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Cheap eats in the FiDi

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Yes, I know about Mixt Greens and Toaster Oven and a few others that have become my regulars. Wondering if others have good "cheap eats" I should know about (under $12 for a decent lunch).

Let's bind the financial district by Market/Kearny/Jackson/Embarcadero

some of your favorites much appreciated...

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  1. Here's an older thread, 08-09, that may give you some ideas.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/517750

    2 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        Wow, that is a good thread. I will add some of the places I eat in FiDi, not saying that these places are the best, there is some calculus of cost / proximity / tastiness.

        Golden King / Golden Star: Pho, $7.

        Good Luck Deli: Chicken salad sandwich on a soft roll, $5.

        Latte Express: Grilled pork banh mi, $4.

        Bocadillos: Lamb burger and BLT, $9.

        456 Deli: Club sandwich, $5.

        Cafe Madeleine: Quiche, $8.

        Max's: Medium pastrami sandwich, matzo ball soup, potato salad, $8.

        Tlaloc: Shrimp burrito, $9

        Working Girls: Chicken parmesan sandwich, $8.

        Baladie's: Falafel sandwich, $7.

        Wildflower: Jap chae, brussel sprouts, kale, bean sprouts, meat balls, $9.

        L & L: Loco moco, $7.

      2. My husband loves the salads at Lightening Foods. He swears the size doubles or triples if you dine in.

        Saigon Sandwich Express is supposed to be a branch of Saigon Sandwich in the Tenderloin, but I have not yet been.

        Cafe Algiers has a tasty and really cheap falafel sandwich (and other cheap sandwiches).

        Best O Burger is on my radar these days partly because the name catches my fancy, and partly because their patties taste oniony and charry.

        Taco truck San Buenas is fine if not great, and certainly cheap.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pei

          Lightening Foods in Embarcadero 3 (?) has closed. Can't recall the name of the place that replaced it - Green something or another. It looks pretty similar though.

          1. re: nsheth

            It's called Green Bar. I haven't tried it yet, but it's got the same setup. Big salad bar, sandwiches, a few hot specials. http://greenbarsf.com/

        2. If you include the west side of Kearny, I'd add Muracci's to the list. I haven't tried the Plant Cafe Organic at 101 California but there look to be some good choices under $12.

          I also like L'Eataliano on Market between Front and Davis for a quick and tasty panino or piadina. Nothing fancy, nice people working there. http://www.leataliano.com/

          You can get a nice meal at Out the Door in the Ferry Building for under $12.

          I like Oasis on Drumm near California for a good falafel.

          There's an Asian fusion taco truck on Jackson (?) called Kung Fu tacos, but I haven't tried it yet. Could be interesting.

          1. Orale Orale (Mexican), Sai's (Vietnamese), Tempura House, Paladar (Cuban), Henry's Hunan

            1. I'd add Barbacco now that it is open. Happy Donuts' curries are generally good.

              The duck taco at Kung fu was OK but nothing special.

              4 Replies
              1. re: jmarek

                good stuff everyone...i need to broaden my horizons. am a fan of Sai's and Paladar as well but lots of the others are new for me. If working late, Siam House (next to Henry's on Sacramento) is open late (until 9pm) and delivers.

                1. re: jmarek

                  I'm curious about the reference to curry at Happy Donuts? Could you elaborate?

                  I like John's Snack & Deli for the daily korean specials also.

                  Sawaii and also another hole in the wall (Sushi Bay?) on Kearny for takeout japanese (not so much for sushi).

                  Also, Julia's Kitchen for when I'm indecisive or in a salad bar ish mood.

                  1. re: Pandora

                    The Happy Donuts on Battery between Pine and Bush has a whiteboard with daily specials -- generally Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese. They are generally pretty good, esp for the price. I like the Curry Fish in particular (which they have every Monday and maybe one other day). The curry chicken, lemongrass pork, and pork with preserved vegetables are also good. The pad thai, fried rice, and the bbq pork sandwiches aren't so good. It is basically across the street from John's.

                    1. re: jmarek

                      Thanks very much for the info. I've tried Happy Donuts twice now and have had the curry chicken and the lemongrass pork. I liked the curry best. It's pretty good since they heat the food so it's nice and hot even back at my desk.

                2. Some of my favs are :

                  Oasis (Schwarma)

                  Rotee Express (for pretty decent Indian)

                  Town Hall To Go in the warmer months when they do the outdoor grill (Fried Chicken Sandwiches, BBQ Ribs, etc)

                  Out the Door (5 spice chicken sandwich, etc)

                  -----
                  Town Hall Restaurant
                  342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

                  Out the Door
                  1 Ferry Bldg Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94111

                  Rotee Express
                  180 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105

                  Oasis Grill
                  91 Drumm St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                  1. I am a big fan of the salad & hot food bar at Chez Carla, in the 200 block of Pine Street. The items on the salad bar are crisp and never look wilted. I really like the beef stew that is available daily. The tamale pie served on Thursday is also one of my favorites.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DavidT

                      Note, if you get to Chez Carla after 2pm, the by-the-pound food is 1/2 off. Can get to be a bit of a madhouse though.

                    2. The cookie place across Kearny from Rickhouse bar @ Bush has nice middle eastern food - falafel and shwermas and the like. They always throw in some cookies which is always a special treat.