11 Cheap Eats in Boston You Need to Try
Sometimes, you want to drop $30 for a lobster roll at Neptune Oyster. And other times, you want a whole damn dinner for under ten bucks. This is one of those moments. Here are 11 delicious Boston eats that will make your stomach and bank account happy.
The Roast Beef Large at Kelly’s Roast Beef ($9)
Kelly’s is a Boston institution that has been around for six decades, so you know it’s going to be good. Best of all, you can get a sesame bun piled high with roast beef and your choice of condiments for under 10 bucks. (Get an order of fried clams on the side. Trust us.)
Multiple locations in the Boston area; 781-284-9129 or kellysroastbeef.com
The El Guapo at El Pelón Taqueria ($8)
We know, we know: You’ve had hundreds of amazing burritos. Thousands. But this one is stuffed with steak, rice, black beans, Jack cheese, salsa, lettuce, sour cream and fried plantains. We rest our case.
Two locations in Boston; 617-262-9090 or elpelon.com
Hot Dog at Sullivan’s Castle Island ($2)
For all your fried fast-food cravings, this stand by the Causeway is the place to go—you’ll get a quality dog for much less than a Fenway Frank. (And if you want to splurge, there are few things better than eating a lobster roll next to the water.)
2080 William J Day Blvd., South Boston; 617-268-5685 or sullivancastleisland.com
The Big Tasty at Tasty Burger ($6)
Give us a third pound of beef with cheese, lettuce, pickle, red onion, tomato and Tasty sauce (aka heaven) and we’re wicked happy ladies. This old-school neighborhood spot has become a local chain, and it delivers the goods on a whole new level.
Multiple locations in the Boston area; 617-425-4444 or tastyburger.com
Chocolate-Dipped Cannoli at Maria’s Pastry Shop ($4)
If you don’t have your own Italian nonna, this quaint family-owned bakery is the next best thing. Skip the long lines at Mike’s and walk down the street to this neighborhood favorite for homemade cannoli that are filled when you order.
46 Cross St.; 617-523-1196 or mariaspastry.com
Dim Sum at Winsor Dim Sum Café
Don’t let the long lines scare you off—this place moves fast. Write down your dim sum order on a sheet and you’ll be feasting on shu mai, shrimp rice rolls and xiaolongbao (soup dumplings, for the uninitiated) faster than you can say “Chinatown.”
10 Tyler St.; 617-338-1688 or winsordimsumcafe.com
Three-Piece Chicken Box at Coast Café ($9)
You know that feeling you get when you bite into a piece of crispy fried chicken? Two words: pure joy. Oh, and ask for the house hot sauce at this takeout-only joint. Trust us.
233 River St., Cambridge; 617-354-7644 or coastsoulcafe.com
Pad Thai at Rod Dee Thai Cuisine ($9)
This hole-in-the-wall Thai spot serves up some of the best noodles in the city for a bargain price. You really can’t go wrong, but if you’re going to get basic pad Thai, this is the place. (It’s so good, we don’t even mind that it's cash-only.)
Multiple locations in Boston; 617-354-7644 or roddeethaicuisine.com
Poutine at Saus ($7)
Skip touristy Faneuil Hall and go around the corner to this cozy hangout created by two BU alums. If you haven’t tried the gravy-drenched Canadian delicacy poutine, the time is now. Don’t forget to load up on special sauce. (We’re partial to the “Saturday Night Chive.”)
33 Union St.; 617-248-8835 or sausboston.com
Pizza and Arancini Balls at Galleria Umberto ($7)
OK, the line is nuts. But you can nab a Sicilian slice, a to-die-for arancini ball and a soda for under seven bucks. Three cheers for this North End haunt.
289 Hanover St.; 617-227-5709
Crème Brûlée Doughnut at Kane’s Donuts
Let’s face it: We’ve never met a doughnut we didn’t like. But we think we want to marry this doughy masterpiece, dipped in an organic, local honey glaze and caramelized with a torch.
Multiple locations in the Boston area; 781-233-8499 or kanesdonuts.com