Sound the ominous gong: it’s Tax Day. With money on your mind, dining on a budget is key. Check out this list of affordable lunch eats from Yelp sure to please both the palate and the pocket book after those taxes are filed.
Lockwood Table Café (Solana Beach)
A tasty breakfast in a stunning café for under $10 can be yours at this South Cedros staple. In fact, the entire breakfast menu here is less than $10! For instance, the Local Roll filled with baked eggs, black beans, oven roasted potatoes and cheese with ham and scallions wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla served with fresh berries is a smooth $7.25, while the famous Grilled Brioche French Toast dipped in creamy vanilla cinnamon egg with fresh berries, cinnamon honey butter and maple syrup is just $7.75. Why not get both?
Alex’s Brown Bag (Pacific Beach)
Two words for you: Cheese. Steaks. Snag a 12- inch sandwich for under $10 and choose from options like original, The Buffalo Chicken Philly or the Bacon Cheeny Chico all served on Amoroso’s rolls. The real kicker? Add a side of fries for only $1. That’s right, hot, golden French Fries for just a dollar with any order. If you’re feeling like you can splurge a little, kick it up to Onion Rings or Tots for only $2 with your lunch purchase.
Corner House Café and Pizzeria (Sorrento Valley)
This secret corner stop is a favorite among surrounding businesses with prices and portions that can’t be beat. You’ll have to survive the lunch rush and the parking situation but it’s worth it for the Corner Calzone. It’s only $7.99 and is filled with pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onion ricotta cheese and mozzarella, all baked in a rolled pizza crust. If you’re watching your waistline along with your lunch budget, grab a Greek Salad topped with chicken or Gyro meat for only $8.75.
Papa Luna’s Empanadas (Downtown)
For a downtown lunch that’s full of flavor and affordable, grab a few empanadas at this spot. Owner Simon Baer calls them “pockets of love” perfect for any situation. We suggest the Jamon Y Queso stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula, or the De Choclo filled with sweet corn, fire roasted peppers and cotija cheese. Each one is about $3, out the door. Snag a side portion of shrimp ceviche with avocado and chips for only $5.95 and you’ll be the envy of the office.
Campus Café (Carlsbad)
Hot sandwiches at this Carlsbad eatery are all $6.49 and reviewers rave they’re worth every penny. Bust out just a few bills to try the BBQ Chicken served with grilled chicken breast, melty provolone and Hawaiian barbeque sauce on a toasted torta roll, or go for the Santa Fe Beef with pepper jack, whole green chili, mayo and slices of roast beef all toasted on an onion roll. You can add a 24-ounce beverage and chips for an additional $2.19. Don’t forget to ask about the daily specials – they’ve got quite a local buzz.
Kabob House (Golden Hill)
This homey restaurant serves dishes that will get you through your day without draining your bank account. It’s a gem located in a strip mall but reviewers report the cooks are true Shawarma masters and the combo plates here are the way to go. For around $10, you get the protein of your choice, rice or couscous plus two sides. Whew, that’ll fill you up for not much green. Add a side of falafel for around $4 and be sure you grab plenty of tzatziki sauce.