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Cheap but good eats in Fullerton??

  • t

I just moved to Fullerton and don't know much about the area. I'm on a tight budget and would love it if anyone can recommend a good place under $10 a person in the area (or 10-15 miles radius). Breakfast, lunch or dinner.


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  1. Hi H!! welcome to the board!

    Here are some places in Fullerton..

    -Kim Loan - pho ;) (it's close, but probably better going to little saigon instead)
    -Seafood Grill - clam chowder and fish & chips
    -Stubricks - beef stroganoff

    These are probably not the cheapest, but good
    -The Cat & the Custard Cup - cute restaurant for romantic dinners
    -Napa Rose

    Maybe other people can chime in about these places. I'm curious what others think about them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sc

      I love Kim Loan, so I second that rec. Try their BBQ Pork Rice dish. Their pho is good, but can be a little too sweet sometimes. I usually share one bowl with my friends, so it is just right.

    2. Maybe some of the other chowhounds can help me with the name, but I remember something like "Hungry Bear" or something with "bear" in the same that had excellent food. Mostly steaks, but everything was very good. help, please??

      2 Replies
      1. re: kotatsu

        Hungry Bear is on Harbor just north of Bastanchury,
        in the same shopping center as Long's Drugs (? - I think its still Long's).

        Good place for steaks, but gets *crowded*.......


        1. re: Just Cid

          The times I have been to the Hungry Bear, I have not been impressed. Am I missing something?

          (It is in the Long's shopping center)

          (The sandwich place next door does a pretty good egg salad sandwich, etc.)

      2. Fullerton is actually a great location for cheap eats, IMO. You're only a few minutes from Zankou Chicken in Anaheim, the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop also in Anaheim, Thai Nakorn in Buena Park, Renu Nakorn in Norwalk and a spate of authentic Indian places in Artesia.

        There's a ton of inexpensive vietnamese food in Westminster, and there's a branch of Lee's Sandwiches very close to you, on Harbor I believe.

        This site is helpful for addresses:

        Link: http://orangecounty.citysearch.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mongo

          Lee's Sandwiches is a great option for cheap food. It's in the Costco parking lot on Harbor. The sandwiches are super cheap -about $2 or $3 for a good size sandwich. They have banh mi- vietnamese style as well as european style. The BBQ pork is good and the asian veggie sandwich is excellent. I'm addicted. They also have some really interesting drinks, super strong vietnamese coffee and the also sell ice cream. You can also buy the fresh french bread to take home. For the price, it can't be beat.

          Link: http://www.leesandwiches.com/stores/f...

        2. Original Pancake House - Anaheim on Lincoln - BEST, and I mean BEST pancakes in OC. Very cheap. VERY crowded on weekends.

          1. Also, just down the street on Harbor at the Fullerton/La Habra border (the Best Buy across the street is in Fullerton) is Great Wall Mongolian BBQ. I've written a review but I can't find it. It's very cheap but very good-- $6 or $7 for lunch or dinner. They have huge bowls you fill with beef, chicken or pork, pile on the veggies, noodles and seasoning. They cook it on a huge BBQ and they serve it with soup (that tastes better with an addition of the white pepper on the table), and rice and an appetizer. I go there when I'm sick and pile on loads of garlic and ginger and drink the hot tea. It does the trick every time. I swear I get better faster. My hubby and I usually get out of there for about $15 for the both of us. Make sure you go to the Mongolian BBQ that is right by Target. The one across the street isn't as good.

            Great Wall Mongolian Bbq
            Address: 1261 S Harbor Blvd # A, La Habra, CA 90631
            Phone: (714) 680-3569

            1. Another must try is Rutabegorz--- excellent food, interesting atmosphere, pretty cheap. I'm addicted to the curry dressing on the avocado and shrimp salad but everything else is really good too. Great drinks, sandwiches, soups, crepes, burritos, enchiladas, etc...

              Ruta’s Fullerton
              211 North Pomona
              Fullerton, CA.
              Phone: 714.738.9339
              FAX: 714.871.1580

              Monday - Thursday
              11 AM - 10 PM
              Friday - Saturday
              11 AM - 11 PM Sunday
              4 PM - 9 PM

              Link: http://www.rutabegorz.com/locations/i...

