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2 Cheap, local meals in Cambridge/Boston

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I'll be driving from VT to the Cape in a few weeks with a short stop in Boston. I currently live in Austin and I'm looking for an inexpensive lunch and dinner in Boston and/or Cambridge. I'd prefer something that can only be found in Boston/Cambridge but would also not mind a cheap, hole in the wall ethnic restaurant. I know this is a tall order but if you could tell me some of your favorites I'd appreciate it.

Not interested in BBQ, Mexican or Vietnamese. We have plenty of that here!

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  1. Get something in Chinatown, dimsum for lunch search this board for recommendations

    1. Puerto Rican specials are available at Izzy's in Cambridge. It is an easy walk from MIT. They have things like oxtail and goat stew and regular old sub shop fare too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: calliope_nh

        Esperia for Greek, with maybe a stop at Deep Ellum on the way for drinks. JoJo Taipei or Shanghai Gate for Chinese. East Coast Grill in Cambridge for oysters, dinner. Alive and Kicking in Cambridge for lobster and steamers for lunch or Court House Seafood.

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        Shanghai Gate
        204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

        East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
        1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

        Court House Seafood Restaurant
        498 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

        Deep Ellum Bar
        477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

        1. re: teezeetoo

          I guess I wouldn't consider either East Coast Grill or lobsters as a cheap meal, maybe the lobster roll if that was your intent on alive and kicking, but I guess that is why people should always put in $$ what they consider a cheap meal for them, if they are asking for advice. Is a $20 buger a cheap meal? no if it is compared to a $7 burritto, but yes if it compared to a $40 steak.

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          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2. re: calliope_nh

          Sorry but I don't agree. The quality of the chow at Izzy's has been sub-par for years. I used to love the place, but for the last 5 years the food tastes like bullion cubes and laziness. FAR FAR better for Puerto Rican is Cafe Latino in government center. Lunch only just FYI.

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          Izzy's Restaurant
          72 Spring St, New Bedford, MA 02740

          Cafe Latino
          2 Center Plz, Boston, MA 02108

        3. casual Japanese (curry, pork or chicken cutlet, fried chicken, hamburg w/ egg etc) at Cafe Mami in Porter square (Cambridge) (or ramen next door at Sapporo if you prefer). ice cream at Toscanini's in Central square. pastrami sandwich at Sam LaGrassa's (downtown) or a hot dog at Speeds (South boston).

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          Cafe Mami
          1815 Massachusetts Ave Ste M4, Cambridge, MA 02140

          1. Thai - Rod Dee or S & I Thai
            Hot Pot for lunch - Q in chinatown
            Malaysian - Penang

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            S & I Thai
            168 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

            1. Charlie's Kitchen in Harvard Sq - great chowder and double lobster roll special is like $13

              Pizzeria Regina in the North End

              Belle Isle Seafood on the East Boston/Winthrop line

              Courthouse Seafood in Cambridge

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              Belle Isle Seafood
              1267 Saratoga St, Boston, MA 02128

              Charlie's Kitchen
              10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138