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Best Cheap Lunch in Backbay area

Any recommendations ?

I wish there was a site like midtownlunch.com for boston ... I'm tired of the Bolocos and Subways and the Prudential food court. I can go out explore a bit in the summer as things aren't that busy ...

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    1. re: Taralli

      Finally went there today, and I was expecting to be totally wowed by posts I've seen on this board. But I have to say it was just "meh." And I spell "meh" My god, Eat Here many times, because it is amazing. I had the Pork Torta, which was tremendous - the pulled pork, the refried beans, the jicama slaw and avocado all were great and fresh by themselves, and still managed to pull together to equal more than the sum of their parts. Loved the sesame roll it came on.

      Also had the fried green tomato blt - the tomatoes were freshly fried, had a nice crust that didn't slide off, and the bacon and bread were great. I saw someone order a crocque madame, and next time I am all over that action. Had a Verna's glazed doughnut for dessert. Luckily it's somewhat far from my office, so I think I walked a slice of the bacon off, possibly.

        1. re: nsenada

          knights of columbus that is an impressive lunch ! Knowing what I know about your doc, I'm sure he'll not be impressed, but wow, you can at least know that I'm looking on with great pride and awe. Good work. Don't listen to that darn doc. ;)

          1. re: Nab

            Well, I did split the sandwiches and doughnut with a friend (so a little less impressive). On the doctor front, I've been exercising like a madman for about 4 months to see if it would reduce the gobs of pork fat in my arteries. I went for my follow up checkup, and he had left the practice, and moved to another town. I took it as a sign from God that I was meant to enjoy deliciousness.

            1. re: nsenada

              You drove him out of his practice and out of town, even more impressive !

              You are winning, my friend. =)

        2. re: Taralli

          Just went today and had the best cuban I've ever had! I've had the Montrose Spa, I've had El Oriental de Cuba, I have not (yet) had Chez Henri, but this topped my list so far. The pickles popped through with a burst of dill, the pressing was perfect and the sandwich was not greasy somehow. It was so good, the only negative being that I finished it and there's no more to eat. Go get one.

          Chez Henri
          1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

          Montrose Spa
          1646 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

        3. Cafe Jaffa on gloucester Street. It's a great lunch choice, the food is great and the people are so nice.

          I wrote a piece about them recently.


          Cafe Jaffa
          48 Gloucester St, Boston, MA 02115

          1 Reply
          1. re: BostonZest

            I love Jaffa, but it can get a bit smelly, so I usually take-out.

          2. I second the Mike and Patty's.

            I like the buffet at Tantric -- really the Theater District.
            I also like Snappy Sushi - only truly cheap if you don't have a large appetite.
            And the Thai place, across from the Hynes, downstairs, forget the name.

            Snappy Sushi
            144 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116

            3 Replies
            1. re: bgavin

              B. Good on Dartmouth is healthy and cheap.

              1. re: bgavin

                The thai spot is Chili Duck i think.

                1. re: nasilemak

                  It is Chili Duck and it's good but unless it's a new addition, they don't have a lunch menu so it gets $$.

              2. Get something to go from Trident Cafe. Steve's on Newbury St./Hereford is decent if you want to get a salad or sandwich. Viga, though it gets panned a lot, is actually pretty decent for a piece of pizza or a salad or pasta dish without spending a fortune. Davio's has a little cafe counter in that little arcade behind the restaurant. I forget what it's called (the Arcade) but they always have a nice mix of salads, sandwiches, pizza slices. I guess there's a Wagamama in the Pru now, so that's probably good for noodle soup and stuff like that.

                1. Oh yeah, some people at the office I used to work in used to order from Chili Duck too and they always liked what they got.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BackBayGirl

                    Yes, I also love Chili Duck! My husband is addicted to the spicy eggplant with laab style chicken.


                  2. Tealuxe! I feel like their downstairs cafe space is one of the best kept secrets of Newbury St.

                    1. Otherside Cafe = quality and affordable. Bukowski for a cheap hot dog or burger.

                      1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BoDubya

                        $2 burger or something during lunch hours. May only be Mon-Fri.

                      2. Another vote for Mike & Patty's.

                        1. The cheapest place in the area is definitely the Pour House on Boylston St.
                          Stick with the standards and you will be fine.
                          Possibly cheaper than Subway for lunch.

                          Pour House
                          907 Boylston St Ste 21, Boston, MA 02115

                          1. I'd love to have a Boston Midtown Lunch, if only for the incredibly crazy posters they have there.

                            The Copley farmer's market has a wider variety of sandwiches from different vendors now. Sometimes their signage isn't very obvious. My next lunch from there is going to be a falafel-cilantro wrap at a place right across from the bus stop.

                            Brasserie Jo has soup/sandwich/salad lunches for about $10 which are very good. Or you can just order soup and eat the free carrot salad and bread.

                            I havent been to Island Hopper for a long time, but it's not bad.

                            The deli/cafeteria place in the park square bldg (cant remember name) serves cheap and greasy stuff (and nongreasy stuff) which isn't bad. It's right by the Subway which is atrocious.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              c. hamster, I think the Park Square place you are referring to is Croissant du Jour. I haven't been but many people in my office swear by it.

                              Also making the list of places that people in my office swear by but I haven't been to: Appleton Bakery Cafe on Appleton St. in the South End.


                              Appleton Bakery Cafe
                              123 Appleton St, Boston, MA 02116

                              Park Square Cafe
                              31 Saint James Ave Ste L15, Boston, MA 02116

                              1. re: The_SBK

                                The place I was referring to is across the hall from croissant du jour and a bit down the hall towrd Berkeley St.. Its a deli-kinda place with a huge menu. They make subs, cheesesteaks,, salads and a bucn of other stuff.

                                I have only been to CdJ once or twice and walked past it this am and it smelled so good, I vowed to go back soon. Brought lunch today but maybe even tomorrow.

                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                  Is that one good? I think it's just called Park Square Cafe. It always looks kind of gross from the outside. Then again, I guess you can't jusdge a restaurant by its cover.

                                  CdJ smells so good when you time it just right and are walking by in the AM when they are making what I can only assume to be the best breakfast sandwich ever. Haven't broke down and got one though..


                                  Park Square Cafe
                                  31 Saint James Ave Ste L15, Boston, MA 02116

                                  1. re: The_SBK

                                    It is the Park Sq. cafe.

                                    It's fine for what it is: an alternative to the other fast food-type places around.

                                    I'm still planning to hit CDJ soon. Tomorrow maybe.

                              2. re: C. Hamster

                                Is the croissant place in the Park Square Building still there? They used to make a terrific Italian sub, and I liked their Greek salads and BLTs.

                                Park Square Cafe
                                31 Saint James Ave Ste L15, Boston, MA 02116

                                1. re: pasuga

                                  That's Croissant du Jour. Since the new people took over a few years ago I can't tell you a better sandwich shop in Boston. They don't do a website so I can't redirect you but I go there about 3x a week now. Try anything Italian but start with the prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. I don't eat breakfast but so many coworkers swear by it there.
                                  Park Sq Cafe is the throwback diner joint. I go there once in a while too. Sammies are nothing special but I sometimes hanker for a burger and fries. And yes, there's a Subway in there just in case you're 15 and have no taste buds.