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Meals for less than $5 in Gaithersburg/Germantown/Rockville area

I just moved to this area and was wondering if there was any restaurants that had meals for less than $5 (no fast food chains) worth mentioning?

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  1. I think the roach coaches at the MVA in Gaithersburg might have something. The hot dog stand outside of Home Depot might work too. Even a small pho at Pho Nam or Pho 75 is $5.65.

    $5 is unreasonably low for a meal in 2010.

    3 Replies
    1. re: reiflame

      I just drove past the MVA. There is construction going on at the MARC station and so there are at least three taqueria roach coaches sitting across from the MVA.

      I wonder if this food is safe / good?

      The US Census results have been published and results for the Gaithersburg / Germantown area show a 149-percent jump in the Hispanic population, 119 percent more Asian/Pacific Islanders and 60 percent more blacks. The population is now 25% hispanic. Seems like the only restaurants in the area that are prospering are the Popuserias.

      1. re: GraydonCarter

        Those taco stands at the Gaithersburg MVA have been there for many years.

        There's a thread around here somewhere - 1 of them is definitely worth going to. But you're also 5 minutes from Taco Bar at the Washingtonian Chevron, which is also worth going to.

        1. re: DanielK

          Having worked in construction for 10 plus years I can say each roach coach is different some are just okay and some are actually good. Think of it this way if they serve terrible food people would stop purchasing it and bring their own lunch.

    2. Right now California Tortilla (a local chain) is having a $5 promotion. There are locations in Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown.


      4 Replies
      1. re: small fry

        The OP requested no fast food. Under $5 without fast food is going to be very difficult to find at most places in the area, though, unless a single a la carte item could qualify as a meal.

        1. re: sweth

          Under $5 WITH fast food isn't easy any more.

          1. re: DanielK

            You can't eat anywhere for less than $5.00, not even fast food. You can pack a lunch for that much though.

      2. Ok, I was wrong; I thought of two places you can do it:

        1) Taco Bar at the Washingtonian gas station. $2.35 per taco, and they're really, really good. 2 is pretty filling.

        2) Ba Le in Rockville for Ba Mi - I think they're around $3.00 a sandwhich and one can make a light lunch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: reiflame

          At Taco Bar, I think 3 tacos is a meal, but you need a drink with your 2 tacos - so still over $5.

          And I'd argue that 2 sandwiches at Ba Le is a proper meal, unless you're really not that hungry, or weigh well less than 100 lbs. Even my 10-year-old pixie-sized daughter, who eats like a bird, is still hungry after one bahn mi there.

          This is fun! :-)

          1. re: DanielK

            You could do take out from Taco Bar and drink tap water at home! Two tacos there this morning was a meal for me (and I'm a pretty big eater).

        2. I see that Red Hot and Blue in the Grove Shopping Center on Shady Grove Road in Gaithersburg has a sign outside, advertising $5.00 hamburgers on certain days of the week.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kolomya

            But with tax that's more than $5 - and if you eat in you have to tip, so add a few more.

          2. $5 is pretty difficult, but for lunch sometimes I'll get the banh mi sandwich (I'm partial to the grilled pork) at Saigon Deli, next to the Lotte supermarket in Germantown which is $3.75. I'm just curious, though, where you moved from that you could get meals for under $5. :)

            Pho House
            13073 Wisteria Dr, Germantown, MD 20874

            4 Replies
            1. re: sharonlouk

              Not a traditional restaurant but I use it as one. I go to the Whole Foods - Kentlands salad bar a lot and get an amazing salad with really unusual toppings for under $5. Then I eat it at the nice tables they have - no tip, water from the fountain. :o)

              1. re: stever500

                ^^Really? Every time I get WF salad bar or pasta bar it ends up being like 9 dollars, and I scold myself for not just getting something nice out. Most expensive food bars EVER!

                1. re: beauxgoris

                  Yes, anything with size is easily crossing $5. I always add my dressing later, which probably saves the cost of a whole bottle each time anyway...

                  They tend to wet everything down, which does help freshness but adds mightily to the weight.

                  1. re: beauxgoris

                    Completely agree! You cannot eat for $5.00 at a WF prepared food/salad bar. I think the container alone is $5! I think the OP must have come from somewhere very far away to think they could get a meal for under $5 in this area.

              2. Not a restaurant, but I did have a meal for less than $5.00 in Rockville today.

                Maxim (Chinese grocery store) has a lunch box special - three types of entrees plus rice, plus soup, for all of $4.50. It was more than I could eat for a meal. You can choose any of their prepared foods except for cold dishes for the entrees.

