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Best Eats for $2

  • n

...not including tax or possible tip.

My first thoughts are:

-- Croissant at Amandine ($1.95 takeout).
-- Four regular crunchy tacos at Del Taco (49 cents each) drenched in the del scorcho hot sauce mixed with a little of their hot salsa.
-- Two potato balls at Portos Bakery (under a buck each).
-- Ice cream sandwich at Diddy Riese (is it $1.75 now?).
-- Cinnamon roll, glazed, fried, crisp variety (current favorite is the donut shop on the N/E corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Sawtelle, $1.30).
-- Fries, well-done at Tommy's Burger ($1.90? for big order, I go to the location in Santa Monica on Pico and Lincoln -- they get the crispy right).

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    1. A hot dog or Polish sausage at Costco -- $1.50, including refillable drink.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ozhead

        A hot dog or Polish sausage at Costco -- $1.50,

        I think this is the best food deal in CA and the rest of the US.

        Ps-I like the hot Dog a lot better than the Polish sausage

        1. re: Scotty

          Their hot dogs are really the best. We buy the big pkg of them (3lbs, i think). Just wish they would make/sell buns big enough to fit.

          1. re: Scotty

            was just here yesterday, $1.63 with tax. Also polish is a lot better than hot dog IMO, and the kirkland polish better than HN. YMMV :)

          1. Any dim sum item from Dim Sum Express. Heck, 90% of those would qualify for "Best Eats for $1"

            Thrifty's (aka Rite-Aid) ice cream

            19 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Man! Used to love the Thrifty's black cherry flavor as a kid. Is it still under $2?

              I'll add El Chavito Taco Truck in Huntington Beach. 2 small tacos, any meat filling for $1. Also, burrito for $2.

              1. re: Porthos

                I believe a triple scoop is 1.99.

                I remember when I was wee-little 'Hound, a triple scoop was something ridiculous like 45 cents. It was either a triple scoop or two games of Millipede.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  When I was little it was 5 cents a scoop or 15 cents for a triple at Thrifty.

                  1. re: wienermobile

                    Nice. You can tell age by the cost of a triple scoop at Thrifty's as a kid.

                    Think it was 50 cents-ish when I was a kid too. Picked that every time over Millipede. No brainer. Childhood obesity was a problem back then also. Swanson's chicken pot pies at 50 cents each in the frozen food section didn't help either.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      One of my first jobs was scooping at Baskin-Robbins. Summer of '70 -- single cone was 18 cents, two-scoop 30 cents, shake or ice-cream soda 50 cents. (My pay was $1.15/hr, raised to $1.25.)

                      1. re: nosh

                        My first job was at Baskin Robbins. 1966. Pico and La Cienega. But I have to say, the "Burgundy Cherry" at Thrifty, (as it was then called before legal issues required the change of name to Black Cherry), was better than our stuff.

                        1. re: nosh

                          Haha, my 1st job was Baskin-Robbins as well-'94-'95. Did you know if a cake is dented, it can't be sold, and therefore a lucky employee gets to take it home/ (wink, wink) BTW, does anyone remember a flavor called Choc O' the Irish? It was around during St Patricks Day, and I've never seen it since. Irish Cream ice cream with hunks of fudgey brownies-sooooo good!!

                          1. re: schrutefarms

                            How much for a single or double scoop cone then? How much did you get paid?

                            I loved the cinnamon flavor they had for awhile back then.

                            1. re: nosh

                              Oh, wow, I can't remember how much it was! I will say that I remember it being kind of pricy! Or maybe it was because I was making $4.25/hr, so everything was pricy! I left there the next year to hostess at Louises Trattoria for a cool $6/hour, I was really climbing that ladder! :)
                              I never had cinnamon, it sounds delicious!

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      Yes, it may be a deal, and yes my parents took me there but just an FYI most of what is in Thrifty's Ice Cream is WAX AKA PARAFFIN. Keeps it from melting. Also cheaper then cream.

                      1. re: kjonyou

                        You you have a link to back this up?

                        This is what I found:

                        "But don't think for a minute that the factory is skimping on ingredients.

