If you have two five dollar bills in your pocket right now, keep reading. San Francisco is a known hub for gourmet restaurants and top foodie spots, but it’s less well-known for its equally delicious cheap eats. While everyone is focused on tacos and burritos (including us, on occasion) Here are some spots that fly under the radar, and deliver top-quality meals for just a few bucks.
Devil’s Teeth Baking Company (Outer Sunset)
For breakfast on a budget, head to this spot in the Outer Sunset and order the Special Breakfast Sandwich. For $6.50, you’ll get a heap of scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese, bacon and half of an avocado. All this on a buttery, flaky biscuit and drizzled with lemon-garlic aioli. Yum. Save this treat for a lazy morning, you might have to wait up to 20 minutes for the sandwich.
Arguello Market (Inner Richmond)
For what one Yelper called “the best turkey sandwich in the universe” head to Arguello Market and order the roasted turkey sandwich for $7.99. Be sure to get both white and dark meat, extra cranberry sauce and avocado for a mind-blowing experience.
Rosamunde Sausage Grill (Lower Haight)
There are several locations of this delectable sausage shop today, but this location on Haight St is the original (and our favorite). Order the chicken habanero sausage with grilled onions and sauerkraut for $8, and head next door to enjoy it with a beer at Toronado.
Saigon Sandwich (Tenderloin)
This casual, family-run sandwich spot is arguably the best place to go in the city for a bahn mi. With savory roast pork, crunchy veggies and perfectly crusted bread at just $3.75, you’ll wonder why you’ve ever eaten anywhere else. Plus, the most expensive thing you could possibly order will only cost you $4.25! Be sure to bring a $5 bill, this spot is cash only.
Cholo Soy (Mission)
A modest Peruvian cafe serving a different menu every day of the week, Cholo Soy is a staple on our list of cheap eats. Each of their hearty entrees will run you between $6-10, and we highly recommend the $5 seafood ceviche appetizer.
Zen Yai Thai (Tenderloin)
Order the boat noodles — they’re not listed on the English menu, but we promise they have them. For $6.50, you’ll get a bowl of soup with your choice of broth (pork blood, anyone?), noodle and meat that can only be described as the most authentic Thai we’ve had outside of Thailand. If you want to try them all, you can also order a few of the sample sized soups for just $2.50.
Belly (Uptown Oakland)
Serving up burritos, burgers and tacos with a Korean twist, Belly is a delicious place to eat. Order the pork belly burrito with honey glazed pork belly, sesame slaw and pickled cucumbers for $10. You won’t be disappointed.
Gaspar Brasserie (Financial District)
Grab a friend and head to this upscale French Brasserie for happy hour (4-6pm on Mondays-Fridays). The upstairs lounge is usually pretty empty and great for conversation. Order half a dozen oysters for $1 each and the $3 pommes frites. If you feel like splurging, you could also try a few of the $1 deviled eggs, or order a glass of wine for $5.
Tava Indian Kitchen (SoMa)
At this “Chipotle for Indian food,” you’ll build your own burroti assembly-line-style using fresh, local, hormone-free ingredients. Order the lamb burroti — tender lamb meat, rice and tikka sauce all wrapped up in handmade roti bread for $7.75
Shanghai Dumpling King (Outer Richmond)
This modest, hole in the wall dumpling spot doesn’t look like much, but you’d be a fool to underestimate it. The six-piece pork dumpling soup is flavorful and filling for just $6.95. Or try the ten-piece meat wonton soup for $6.50. This small spot fills up fast, so you may have to share a table with some other patrons.
Need a reservation or more recommendations for cheap eats? Ask your scout!