at hungry pocket on pico near 17th in santa monica.

                1 Reply
                1. re: westsidegal

                  Chicken burrito (any burrito, actually) at Tacos Guerrero downtown (8th & Broadway) $4 out the door; they don't even HAVE a tip jar. Not a bunch of dried out processed "grilled chicken breast" either ; nice stewy chicken (sorta like chicken machaca) cooked with peppers,etc., Horchata would add $1,25.

                2. there are a ton of things you can buy for under $5 at taqueria sanchez on centinela.

                  1. I suggest a visit to Dino's Burger for the chicken manaico. Funny too is when you click on their website they have a PROMINENT mention of Chowhound right there on their home page a clickable link to one of the many threads that have been put up on the LA boards about them over the years.

                    Dino's Chicken and Burgers
                    2575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006, USA

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Servorg

                      Breakfast burritos $4.10 at Dino's on Main St.
                      Think the half chicken side with fries is $5.25

                      Dino's Burgers
                      2817 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90031

                      1. re: monku

                        Has it gone up an extra .25 cents? I thought it was $5 even now...

                        1. re: Servorg

                          I should know better, I'm there almost once a week.
                          You might be right,add a bottomless soda and its like $5.95?

                          I like the Main St. location better, you want extra sauce for your chicken and they'll give you a coffee cup full and the fries are crispy not limp like the ones on Pico. Saw a lady at the Pico location order 2 side chickens to take home and had to bring her own container for the sauce, she said they aren't generous with it. One day I saw a guy eating that chicken and they put it in the deep fryer for him rather than on the grill....I'll have to try that sometime.

                          1. re: monku

                            $5.10 for the chicken side (fries, cole slaw, tortillas) at the Main St. Dino's

                            Dino's Burgers
                            2817 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90031

                          2. re: Servorg

                            In early May, the Half Chicken Plate at Dino's Burgers Pico cost me $5.50 -- still one of the best deals in town.

                      2. Several places inside the Grand Central Market. Last time I was there was a couple weeks ago and had a ceviche tostada for $2.50. Also noticed that you could get a plate of paella for $3.00. Lots of other low priced food choices can be found there.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Sam D.

                          I get around but usually in the 60 & 57 fwy area, not sure about the ceviche offerings, went to Stater Bros a few times for their $4 a pound but kinda got the runs afterwards

                          I liked the lunch specials esp at Supreme Dragon in Rowland Hgts because its was until 9 pm, but now its only till 4:30 pm, decent offerings at $4.99 and up

                          and you got soup (hot & sour) and rice, unlike Lum Kee aka Sam Wu which charges for rice and you got some watery broth with barely any flavor!

                          lately been going to Cardenas markets for their weekly specials, decent authentic Mex food thats usually good.

                          dim sum like siu mai is good/ok at New Capital, Hong Kong Palace in Rowland Hgts or even 99 Ranch market

                          not sure about the pollo places, as I can get (and usually tired after one meal) of the $4.99 rotissere chicken at Costco or Sams Club- btw I dont think I'm gonna get the Sams chicken since I think they use hormoned chickens, same goes for their milk, which used to be rbst free (Swiss Dairy) but now their private label brand in funky containers- too bad since Sams sold milk by the gallon unlike Costco which sold it by the twin gallon. went to Trader Joes for their milk (rbst free) and all regardless of fat is $2.49 gallon

                          1. re: pob1035

                            Donahoo's Golden Chicken in Pomona has items in that price range. Bagels at Miss Donuts and Bagel in La Verne; Everest in Upland for burgers and such....if you can go an extra $1.49, their rib-eye steak sandwich is sublime; slice of pizza from San Biagio; and the daily specials or the to go menu at Angel's Place in La Verne has many items under $5.

                        2. I can't think of any meal that will fill me up for less than $5, but there are plenty that come close. Any number of taco trucks (El Chato and Taco Zone are my favorites) generally serve $1 (or slightly more) tacos. Actually, now that I think of it, the Cemitas Poblana truck on Venice does delicious Cemitas for $5. Dino's Chicken Special is $5.50. There's the street vendors at Breed St & Cesar Chavez on weekend nights,with plenty of cheap, delicious food. The burger at Philly West is $5.50 or something, and is very good (probably the best value for burger in LA). The Stand has dollar dogs from 3-5pm, the loaded ones are $2.50 I think. I seem to recall Phillips BBQ having pulled pork sandwiches for about $4 or so. Hungry Pocket has Falafel Pita's for $3.50 I think. LaRocco's Pizza had a 2 slice and soda special for $6 I believe. That's about all I can think of...