                        Thrifty ice cream uses imported confectionery ingredients and adds real chunks of fruit and cookie pieces to ice cream, which contains a respectable 10.25 percent amount of butterfat. (Most premium ice creams contain about 12-16 percent butterfat)."


                        1. re: Porthos

                          Aren't there rules about what can and cannot be called ice cream? I believe it has to have a certain amount of butterfat in order to be labeled ice cream. Otherwise, it's called "frozen dairy dessert".

                          I just did a quick google search and came up with this. Man, Breyers has really gone downhill. Yuck.


                          1. re: jencounter

                            I'm no expert or anything, but there are probably rules to how much wax and paraffin the FDA allows to put in food.

                            Not to mention that wax is hard at those temperatures and probably do not create a texturally pleasant product. Which explains why gum is probably used as stabilizers.


                        2. re: kjonyou

                          "Yes, it may be a deal, and yes my parents took me there but just an FYI most of what is in Thrifty's Ice Cream is WAX AKA PARAFFIN. Keeps it from melting. Also cheaper then cream."

                          yeah I don't believe this for a second.

                      2. re: Porthos

                        Black Cherry is the best!! (Well, actually, it shares that title with Chocolate Malted Crunch!) Nice to see someone shares my taste for it! All my friends call me an "old lady" for getting black cherry. I say, good, more for me!

                        1. re: schrutefarms

                          I liked the bing cherry at Sav-On. Lots of cherries mixed in and the folks behind the counter were very generous with their scoops.

                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            oh, yeah, the black cherry and that coconut pineapple crap. I have to have it every so often.

                      3. re: ipsedixit

                        Those cylindrical ice cream scoopers are truly a world wonder

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Even now, the Rite-Aid ice cream is an incredible bargain.

                        2. When I was working in Culver City last year. I would go to Sorrento Market on Sepulvada .I remember their half sandwich at a super value. I think it was under $2.00. Correct me if I was wrong. I loved that place.

                          1. Buttermilk bar at Primo's $1
                            Taco de chicharron at Carnitas Los Reyes $1.35
                            Side of refried beans at Carnitas Los Reyes $1.75
                            Guava cheese at Porto's $0.85

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: A5 KOBE

                              Second the guava cheese Danish at Porto's. Yummy!

                              1. re: A5 KOBE

                                Must visit Carnitas Los Reyes... Sounds delicious.

                                The Guava cheese at Porto's is AMAZING! Good call!


                              2. any Taquito at Tacos Por Favor $1.85
                                Carne Asada soft taco at Tacos Mexico (9th&Broadway) $1.25

                                1. Just about any taco truck but for the sake of argument let's just use El Chato as a demo for our purposes. $1 per taco.



                                  1. a side order of the Yuzu Japanese Slaw that they make at the Humble Potato on lincoln in westchester.

                                    this is NOT the mayo laden wilted stuff with which most of us grew up.

                                    the slaw itself is NOT the stuff that comes from a plastic bag.

                                    the slaw is made up of sliced green cabbage, red cabbage, red onions, carrots, and FRESH JALEPENO PEPPERS (i.e. NOT the canned or the pickled stuff) that are all sliced in the restaurant.

                                    the dressing has NO MAYO. it is a citrusy vinaigrette that is NOT oily. (i suspect that it doesn't even contain oil.)

                                    the slaw is dressed to order; that is, they put the dressing on the vegetables right before it is served to you. the vegetables don't sit around in the dressing like they do at virtually every other restaurant i've tried.

                                    what you get is an great combination of bright, spicy, flavors AND crisp textures every time.

                                    they charge a buck for the stuff as a topping on a burger, and a couple of cents under $2 as a side order served in one of those cardboard "boats." (dunno the real name for those things)

                                    1. Breakfast Plate at Ikea. 99 cents.

                                      1. A tripas or cabesa taco from Taco Zone.

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: JeMange

                                          For the best (and the cheapest) tacos you'll ever eat, go to any street vendor in Mexicali. You could probably get a half dozen for 2 bucks.

                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                            Those tacos in Mexicali across the border from Calexico were really really really good. but i guess I went to an upmarket joint because it definitely was not a half dozen for $2

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              I'm talking about back in the 60's when they were, IIRC, 25 cents @ or 8 centavos.