              1. I lived in Fullerton for 20 years and now live in Buena Park. I agree with the other recs you've gotten. Here are a few more:

                Anita's (Harbor a few blocks north of Orangethorpe) for New Mexico-style Mexican food.

                Giovanni's for pizza -- the one on Williamson and Euclid, just a block south of Commonwealth is MUCH better than the one on Harbor just south of Imperial. Ask them to go light on the cheese unless you like gobs of it, but it's the best pie in town. Not saying it's fabulous -- it's gone downhill since Paul, the former owner, passed away, but it's good.

                There are a number of Korean places along Beach between, say, La Palma and Imperial. My favorite is Light Town House in the big strip mall with the WalMart on the SE corner of Beach and Imperial.

                For Chinese -- Americanized, but good and tasty -- try Mandarin Pavilion on Valencia just west of Euclid.

                Tasty, cheap Mexican at Cancun on Orangethorpe, east of Magnolia. Again, Americanized but good.

                Luigi D'Italia in Anaheim on State College. Olde Tyme red-check table cloths, big plates of spaghetti with meatballs. If you're into Nuova Cucina, this ain't it. But, again, tasty. Try the Chicken Marconi or the Spagettini ala Romana.

                A good, inexpensive neighborhood sushi place is Matsunoya, in the strip mall on the SW corner of Harbor and Orangethorpe.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Dorothy

                  >Giovanni's for pizza -- the one on Williamson and >Euclid, just a block south of Commonwealth is MUCH

                  I just went by this one the other night. Its not called Giovanni's anymore, and they had a liquor license transfer form on the window....

                  Don't know if its any good or not, just different...


                  1. re: Just Cid

                    Thanks, good to know. Since I've not been there since the change, I hereby withdraw my recommendation!

                  2. re: Dorothy

                    I agree with most of the recommendations listed on the various posts here (Rutabegorz, Tony's Little Italy, Luigi's, Anitas) and I mostly agree with Dorothy all the time, but not the Matsunoya recommendation. Ughhh! I had my two worst Japanese dinners there.

                    For better Japanese, go to Ichiban in Brea. It's a little more expensive, but definitely better. Also Sushi Momo at Bastanchury and Laguna is good for Sushi at the Sushi bar, but STAY AWAY from their dining room and their regular menu.

                    Someone mentioned why everyone was fascinated by the Hungry Bear. Just a couple of years ago it used to be a very cheap steakhouse. You could get a bacon wrapped filet mignon for under $9, but those days are gone. They've raised their prices and the quality of their food doesn't justify their new prices.

                  3. Taqueria La bamba
                    on Harbor

                    Great salsa, licuados (Mexican milky fruit shakes). I'm a veg, so I didn't try the meat, but the large Spanish-speaking clientele seemed to be enjoying.

                    1. Thanks for all your suggestions.....looks like my diet is just going straight to hell.

                      1. from a Fullerton native: El Camino Real in the Stater Bros-anchored plaza on Euclid and Malvern. full-service taqueria with a licuados bar.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: est

                          Never been--what do you like to order?

                          1. re: Funwithfood

                            i can't say i've tried a ton of stuff there; i don't know their "best" items because i only go when i'm visiting the folks. their carne asada is good.

                          2. re: est

                            I must try it. Every time I'm over there the smells are wonderful!

                          3. Hi, and welcome to Fullerton--my hometown!

                            Heroe's: For Nachos & beer (get the beans on the side)

                            Seafood Grill: Great clam chowder and Fish & Chips

                            Kim Loan: #69 BBQ Beef absolutely addictive! (Their Pho sucks--last time tried #21 Wonton Soup (shrimp only), which is much better. We put the BBQ Beef into the Wonton Soup broth...heaven!

                            Cafe Hidalgo: Sangria (a pitcher) with appetizer (the rest of the menu bores me)

                            Table Ten: Soups are good (everything else is overpriced), the Sticky Toffee Pudding is delicious--*major* comfort food.

                            Pho 94: In 99 Ranch Market Center on Euclid (Anaheim). Best Pho I have had!!

                            Top Class Pizza: (Malvern/Gilbert) Good pizza delivered--must get the "cheese blanket"!

                            That's a start :)

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Funwithfood

                              Second the Cafe Hidalgo recco... great Sangria and their skirt/flank steak is a great entree for under $20. Good ceviche as well.

