My last post, 7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity, offers my advice on cutting out some unnecessary spending so you can afford to travel. One of my pieces of advice is to cut out going to restaurants, as restaurant bills can really add up. But I love going out to eat. A good restaurant meal is one of my favorite ways to treat myself.
Naturally, it’s easy to spend way too much money at a restaurant. That’s why I’ve created a list of amazing meals you can get in Boston that will cost you $10 or less. There are some traditional options, as well as some off-the-beaten-path ones, and I promise you won’t find a big chain anywhere near this list.
1. New England Clam Chowda in a Bread Bowl — Boston Chowda Co.
For less than $9, you’ll get a massive portion of their famous chowder in a bread bowl. If this doesn’t fill you up, I honestly don’t know what will. Located right in Quincy Market, this makes for a perfect quick lunch or dinner.
2. “Super” Chicken Burrito — Anna’s Taqueria
I’ve never actually been inside an Anna’s location, but my company has had their food catered and it’s super delicious. For under $8, you can get a massive burrito from Boston’s famous Mexican street food joint. Anna’s has several locations around the city, so you won’t need to go on a wild goose chase looking for it. With that cheap a price point, you can even splurge the extra $1.15 for guac!
3. Cannolis — Mike’s Pastry
All the Boston locals are probably rolling their eyes, but I don’t care. Yes, this place is touristy and always packed. But it’s a place all Bostonians and tourists need to experience when in Boston. I personally prefer the pastries across the street at Modern Pastry but prefer to send the tourists over to Mike’s instead. Less long lines at Modern for me, Instagram-worthy moment for them; it’s a win-win. Last time I went, cannolis were around $4 each, but they are massive. Make sure you tip the employees; anyone who doesn’t tip a dollar at Mike’s is practically Satan.
4. A Bowl of Pho — Pho Pasteur
Located right in Chinatown, this spot is perfect for a cheap, hearty meal. Even if you’re not craving the Vietnamese comfort food that is pho, there are a bunch of items on the menu for less than $10. The prices are so good, you’ll be saying, “What the pho?” (Sorry, that pun was necessary.)
5. Vegan Pad Thai — My Thai Vegan Café
Pad Thai is one of my favorite foods, but some places charge a lot for it. My Thai does not. Don’t let the word “vegan” steer you away from this spot. The chefs here use veggie-meat that’s so delicious, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
6. “The Big Tasty” Burger and Fries — Tasty Burger
For $6, you can get the massive Big Tasty burger. If the picture below doesn’t look like enough to fill you up, you can add an order of fries, while still keeping your budget under $10.
RED SOX x TASTY BURGER GIVEAWAY! 🍔 ⚾️ 🍔 ONE lucky winner will be receiving a $40 gift card to Tasty Burger and TWO TICKETS to the Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians game on Monday, July 31st! 🍔 ⚾️ 🍔 TO ENTER: 1. Follow @tastyburgerusa and @wanderingbostoneater 2. Like this photo 3. Tag your Red Sox, burger-loving friend __ You can enter up to TEN times: a different comment with a different real account = a different entry. __ Giveaway closes Monday, July 10th at 4 PM. GOOD LUCK. 🍔 ⚾️ 🍔 [The Big Tasty at @tastyburgerusa: cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, sauce] #wanderingbostoneater
7. Nutella Cannoli Crepe — The Paris Creperie
Located in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, this café offers a bunch of sweet and savory crepes. While many of the options from their menu cost less than $10, the Nutella Cannoli Crepe really sticks out to me. Nutella and ricotta? Yes, please!
8. Italian Sub — Monica’s
$9 for a size small sub might sound pretty steep, but trust me on this one. The small is massive; I was so stuffed, I can’t imagine how big the large must be. Monica’s is one of the North End’s best-kept secrets. Tucked away on a side street, tourists don’t make it over there. Only the die-hards and North End residents make up the deli’s line. If you’re craving a fantastic sub with fresh ingredients and big portions, you need to check this place out.
