Best Value-to-Price Ratio in Seattle?
Bar Del Corso
$9.5 pizza, ~$9 small plates. It's my go to place for a quick consistent bite. Been here 20+ times and have never had anything less than a great meal and good service. The owner is always there too, just a great neighborhood spot. I never leave anywhere as satisfied as I do when I leave Bar Del Corso and that's what matters. It's honestly kinda crazy how inexpensive it is for the quality. They could raise prices by 50% and I would probably go with the same frequency, hopefully they don't read this.
Also, Thai Palms on MLK, and Viengthong are both extremely good values.
As far as sandwiches/small meals go I like the Zippys Lil Zip Royale, and random $1.50 banh mi in the ID.
Is Gordito's still good? I used to love that place in the 90's, you could get 2 or 3 meals out of a super burrito for $8 or $10 and they had that delicious, delicious salsa.
Slices at Big Marios are good, and the saimin at Ma'ono is hearty and intensely flavored.
I find Korean food generally has a good V:P, I usually get one of the spicy soups, and with rice and banchan it seems like a feast.
Agree with the ones already mentioned.
Genki is kaiten-zushi, but is not bad for what it is and is reasonably priced - and it's literally authentic because they have them in Japan too.
I've always felt that Maneki does very well in this regard, and is high quality.
Musashi used to be very good in the V-to-P ratio, but the quality has suffered quite a bit with the new owners. We still go occasionally, but would much rather eat elsewhere or roll our own if not for the convenience.
The Indian buffets in Redmond are limited in selection, but offers a good quick fix with lots of food for very little money.
Mi Rak in Federal Way has an old school jungshik value meal deal where you can pretty much feed a family of 4 for $20-$25 complete with meat and fish entrees with all banchan, etc. I think they still have weekday lunch specials for around $5 that come with enough food to choke a donkey.
Huong Binh. Virtually every item on the menu is $10 or less, including all manner of soups, a variety of noodles, rice dishes and other items. Very fresh, vibrant Viet cuisine that appeals to the Viet community, with an atmosphere that welcomes anyone.
Would agree also with terrier that Ethiopian (and Eritrean) generally represents an outstanding value; I have not personally been to Chef Cafe. Our go-to these days is Altaye down in Rainier Beach. A meal for 4-6 is usually less than $30.
Some people complain about the pricing for "just dumplings," bit I've felt Din Tai Fung offers high QPR.
An overachieving taco truck is obviously a lot bang to the buck. My favorites are Los Chilangos (al pastor on the spit, mole too IIRC), El Camion and my local go-to, El Asador.
I'll second the Jak's Grill entrees.
Also on California Ave in West Seattle:
Talerico's $4 14' happy hour slices
Ma'ono's $20 Half Chicken (We always leave with leftover rice and 1 or 2 pieces).
West 5's $7 large ($2 more than the small) happy hour Nachos often serve as a meal for the two of us.
For me it's gotta be Chef Cafe on 22nd & Jackson. I've never spent more than $25 there feeding my family of 4, including a couple of Ethiopian beers for mom & dad. The veggie combo in particular at something like $8 (it used to be $6!) is almost enough for two people on its own. And it's good, some of the better Ethiopian food in the city. I love the kitfo at Cafe Selam, and miss the injera at the (sadly departed) Pan Africa Market, but Chef Cafe was our standby.
A basket of hushpuppies at Rainin' Ribs is all that. A trifecta, as you get the most calories per dollar, too. Try for a personal record in that event with Mike's Double Meat.
Three heaping golden corn masa Gorditos at El Camion. Mix among meats and you will need none of their excellent sauces (a sad reality).
A basket of fresh fries and a grilled sausage sandwich with grilled peppers/onions and good mustard at Uli's.
The slider of the day at Zaccagni's. It's like baseball, batting 1000 isn't happening, but there are enough home runs for a great game (meatball, brisketball...).
Plain, unadorned burger at Uneeda. I dare you to order one. By the time we get to the cash register, our careful plans are overcome in a hurricane of caramelized onions, stilton, and hatch chiles and our low-cost plan is shot.
Dot's, Golden Beetle, Revel, and Joule can step right up and deliver on a good day (I will never forget chef Gloria's $12 coq au vin).
Paseo replated is bounty itself, for a song.
A few come to mind, and none of them are in incredible deal, but they do keep me coming back.
JaK's grill: 95% as good as the fine steak houses, and 50% of the price. Entrees come with bread and butter, a good size starter salad, a large and delicious baked potato, and steamed veggies. The JaK's Filet, in particular, and also the JaK's sirloin (both are a full 16 oz) are a great value.
Honey Court Seafood Restaurant: my brother and I have been going here for late night eats for 15 years or more. Huge menu. Great prices. Excellent quality made-to-order Chinese food. We typically order salted fish and chicken fried rice, westlake beef soup, honey walnut prawns, cantonese style fried chicken, sauteed pea vine with mushrooms and garlic.
Paseo: really delicious and rich cuban-inspired sandwiches, really good prices.
Musashi's in Wallingford: big slabs of fish (about twice the size of other restaurants) and the same prices of their competitors. It's not the absolute highest quality sushi in town, but they do the basics well, and you'll get full for $15,
Costco food court: polish dog with mustard, onions, kraut, and a refillable soda for $1.50 plus tax. Enormous rotisserie chicken for $5. A large combination pizza too big to fit in a standard kitchen oven for $10. You said you were looking for ratio, right?
For food, I'll go with Tamarind Tree. Such good food, and good service. Lots of really interesting things on the menu, never boring. Much of it is by the book, but there are seasonal specialties too. Only downside is that the fish can be overcooked sometimes.
For drink, I'll go with a $10 growler of Epic Ale's "Solar Trans-Amplifier." The Epic beers are hit or miss for me, but this one has been a big, big hit in both of two renditions.
Long time favorite...Canton Wonton House.
Nice bowl of soup with noodles and sui kau, tastes the same through the years. 5 or 6 bucks. It was "artisanal" before the word was invented. The sui kau are similar to won ton except chock full of more goodness. Each one made by hand, every day, right there. The owner is a real fanatic for his ingredients and it shows.
Now Chow-worthy drink? Without a doubt, the $7 (including tax!) growler of delicious Manny's at the Georgetown Brewery. An entire growler for about the same price of a pint plus tip at a bar. Great beer at a great price. (The only other one that comes close is North Sound's Fresh Hop ale at the same price but Wednesday only and only when in season. Too bad it's an hour away.)
Update on the Canton Wonton House.
Returned last night for takeout of noodle soup with sui kau. (Kind of like a wonton with mushrooms and other yummy stuff)
The consistency and quality of the meal here throughout the years is amazing. If anything, the broth was far better than I remember.
Not only is it delish, a large order for $7 and change would be enough for 2.