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Good cheap eats in Eugene OR?

mizducky Jan 16, 2012 01:59 PM

I'm going to be relocating to Eugene by the end of February. By preference as well as budget, I have a thing for good cheap eats -- little unpretentious diners, mom 'n' pop joints, ethnic eateries, hippy-dippy cafes, that kind of thing. My tastes in grocery shopping run to much the same thing, with an especial eye for good cheap produce. Been catching up on the existing threads, and already seeing that unless there have been changes, I'm probably going to be making runs to Portland for pho (*sob!*) ... but what else is going on Eugene in this category of fooding? What's the local cheap eats thrill?

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    firecracker RE: mizducky Jan 24, 2012 02:51 PM

    Having just come through Eugene on my way home after the Holidays, I would recommend Hop Valley Brewery Company in adjoining Springfield. Food is mainly "pub grub" but quite decent and the price won't break the bank.

    2 Replies
    1. re: firecracker
      mizducky RE: firecracker Jan 24, 2012 03:24 PM

      Yay! A response! ... seriously, that's a good tip. Thanks!

      I was beginning to wonder if the silence was due to a scarcity of the kind of places I said I was looking for in Eugene, or a scarcity of Chowhound interest in that area. Does it help if I clarify that Springfield is fair game too?

      1. re: mizducky
        firecracker RE: mizducky Jan 25, 2012 05:23 PM

        Try Yelping or Citysearching the Eugene/Springfield area, mizducky. You should get some good idea of places to try (or skip) from the reviews!

    2. s
      sr44 RE: mizducky Jan 25, 2012 05:30 PM


      This is a REALLY terrific place to eat although not in a fashionable part of town. That is, if it's still open. I've been unable to confirm that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sr44
        janella RE: sr44 Jan 27, 2012 10:41 PM

        Hilda's has been closed for years. This location has had a string of good restaurants, though -- the current occupant is Humble Beagle, a nice low-key neighborhood place with good food and friendly (though sometimes slow) service. It's one of our favorites.

      2. thirtyeyes RE: mizducky Jan 25, 2012 10:43 PM

        Low end eh? I'd try...Newman's Fish Grotto for fish and chips, Noodle Bowl or Cafe Arirang for Korean, Toshi's Ramen, and Yi Shen or Vietnam Restaurant (both are mediocre but only game in town for Pho like soup). Delacata and Ume Grill food carts are decent. I must say I'm still having trouble adjusting to Eugene food scene after SF Bay Area and San Diego/LA. I go north once a month at least and once drove to Portland for dim sum and then got back in car and drove straight back to Eugene. It was worth it.

        6 Replies
        1. re: thirtyeyes
          oregoncook RE: thirtyeyes Jan 26, 2012 02:55 PM

          Some good ideas, TE. And that would be both Newman's Fish Grotto on Coburg (with grill choice) and the "original" on Willamette, right? Slightly off topic and area, but where did you have dim sum in Portland? As the OP said, Portland's Vietnamese choices are terrific. And then there's always a drive north to north Salem for really good Mexican food!

          1. re: oregoncook
            mizducky RE: oregoncook Jan 26, 2012 05:30 PM

            Oh, now north Salem's reputation for Mexican food I did not know about. Very good to know.

            1. re: mizducky
              Amecameca RE: mizducky Feb 24, 2012 09:52 PM

              A Salem taco crawl is a satisfying way to spend an afternoon:


              I have other posts about Salem Mexican food that might be of interest.

            2. re: oregoncook
              thirtyeyes RE: oregoncook Jan 31, 2012 09:44 PM

              For dim sum in Portland, so far Wong's King or Ocean City both are near 84/205. Ocean City is very slightly better but it is a dive. Wong's King looks much nicer inside. A little afraid to try anything else given the travel distance, a mistake would be a huge blow.

              I put Portland Dim Sum equal to San Diego's, behind Las Vegas and well behind SF Bay Area.

              1. re: thirtyeyes
                Amecameca RE: thirtyeyes Feb 24, 2012 09:56 PM

                I agree with you thirtyeyes about Ocean City for the best dim sum in Portland. But as long as we are comparing cities, I must insist that the best dim sum (and every other kind of Chinese food) is to be found north of the border in greater Richmond/Vancouver BC. No comparison to anything down here, I think.

                1. re: thirtyeyes
                  oregoncook RE: thirtyeyes Feb 25, 2012 04:23 PM

                  I totally agree with you, Amecameca, that Richmond/Vancouver, BC is far better than what I've found in greater Seattle at least!

                  I also hate to waste a long travel, thirtyeyes, which is why I seem to end up at HA & VL for their most special, early soup when I'm in that area. I can't quite bring myself to try Ocean City - maybe someday.

            3. j
              janella RE: mizducky Jan 27, 2012 10:45 PM

              I like Toshi's, as another reviewer suggested. Also Laughing Planet is good for healthy burritos and bowls, and a nice vibe. Another good cart is the Cart de Frisco (at Oakway and the UO campus), which does excellent Thai noodles with chicken. They're closed in the winter, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: janella
                thirtyeyes RE: janella Jan 31, 2012 09:48 PM

                Toshi is growing on me slowly, but it is a far cry from Southern California Ramen which can make you sing in pleasure at times. I would kill people for a Mitsuwa Market with a Santouka inside.

              2. i
                iloveyou RE: mizducky Mar 21, 2012 11:23 PM

                Cheap eats! I like Yi shen market for things like crispy pork and bbq pork. Lonches is a Mexican food cart. Everything is under $10, I love the carne asada burritos, $5.50. The Mexican market plaza latina has some good food for cheap, my fave is the chile rellenos. Things like avacados and limes are usually cheaper here. I like ordering beef fried rice at fortune inn, a Chinese restaurant. They have lunch specials for under $7! Good cheap produce, I have found is at Winco. I love market of choice, but they are definitely not cheap. Once Saturday market is up and running, I would suggest definitely getting fresh produce from there.
                Kamitori sushi on Williamette street, has pretty good sushi. Lunch and happy hour specials under $10. Toshi's ramen is under $10. On a cold rainy day, I like the shoyu ramen. The gyoza is the best thing at Toshi's! Izakaya meiji, is a Japanese tapas bar, that I like. Hop Valley in Springfield has great happy hour meal prices for things like sliders and fries, $5 with a purchase of a drink.
                Sixth street grill, a place I dine often. Has burger and brew nights for $7.50 on Tuesdays. Pegasus pizza, the best in town. Has $5 small 2 topping pizzas during lunch hour. The one on campus. The best Thai is Ta Ra Rin. The lunch specials are around $8. The pumpkin curry is awesome, but around $14. Little big burger are small juicy burgers. Off the waffle, is great for liege Belgium waffles.
                Morning glory is a vegetarian/vegan breakfast cafe. Everything is under $10. Brails, studioonecafe for breakfast. New Day bakery has great freshly baked sour dough bread for $4, and delicious desserts like cherry cheese cake. Mini pecan pies.

                Newmans fish and chips, is my favorite for halibut fish 'n chips.
                Delacata food cart has some good southern food, for under $10.
                Izumi sushi is one of my favorite places to go. They have a lunch combo for $10.50. Happy hour rolls are $3

                With all my suggestions. I am from Vancouver, B.C. Where they have amazing ethnic food. But I have to realize, that I am in Eugene. It's not going to compare. You can't compare the food here, to say San Fran or LA.


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