                          1. A couple more... a pint of your choice of stew, with lots of basmati rice and a big piece of tadig, $4.95 at Wholesome Choice.

                            Plate of tapsilog (marinated beef, two fried eggs, a Mount Pinatubo of garlic fried rice, plus tomatoes and coconut vinegar) for $5 at Manila Good-Ha. Substitute tosino (pork), longganisa (sausage) or dainggit (fish) if you like.

                            1. awesome thread.
                              . for later.

                              1. I live right near the West LA/Brentwood Wahoo's and after a long training run, there are few meals I know of that better fit the bill than their combo #1. For $4.50 you get a fish enchilada, brown rice and black beans. It's tasty, rounded, and consistent.

                                1. Wednesday is 5$ burger night at Park in Echo Park. 5$ for an awesome fresh ground sirloin burger or home-made veggie burger with a side; comes with full service in a nice restaurant setting.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: plivnik

                                    How big are the burgers, I need 2 of the Wendys 99 cent Double Stack to quell my hunger

                                  2. I'm surprised no one mentioned Lee's Sandwich which has sandwiches for $4-$5, some are big enough for two meals. Subway has the footlong for $5.

                                    There's Hsin Hsin Shau May Deli next to Supreme Dragon in Rowland Heights. It's $3.50 for a two item combo and I can make two meals out of it.

                                    There's a bakery next to Malan Noodles in Hacienda Heights (sorry, forgot the name) and they sell their sandwiches for $1 near closing time and they have BOGO milk tea with boba for around $3.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: SmokeyDoke

                                      Yesterday (Sunday) I was in Don Rogelio's in Lennox and got a ceviche tostada which had a generous helping of very fresh shrimp ceviche topped with some slices of avocado between 2 freshly made (hardshell) corn tortilla for under 4 bucks. Very nice! However I did also go for a large glass of fresh melon drink made with canteloup. All very tasty and refreshing. Incidentally, the owner told me she is introducing flan on their dessert menu. She also gave me a sample of some fresh potato salad which she said can be substituted for the rice and beans on their plates. Don Rogelio's is located at 10618 Inglewood Avenue, Lennox (not too far south of the Inglewood branch of Mariscos Chente). They are open from 8am to 7pm Sunday to Thursday. They are open until 8pm on Fridays/Saturdays.

                                    2. Happy hour (4-7pm) $1 Fish or Calamari tacos at Aloha Grill in Costa Mesa or Huntington Beach
                                      $2 tacos at El Toro Bravo in Costa Mesa (seriously big enough to count as 2 tacos) for another $4 you can get a bag of their fresh chips & 8oz of salsa

                                      1. This is a great thread. I'm going to bump it every so often.

                                        Ostoneria Colima on Hacienda Blvd. (near Winchell's and 99 cent store, near intersection of Gale and Hacienda Blvd) has HUGE $2 fish tacos (one is enough to fill me up) and $2.50 shrimp tacos. I've read they have great shrimp ceviche too.

                                        Around the corner is Baja Tacos on Gale Ave and they have $1 tacos Weds. (have not tried them).

                                        Arby's has 4 sandwiches for $5.

                                        Ostoneria Colima
                                        Hacienda Heights, CA, Hacienda Heights, CA

                                        1. Cafe Del Rey on this thread? Their happy hour menu has a lot of apps and small plates around or below $5, as well as beer for $3-$4. One of my wife's knitting buddies turned us on to this about a month ago - we'll try to go this weekend pending all of the stars are properly aligned (meaning if I get all of my honey-do's done). So if you're looking for a place that's first rate in atmosphere at very reasonable prices, consider this:


                                          1. Calbi Korean BBQ taco truck, $5 burritos, $2 tacos, often in Santa Monica near Arizona or Wilshire and 3rd.

                                            I think there's another Korean BBQ taco truck too...


                                            Also, you can get teriyaki chicken over rice at Tokyo Fast Food for $4.36. Santa Monica at Brockton, next to Monte Alban.

                                            I know these aren't fantastic deals, but there's slim pickin's on the Westside.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Bjartmarr

                                              There's a "new" eatery on Abbot Kinney, kinda across the street from the French Market Cafe. It's called, "Marla's," which used to be a catering op known as Marla and Fernando. Marla is now offering food to eat there or take out. I saw a sign posted on the corner, stating three tacos, chicken or beef, for $5. Anyone try Marla's yet?