                              Top Class Pizza - We get pizza from there ALL THE TIME. The owner (Sam) makes a slightly thinner pie for me... uses a "large" dough ball but stretches it to the "extra large" size pie... perfect if you like the thin crust. But what is the "cheese blanket"?

                              1. re: woo!

                                Cheese blanket:
                                "An extra layer of cheese over the top of your pizza, with Parmesan, Basil, and Oregano." (I think it's only $1 extra!)

                                (I'll have to ask for the thinner crust next time.)

                                1. re: Funwithfood

                                  Hmph! You two have been holding out on me with the Top Class recommendation . . .

                                  1. re: Dorothy

                                    Too funny.. It's weird, Top Class is one of those places we don't even think about... just if we want pizza that's where we call. SO much better than Dominos or Pizza Hut... I think they have a "family special" that's $19.99 and it's an XL Pizza with 2 (?) toppings, LARGE Salad and a 2 liter of soda... we almost always get that. It's more expensive than Pizza Hut an their large crapola deluxe for 11.99, but my wife likes the salad and the pizza ain't bad at all.

                                    1. re: woo!

                                      Also, they have coupons in mailers all the time.

                                      (They don't ask for the coupon, so I don't even save them anymore! I think it's $2 off a large pizza--just mention "the coupon" when you phone in your order.)

                            2. wahoos - yummers, good healthy fast food
                              angelos and vincis - too bad you can't eat ambiance
                              ye olde ship - "authentic" english pub = good brewskis
                              il ghiotto - good italian food
                              luigis - good family style, fresh seafood pasta dishes
                              anitas - "new mexican" style not "new" mexico style with sopapillas
                              costco dining - can't beat the value
                              summit house - english inn (expensive)
                              cat and custard cup - i prefer it over summit house
                              el cholo cafe - next to cat and custard cup, prefer del taco
                              cellar - high end, was known for wine selection, haven't been there since new ownership
                              stubriks - expensive sizzler quality meat
                              table ten - home cooking, sheeit might as well stay at home

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: EatMe

                                I'm on the Placentia Fullerton border, so my recommendations will reflect that:

                                Taqueria de Anda - on Chapman Blvd east of 57 freeway. I love their tacos ($0.99). If you're in the west side of Fullerton, I think they have a branch out there.

                                Tony's - in Vons plaza on intersection of Placentia and Bastanchury. Their double layer pizza is superb.

                                Pho place in Taco Bell plaza on Yorba Linda and Rose.

                                1. re: LJY

                                  Taqueria de Anda does, indeed, have a west-fullerton location and it's open 24 hours. great place:

                                  308 W. Valencia Dr
                                  Fullerton, CA 92870
                                  (714) 871-4211

                                  for all locations, see:

                                  1. re: LJY

                                    alright another mexican restaurant to try! the taqueria sounds like my type of joint. where is it located? by in-n-out?

                                    in brea (good guys shopping center), on imperial hwy (next to diedrich) is a restaurant called ??? was originally la salsa then taco mesa. the manager of the taco mesa bought it from the owners and renamed it after himself. i love the calimari burrito - yummers.

                                    1. re: LJY

                                      I don't get to Fullerton and only stopped in once, but I remember Taqueria La Bamba fondly. It is on Harbor, I think the 400 block. Basic taco place.

                                      Primarily Latino clientele from what I saw. Really good salsas (I ate ALL of it), both red & green, served with the chips. They serve licuados, which are milky fruit shakes. I can't tell you about the meat, because I am a veg, but when I didn't order any, they were absolutely incredulous...like "You don't know what you're missing!!"

                                    2. re: EatMe

                                      a couple of comments:
                                      il ghiotto is no longer called il ghiotto. i passed by with dad recently and noted the change. he said it's still the same owners. unfortunately i did not note the new name.

                                      luigis-i believe you're talking about Luigi's d'Italia? it's actually in Anaheim. website: http://www.luigisditalia.netfirms.com/
                                      i 2nd the recommendation; friendly, fill-u-up italian-american joint with checkered tablecloths. legendary and wonderful but pleeeze do not expect gourmet or regional authenticity.

                                      ye olde ship: if you need a pub fix this will more than suffice. good fish 'n' chips.

                                      1. re: est

                                        thx for updating me on il ghiotto - wonder if the violin player is still there?

                                        yeh you're right about luigi's - it's in anaheim, worth the drive from fullerton

                                        great selection of beers at ye old ship