                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                And I filled up my 409 for 25 cents a gallon on high test at the local Union 76 station in Northridge... ;-D>

                                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                                    those were the days, yes, to quote Mr. Bunker.

                                                  2. re: Servorg

                                                    409? Dang you old f-er! ;-) Two bucks bought a lot of bottled sodas in those vending machines too. Every gas station had at least one.

                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                      Had the last year they made them, 1965. And I filled up at the Union 76 that was right beside the White Horse Inn at the corner of Roscoe and White Oak, which served lobster thermidor and frogs legs and some of the best prime rib I can recall. They brought that dessert cart to the table. Man was I in heaven. This was a special treat that my parents took us for some extraordinary achievement, (or because my mom was sick of us asking to go and finally gave in) and usually my grandmother went with us. Good memories and good times.

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        I'm crying here again.

                                                        Dessert carts ? Lobsta thermidor ? And frenchy frog legs (btw, greely at the golden truffle in newport served some great buffalo frogs legs years ago, great stuff).

                                                        This is why we are not allowed to post on long-gone establishments. It makes most of us hounds, just too darn sad. No joke.

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          Really!! Does anyone serve thermidor or newburg anymore??

                                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                                            The Dal Rae for one still does thermidor (IIRC).

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              OH, yeah, that's right. I hit it once for their chocolate souffle and a steak. . But for some reason, I'm never usually in the area.

                                            2. Happy hour at Pazza Geltao in Echo Park - $1 a scoop


                                              Pupusas at La Esquina in Eagle Rock

                                              +1 for just about anything at Portos
                                              + 1 for the Costco Hot Dog/Polish dog Combo.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: happybaker

                                                Had no idea that Pazzo opened up an outlet in EP. Charging a ridiculous amount for admittedly tasty gelato must be paying off.

                                              2. diddy riese cookie- 35 cents each, or a half dozen for $2. Their ice crease sandwiches for $1.75 is good too

                                                1. Tacos Baja Ensenada fish taco (do not understand the CH hate!)

                                                  1. Fresh made Chicken satay stick from Bangluck Market - on the weekends and, the one on Reseda/Sherman Way 1.50$ ea! And, I think a bag of fried banana is 2$

                                                    1. Chả giò for 40 cents a piece at Bánh Mì Mỹ Tho in Alhambra

                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                          Next up: "The Pick of the Dumpster's for Post Club Delicacy Diving"

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            That's an even better idea. Is the Club you mention Canadian Club?

                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                              Hard to tell with that brown paper bag obscuring the label...

                                                            2. re: Servorg

                                                              Don't you mean "Best Dumpsters in LA to Dive"?

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                You define your mosh pit and I'll define mine...

                                                                1. re: Thor123

                                                                  I don't understand what exactly is so disgusting about having a thread about best eats under $2? Just because of the low price point?

                                                            3. - Spicy beef or spinach empanada at Continental Gourmet - $1.49

                                                              - Tiger tail at Donut Man - under a buck

                                                              - Gigantic baked pork bun at Family Pastry in Chinatown - $.60

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: heinous

                                                                that tiger tail is f'n delicious.

                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                  That's no joke. Now I really really really want one... or three.

                                                                2. re: heinous

                                                                  Wow!! All three sound insanely amazing!!

                                                                  Great recs!


                                                                3. Two pieces of chicken at Popeye's on Tuesdays. for less than $1.50, including tax.

                                                                  1. The Apple Fritters at SpudNuts are amazing, and enormous. A buck twenty-five, I believe.

                                                                    1. $2 buck Tuesdays (2 scoops) at Handel's Ice Cream (Redondo Beach)
                                                                      $1.50 empanadas at Continental Market (Lomita)
                                                                      $1 tacos at El Chato taco truck (La Brea & Olympic)
                                                                      $0.70 cheese rolls at Porto's

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: jzalvidea

                                                                        Hmm, there's a Handel's in Redondo Beach ?

                                                                      2. Jack & Jill's Santa Monica has mini blueberry muffins hot out of the bakery oven for $1, mmmmmmmm good