15 of the Best Cheap Eats in San Francisco for $10 or Less
Raise your hand if you’ve ever cringed at the receipt from a “low-key” gals’ dinner that somehow turned into a $90 expense? We’ve all been there. Luckily, for every expensive tasting menu, there are a dozen other excellent options that will barely register in your bank account. Here are 15 cheap eats in San Francisco you can always count on.
2. MANGO CHICKEN, HOUSE NOODLES OR TEA LEAF SALAD AT YAMO ($6)
We’ll take the curt service at this hole-in-the-wall for mouthwatering Burmese staples any day.
3406 18th St.; 415-553-8911
3. FARMERS’ MARKET SALAD AT ROAM ARTISAN BURGERS ($8.75)
Burgers may be the name of the game here, but the seasonally changing salad is the perfect option for Meatless Mondays. If you’re still craving beef, add a skewer of mini burger patties for an extra $5.
Multiple locations; roamburgers.com
4. DIM SUM PLATTER AT DIM SUM CLUB ($9.50)
This steal of a dinner platter comes with two shrimp dumplings, two pork-and-shrimp dumplings, one steamed barbecue-pork bun, one egg roll and two sesame balls with lotus paste—ideal for a night of binge-watching Big Little Lies.
2550 Van Ness Ave.; 415-529-2615
5. ROASTED WHITE SWEET POTATO SANDWICH AT SOUVLA ($10)
This Greek establishment’s vegetarian sando—with roasted white sweet potato, garlic yogurt, chopped kalamata olives, toasted walnuts, pickled red onion, pea shoots and mizithra cheese—is every bit as filling as its meaty counterparts.
Multiple locations; souvlasf.com
6. TACO TUESDAYS AT BAR SAN PANCHO ($10)
City denizens are fiercely loyal to their favorite taco shops, so we’re going to let you in on a great deal instead of picking a favorite. Every week, Bar San Pancho serves up ten crispy beef, chicken or pork tacos for $10. (They’re normally three for $9.)
3198 16th St.; 415-649-6077 or barsanpancho.com
7. VEGETARIAN BURRITO AT TAQUERIA CANCUN ($7)
Ditto on burritos. We’re partial to this one with rice, pinto beans, cheese, onions, salsa, sour cream and avocado. Chips and salsa are always free. Plus, you can even tack on a Mexican soda and still be under budget.
8. BANH MI AT SAIGON SANDWICH ($3.25–$4.25)
Worth every second of waiting in line in the Tenderloin. Runner-up? The banh mi ($7) from the counter at the back of Duc Loi Supermarket in the Mission.
560 Larkin St.; 415-474-5698
9. POTATO KNISH AT 20TH CENTURY CAFÉ ($3)
Most people think sweet. We go savory. Light, flaky, smooth and creamy.
198 Gough St.; 415-621-2380 or 20thcenturycafe.com
10. SPECIAL BREAKFAST SANDWICH AT DEVIL’S TEETH BAKERY ($6.75)
Two eggs scrambled, pepper jack cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado and lemon-garlic aioli on a homemade buttermilk biscuit—it’s got “hangover cure” written all over it.
3876 Noriega St.; 415-683-5533 or devilsteethbakingcompany.com
11. AREPAS AT PICA PICA ($10)
Treat yourself and all of your gluten-free friends to this Venezuelan specialty. Corn-based pita pockets floweth over with crispy chicken, sweet plantains and avocado salsa.
401 Valencia St.; 415-400-5453 or picapica.com
12. STEAMED BUNS AT OUT THE DOOR ($3.50)
You’ll need at least three to make a meal, but these warm, soft, sweet snacks are pure comfort food.
Multiple locations; outthedoors.com
13. ANY SANDWICH AT TURNER’S KITCHEN ($8–$10)
We’ll take anything the former Zuni chef whips up. Look for rotating specials like the roast turkey, avocado, arugula, sesame seaweed salad and miso mayo on a King’s Hawaiian roll. Because King’s Hawaiian makes everything better.
3505 17th St.; 415-621-3505 or turnerskitchensf.com
14. HOT DOGS AT LOS SHUCOS ($6.95–$7.95)
Guatemalan-style street dogs wrapped in bacon and served with grilled pineapple and avocado on locally baked shuco bread? We’ll take two.
3224½ 22nd St.; 415-366-3868 or losshucos.com
15. PUPUSAS AT LA SANTANECA ($2.25–$3.75)
They may have the price tag of fast food, but don’t expect a quick in-and-out. These Salvadoran treats, stacked high with the condiments of your choice, are handmade to order.
3781 Mission St.; 415-648-1034