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Looking for an inexpensive new place to eat!

Hi hounds,

I need a few ideas for some low-priced dinner options around Boston. SO and I are looking to go out somewhere new this weekend but we want to keep it casual and low-cost. Any spots downtown you can recommend that are sit-down, inexpensive, and delicious? I was thinking maybe tapas somewhere but figured others on the board would have good suggestions. We are up for any kind of food except Indian (I love it, him not as much). Thanks!

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  1. Chinatown's always a good bet. Ate with a group of 6 Sunday night at the Gourmet Dumpling House for about $20pp. Had soup and regular dumplings and about 4 other dishes with plenty of leftovers to take home. Really good meal.

    1. If you like good beer, and good English/Irish pub food, check out Tavern at the end of the world in sullivan Square.

      8 Replies
      1. re: phatchris

        I have passed this place several times and noted the Fin du Monde (beer) sign, since it is not exactly what you expect from a bar in that area. Is the food standard Boston Irish pub food or anything special?

        1. re: elbev

          It's done by the Squeeling Pig folks.
          There is a menu on the Tavern's facebook page...looks pretty good.

          1. re: rknrll

            Thanks for the info - looks great. Too bad it is located ... at the end of the world.

            1. re: elbev

              I dunno. When I first heard it was in Charlestown...yeah it seemed like it. But it's right off 93...AWAY from Sullivan Square (toward McGrath).

              So, pretty easy with a car...and should be easy by T as well since Sully is right there.

              1. re: rknrll

                It is technically in Charlestown, but the area has more the feel of East Somerville. And yes, it is certainly well connected by bus and train, but there is really not a lot else in that area - a couple diner-type places, generic hotels, industrial zone/railyards, lots filled with towed cars - and it is not pedestrian-friendly at all. Nice to have a good place in an edgy spot like that, though.

                Also, on the other side of Sullivan Square - lower Broadway - are a handful of cheap and very tasty Salvadorean places. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/649284

          2. re: elbev

            Really good fish&chips, good curry fries/ curry chicken, curry fish, tasty toasties....And a great beer selection. A nice cozy place to grab a couple quality beers with better than average pub grub at a reasonable cost. I live in the North End and its definately the closest good pub.

          3. re: phatchris

            For other good cheap bar/pub type places I highly recommend Matt Murphy's and would usually recommend Audubon Circle, but it seems like this place has gotten a lot of negative reviews lately.

            1. re: Snoop37

              been to Audubom circle twice in the last month and both times were great. Had the dumplings, burger, hot dog, almonds, and white bean dip.

          4. Chinatown is a good suggestion. One of my favorite places is Shabu Zen on Tyler St. The shabu shabu is delicious, prices cheap and it's a fun experience.

            1. Try Orinoco in the South End or Brookline, and order a variety of the apps, arepas, and empanadas for a tapas-like meal. (Skip on the sangria or limit yourself to one glass to keep costs down - DC and I always order the lower-priced food items, only to be done in by the pitcher of sangria!). I prefer the SE location just for the feel of the restaurant, but be sure to be there before they open to guarantee a table. (No reservations accepted.) Depending on your appetites, you could pretty easily stay under $20pp - albeit more with drinks.

              1. have you tried Grotto? (Italian) Not as cheap as Chinatown but definitely on the lower end of Italian restaurants, costwise

                4 Replies
                1. re: barleywino

                  lower quality-wise too, in my opinion.

                  1. re: SmokeDawg

                    it has its fans...the gnocchi w/ beef short rib can be very good

                    1. re: barleywino

                      op is asking for dowtown, right? so not cambridge, brighton or somerville?

                      i totally do not get the love for grotto that oozes around this board. once was enough and i will never go back. the food was so-so and the service was so amateurish i was embarrassed for both servers that dealt with our table, especially the one who couldn't use a cork screw.

                      you can easily have an awesome meal at peach farm for under $20 pp and leave with left-overs. same with penang.

                      2 t-stops from government center there are plenty of places in eastie you can do on the low end too, especially rincon limon. even the apps are too big to finish.

                      i believe teatro is still doing a $35 prix-fixe on sundays. silvertone can be done for under $20 a head, but they are closed on sundays. montien would also work.

                    2. re: SmokeDawg

                      I disagree. I think the food can be quite excellent. I had a fresh white truffle pasta dish there a few years back that was amazing. And per Barleywino the Gnocchi is great. Perhaps not the very best Italian in Boston, but in the top tier in my book.

                  2. Gitlo's Dim Sum on Brighton Ave is a big favorite with me! It's open all day and night, not just for brunch hours.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CookieLee

                      shanghai gate or jo jo taipei in brighton for excellent chinese - dok bua in brookline for very good thai - carlos cucina or basta pasta (brighton, cambridge) for very good low-cost italian - roam farther afield to dorchester for many excellent cheap vietnamese restaurants as well as Polish (Cafe Polonia) - really there are dozens of options if you look and aren't drinking heavily!

                    2. ok, I am going to get known as touting this bar, but who cares, its great. In Harvard Square, on JFK street, Shays Pub and Wine bar. IT is modeled after an English pub, small patio, wonderful beer and wine selections and the food is top notch, pubby, nuthin too fancy but delish and fresh..and ....inexpensive....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: momoftwo

                        I love Shay's, but top notch on the food, really? Compared to places like the Druid or even some of the pubs in Watertown or say Miracle of Science I have a hard time calling Shay's food top notch. Basic, basic pub food, but I feel top notch is a bit of a stretch.

                      2. Last night I met up with a friend at Drink for a drink and then headed to Channel Cafe a block away for their dinner special - $10 for a burger (regular or homemade veggie) and a draft beer. http://www.channel-cafe.com/ I'd been there for lunch but never for dinner. The food is good, the space is very cool, and the waitstaff is friendly and didn't rush us when we wanted to linger. A good, inexpensive night out.

                        1. In Somerville I would also recommend the Old Magoun Saloon. Great beer selection and much better than average "pub food". Casual atmosphere, very reasonable prices and a nice comfortable spot.