9. Chicken Burro — Border Café
If you’re searching for a cheap, filling meal in Harvard Square, look no further. I went to the Border Café a few months ago and was blown away by the portion size and flavor of my “burro” — which is practically a burrito with enchilada sauce on top. Excluding the tip, this goes for about $8. For a sit-down restaurant with a fun atmosphere, that’s a bargain.
10. Pork Soup Dumplings — Dumpling Café
Dumpling Café is one of my favorite spots in Boston, and is absolutely my favorite Chinese restaurant in the city. As the name suggests, you can’t come here without indulging in their famous dumplings! I usually opt for the steamed pork dumplings, but the pork “juicy buns” are more popular.
11. Slice of Cheese Pizza — Ernesto’s
At Ernesto’s, one “slice” is really two, and happens to be 1/4 a whole pizza! For $4, you can get a slice of cheese, or for $4.50-6, you can get a slice of pizza with toppings. Though all the sit-down restaurants on the North End are excellent, sometimes we all crave a traditional, inexpensive slice of pizza.
12. Fish and Chips — Sullivan’s
Sullivan’s is a Castle Island staple. With such a cheap menu and great atmosphere, the line is constantly out the door — but it apparently moves very quickly. Not only does this spot offer one of the cheapest lobster rolls in the city — at $14 — the rest of the seafood options are much lower than the market average. The fish and chips — at about $8.50 — are a steal.
13. “Breakfast Grilled Crack” — Mike and Patty’s
$9 for a breakfast sandwich might sound steep, but this is more than your typical bacon, egg, and cheese. It’s called “crack” for a reason, right?
14. Any Sandwich or Burger — The Pour House
One of the most affordable restaurants in the city — The Pour House — even has daily specials, offering marked-down prices on the already dirt-cheap menu. Sandwiches and burgers are priced between $6-8 and include a hefty portion of fries. If you want some comfort food at a comfortable price, this spot is perfect for you.
[Pour House] Idaho Double Burger | Because fries on the side wasn't enough | Side note: Pour House has some pretty awesome happy hour deals. | 2 Patties • Lettuce • Bacon • Cheddar Fries • Pickles • Tomatoes • Regular Fries | #eats #Boston #bostoneats #happyhour #burger #fries #food #foodporn #eat #foodie #bostonfood
15. Regular Poutine with Pork Belly — Saus
I haven’t been to Saus yet, but as a poutine lover, I need to change that! Saus has a lot of awesome options for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike, all at super reasonable prices. While a traditional poutine will set you back about $7, you can add some toppings — like pork belly or bacon bits — and still keep this under $10.
16. Breakfast Egg Sandwich — Flour Bakery
For about $7.50, you can get a bacon/ham, egg, and cheese sandwich from one of Boston’s most beloved cafés. Actually, most of Flour’s menu is under $10, making it perfect for breakfast or lunch.
17. Lox Toast — NOCA Provisions
Hit up Cambridge’s new experimental café for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner! NOCA’s toasts, eggs, and salads are funky and absolutely Instagram-worthy. You’ll want to splurge on one of their caffeinated drinks too, like the Espresso Fizz — espresso over sparkling water and lemon!
18. Large Sandwich — Roast Beast
Since Boston is made up of so many colleges, there are lots of affordable restaurants that cater to a college student’s budget. Roast Beast in Allston is no exception. For $9, you can get a large sandwich, filled with your choice of meat, toppings, and sauce. If you don’t think you can handle the large, go for the $7 small. Vegetarians might want to stay away from this place, unless they don’t mind making lots of substitutions.
19. Number 5 — Mul’s Diner
South Boston isn’t usually synonymous with “cheap,” especially nowadays. However, you can get some affordable meals in Southie if you seek them out. For $7.50, you can get the Number 5, which includes coffee, 2 eggs, French toast, bacon or sausage, and homefries. Diners are seriously the best — where else could you get all that food (and coffee) for such a small price?
20. Classic Beef Pie — KO Pies
I’m so mad I was working from home the day my office catered KO Pies. I’ve heard it’s incredible. And reasonable too! KO Pies brought an Australia delicacy — meat pies — to a few locations in Boston, and they’re pretty damn successful. For less than $7, you can get the Classic Beef Pie, one of the restaurant’s bestsellers!
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