                It's steam table food, so don't expect anything really amazing, but it was decent, especially for the price. I didn't care for the soup, however. And there's nowhere to eat your food, unless you sit in your car.

                1. the authentic mexican place next to the gas station at Washingtonian and Sam Eig Hwy has fresh and true authentic mexican cuisine that is good, cheap and fresh. I think you could eat for $5.00 if you drank water and watched what you order. It definitely is a find that I was shocked how good it was for a place you probably don't even know exists

                  5 Replies
                    1. re: reiflame

                      I second the recommendation for Taco Bar. I'm originally from SoCal and just so we are all clear, nothing here in this area comes close to the flavor from back there. Now, Taco Bar, with their cheap tacos (suadero and chorizo) are killers and their posole is good...a real find for a hole in the wall...nice flavor and did I say cheap and easy :)

                      1. re: dodomaster

                        The Taco Bar has been our take-out meal of choice for the past five years. You can get a six-rack of Modelo Negra, a tank of gas, a car wash and an excellent and inexpensive Mexican dinner--all in one stop. Where else in MoCo can you pull that off?

                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                          Don't forget an oil change (and a pretty friendly one at that).

                          1. re: reiflame

                            Been there for that as well. There is also a drycleaners on the premises. What a little gold mine, huh?

                  1. Seeing as the original post is almost a year old, you may have already discovered Giuseppe's in Rockville and Gaithersburg. They have an everyday pizza special - 2 cheese slices and a soda for $4.50. And all their 6 inch subs are less than $5. Good stuff too.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Guy Incognito

                      I agree with Guy - this is a good lunch option for under $5 (I think it is only priced like this for lunch). Their pizza is better than the chains IMO. The only problem is parking at the Rockville town center location. Worth a stop if you see an empty spot at the meters around the square.

                      Giuseppi's Pizza Plus
                      199 E Montgomery Ave Ste L, Rockville, MD 20850

                      1. re: Terrie H.

                        I'll give it a try, but am I alone in my sort of disfavor for these highly planned "New Urban" Traditional Neighborhood Design shopping districts like Kentlands (and Rio at Washingtonian)?

                    2. You can get a slice and a coke at Slice of Old Towne for less than $5. It's a relative new-comer but makes a pretty respectable pie; not the best I've had but better than almost every other option in Gaithersburg/Germantown/Rockville.

                      It's definitely worth a look if you haven't tried it.

                      1. Check out Tortacos on Lost Knife Road. They are authentic Mexican tacos like you get in LA.


                        9629 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: DCDeb

                          $5 bucks in Rockville Wendy's or McD dollar menu or CiCi Buffet off Rockville Pike its hard to find place for lunch for less then $5 most value meals at a fast food spot are now $6.50

                          1. re: agarnett100

                            While that's not my neighborhood, I've noticed that nearly all of my local (Arlington/Falls Church) $5 lunches are now $6. Since I eat lunch out just about every day, that's about a $300 annual loss for me (who didn't get a cost of living increase this year).

                            1. re: agarnett100

                              Yeah, but as this thread shows you can do it, as long as you're not a huge eater. AND, you don't have to settle for crappy fast food.

                            2. re: DCDeb

                              Thanks for the heads up - where on Lost Knife is it?

                              1. re: reiflame

                                right next to the H-Mart at the end of Lost Knife.

                              2. re: DCDeb

                                Visited Tortacos last night and enjoyed my burrito. Very fresh ingredients. They have price specials: Tuesday Tacos, Thursday Combos, and Saturday Al Pastor (spit grilled pork).

                                9629 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                  Lunch again today, took a friend to Tortacos. Tuesday Special was tacos al pastor for $1 each. Yum.

                                  There are restaurants on either side of this place. One is Peruvian Chicken (El Carbonazo). The other is a sit-down Mexican seafood and steak place with a bigger menu and mixed drinks, Texas Parrillada.

                              3. It's not a restaurant, but on the 2nd floor at the Harris Teeter off Rockville Pike, they have a $5 create your own meal in the deli. You choose one meat option (grilled chix, pork tenderloin, meatballs, etc) and two side items (tons to choose from) The food is fresh and delicious and there's tables scattered around the upstairs as well.

                                1. There is a Sunoco station in Germantown next to Bob Evans that sells homemade shawarma, kibbeh, baba ghanoush, and tabouleh. Surprisingly good.

                                  Pho House in Germantown Square has banh mi for 3.50. Pretty good. Homemade mayo, great baguettes. Bubble tea as well. It is by the Roy Rogers over on Wisteria drive. The Pho is good also, not a phan of the Hue style beef though (these are over 5.00).

                                  Good luck.