Chep eats in Seattle?
Depending on what you're interested in, there is much to be had on the cheap.
Sushi: Blue C Sushi in Fremont. Don't bother with Sushiland, it may be cheaper, but it's definitely not better, and Blue C has color-coded plates, so you can budget as you nosh.
Mexican/Tacos: So far, my favorites are Taco Gringos on Capital Hill (I think $2 per delicious, tiny taco, with a rotating menu), and surprisingly, Chipotle has great "street tacos" right now. I spent less than $9 on three tacos, a side of cilantro rice, beans, and a Corona. Also, for really good, fast, cheap and delicious Mexican, Rancho Bravo on Capitol Hill is amazing. But be warned: Taco Gringos is only open Tues-Sun, 8pm-2am, and they, along with Rancho Bravo, are a popular spot for late-night bar flies.
Burgers: if you want quality, I'd go for something like Zippy's Giant Burgers, but since that's a bit of a drive, Red Mill is an old Seattle favorite with good prices and really excellent food. And for just plain, cheap, greasy-deliciousness, Dick's Drive-In is what to go for.
Chinese: Pike Place Chinese Cuisine is great. Ignore the bad Yelp reviews, this is one of the best cheap Chinese restaurants in Seattle. Pretty much everything—except the egg rolls—is amazing, especially the potstickers, honey glazed walnut prawns, general tao's chicken, hot and sour soup, and special fried rice. And a $35 delivery order gets you enough food to feed a small army, plus a free family-sized serving of fried rice. Another great Chinese place is Uptown China, where they have some of the best salt-and-pepper tofu in town. And don't forget the best, freshest, handmade dumplings at Szechuan Noodle Bowl.
Pho: Than Brothers is good, service at the Broadway location can be a bit meh sometimes, but the food is good and cheap, and the chicken pho will cure a hangover or a cold.
Pizza: Hot Mama's on Capital Hill is excellent, as is Stellar Pizza in Georgetown.
I could go on, but I imagine that's enough for a week, and you'll only be here a day.
Pike Place Chinese Cuisine
1533 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101
Uptown China Restaurant
200 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Szechuan Noodle Bowl
420 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Zippy's Giant Burgers
1513 SW Holden St, Seattle, WA 98106
31827 Pacific Hwy S Ste A, Federal Way, WA 98003
I'm new to town and have been joyfully exploring eating options! Most have been on the cheap side so here's some of what I've got:
My boyfriend & I have been to Taco Gringos twice now and were really pleased both times. Yes, the tacos are VERY small, but that's not that unusual for "street" tacos. I'd prefer it if they were $1 or $1.50, of course, but the fillings are tasty and creative enough that I'm not too put out by the $2 price tag.
I've only had the vegetarian options so far and liked both a lot -- first time was sort of a hummus/whole chickpea/cilantro concoction; second was sugar snap peas & pea vines on a base of pureed sweet potato (I think? Or maybe it was carrot? I didn't ask) with a little bit of thinly-sliced marinated onion. Both served cold. Refreshing, unusual and delicious! My biggest wish is that the tortillas were house-made instead of packaged, but oh well.
We also went to Rancho Bravo the other day. My veggie burrito was cheap & serviceable but nothing special. Gloppy veg/black beans/rice/sour cream/cheese mixture in loosely bundled tortilla (messy!). Sorta grimy surroundings. But we ate for less than $10 and it was decent so that's ok.
I enjoyed the cod & chips with house-made tartar sauce and lemon aioli (25 cents extra for getting a 2nd sauce, but both were good so it was worth it) at Pike Street Fish Fry. Not CHEAP but not expensive either. 4 smallish-to-medium pieces of fish and more fries than I could eat (then again I'm a light eater) for, um, I think it was $8? I hear their pork sandwich is good too.
At Pike Place Market: Baked BBQ pork bun from Mee Sum was cheap, tasty, & portable. Beecher's macaroni & cheese a little pricy but delicious!! One of the better mac & cheeses I've ever had. Seared scallop chowder at Pike Place Chowder = YUM.
Have only been to Paseo once but am REALLY looking forward to going again and exploring more of the menu (I had the #2 -- so good! Tender, flavorful pork; deep brown, soft, sweet onions; delightful crusty mayo-slathered roll that soaks up all the juices). Baguette Box is good too (drunken chicken just so-so for me, but I liked the pork loin and really enjoyed the tender lemongrass beef -- there was a little chili kick in there somewhere too which was a pleasant surprise) if a little spendy for sandwiches.
Vegetarian pho at Pho 900 on Broadway in Capitol Hill is probably the most flavorful veg pho I've had (not that my experience is huge). And you get a little cream puff for dessert!
Finally, we had a very nice but still very affordable dinner at Long Provincial Vietnamese (near the Market). Extensive menu with lots of delicious-sounding choices. 3 of us shared a light dinner of eggplant satay, pineapple salad with tofu (I'm normally not a big fan of large chunks of tofu but their is really good! Nicely flavored with lemongrass and not at all blah), and the vegetarian eggroll "bun" (noodles) plus drinks (they have lots of exciting fruity cocktail options -- I quite liked my ginger Cosmo) for under $50 (including tip). You could eat even cheaper than that if you didn't order alcohol and/or went during happy hour, I'd guess.
Finally, Yellow Leaf Cupcakes in Belltown is worth a stop! "Pancakes & bacon" or choclate bacon are both AWESOME. My boyfriend was very happy with the strawberry macaroon one he had too. I'm really wanting to try the "tomato soup" flavor!
Good luck; enjoy Seattle!
Pike Place Market
1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101
Pike Street Fish Fry
925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
1203 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101
216 Broadway E Ste 101, Seattle, WA 98102
Pike Place Chowder
600 Pine St Ste 404, Seattle, WA 98101