Cheap Eats in LA


On a budget? Aren’t we all? Here are some great places around Los Angeles that will leave your belly and your wallet very happy:

The sandwiches here run around $4-7 each. Plus, they’re designed by Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio, so you know they are going to be good. Get two or go for the pineapple and chile with bbq pork rinds, and cookie. 8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 90069; 323.651.5866

Bill & Hiroko’s Hamburgers
This hamburger stand screams Americana with fresh burgers on a flat-top grill and thick strips of bacon. Topped with Kraft cheese and crisp lettuce, it’s one of the best cheap burgers in Los Angeles. 14742 Oxnard St., Van Nuys, 91411; 818.785.4086

The Apple Pan
This all-time classic a perfect go-to for a simple beefy, flavorful burger on a white bun. Add the hickory or house-sauce for some added yumminess. The pies are also legendary, with the banana cream as one of the best in town. Cash only; closed Mondays; 10801 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 90064; 310.475.3585

Oumi Sasaya Restaurant
Udon shines at this South Bay restaurant. The udon noodles are pulled by hand in house. Order up the cold noodles with fried mochi and shrimp, but then again, you can’t go wrong with a hot noodle bowl with duck. 2383 Lomita Blvd., Lomita, 90717; 310.530.4661

Bay Cities Italian Deli
Bay Cities was on of the first places I hit up when I moved to LA. They serve up some of the city’s best sandwiches. The Godmother has their delicious bread packed with deli meats or if you want something to warm you up, the hot sandwiches are also worth a bite. Go with the pastrami or chicken parm sandwich. 1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, 90401; 310.395.8279

Hollywood has its share of famous hot dog joints: Pink’s and Carney’s. Skooby’s might be the simplest version of the hot dog stand, but the fresh fries and hot dogs placed in soft Hawaiian bread buns makes one of the best snacks on Hollywood Blvd. You can also get a a version of the LA street dog, wrapped in bacon and covered with peppers and onions. 6654 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 90028; 323.468.3647

This take-out window along the Venice Boardwalk is a must for real cheap food in this part of town. The fresh fish is made to order and placed on hot rice. Sit down with this snack or meal and watch the sunset (or the people). 1827 Ocean-Front Walk, Venice, 90291; 424.228.5132

Pollo A La Brasa
This classic Koreatown Peruvian roast chicken joint has some new digs on the corner of Western and 8th. The stacks of wood are piled high outside and smoke/aroma of chicken fills the streets. 764 S Western Ave., Los Angeles, 90005; 213.387.1531

Roy Choi’s bowl-driven fusion makes for some of the best food in the city. The kimchi platter, grilled vegetables, and meatballs get you started, while the Beefy T, Pork Belly, or Grilled Chicken rice bowls are true stand outs. It’s quietly BYO…shhhh. 3300 Overland Ave., Los Angeles, 90034; 310.287.0337

Flor Del Rio Restaurant
The birria (goat) tacos here are artfully prepared and ridiculously cheap. The best time to come might be on a weekend morning. You’ll find diners lounging around East L.A., munching on succulent goat tacos dipped in broth. 3201 East 4th St., Los Angeles, 90063; 323.268.0319

Dino’s Burgers & Chicken
They have a red sauce that’s tangy, peppery and addictive. Pair it with their grilled chicken atop french fries might make one of the single best dishes in LA. Plus, the pirce ain’t too shabby. Back in the day, plates cost less than four bucks. Still, $5-6, is not bad. Lil hint: try the dish over rice instead of fries. 2575 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 90006; 213.380.3554

Corner Cottage
Known for cheap breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches, it’s smart to call your order ahead. The best part might be the chili salsa that comes with the meal. It goes great  with their rich burritos. Cash only; 310 South Victory Blvd., Burbank, 91502; 818.843.2567

Zam Zam Market
The hours and offerings are scattered at this Pakistani restaurant that features some very flavor-intense dishes. The biriyani is sure to blow out the sinuses while tandoori, kabobs, and house-fired naan are favs. Call ahead to find out hours and menu. 11028 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 90232; 310.841.2504

Skaf’s Lebanese Cuisine
This sleek spot has more than the average kabob. Chicken and beef kabobs are grilled to perfection, while the cabbage salad and hummus round out each meal. 367 North Chevy Chase Dr., Glendale, 91206; 818.551.5540

Mini Kabob
This mom-and-pop shop might look unassuming, but the cuisine more than makes up for it. Kabobs are always perfectly cooked and deliciously seasoned while hummus and eggplant caviar are perfect sides. Cash only; 313 1/2 Vine St., Glendale, 91204; 818.244.1343

Jasmine Asian & Chinese
Most of the dishes are Indian, but on weekends the Burmese dishes are the amazing highlights. Keema paratha, curries, soups – they’re all mouth watering and ridiculously inexpensive. 4135 1/2 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, 90230; 310.313.3767

Bawarchi Indian Kitchen
This vegetarian/vegan only steam-table has excellent curries and masalas deliver. The chef-driven Indian fare comes out at under $10 for the three-item combo, which comes with naan or roti. 10408 Venice Blvd., Culver City, 90232; 310.836.8525

Ruen Pair
This late-night Thai Town haunt gets better with age. A revamped menu with all the classics and even some surprises (pork blood soup) makes this one of the best overall Thai restaurants in LA. Plus, the dishes never cost more than $9. Cash only; 5257 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 90027; 323.466.0153

Sapp Coffee Shop
The jade noodles (either dry and tossed or with pork broth) and Thai boat noodles are both phenomenal dishes that are must try items on the large menu. The roasted duck, beef fried rice, and crab-studded pad thai are also amazing. Cash only; 5183 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 90027; 323.665.1035

Pa Ord Noodle
This quick-service Thai restaurant focuses on noodles, though the standout is the Thai Boat Noodles with your choice of rice noodle. The broth is deep in flavor and spiced to your taste (always spicier than you expect). Other highlights include the pad thai and crispy pork (which can be added to any stir-fry dish). Cash only; 5301 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 90027; 323.461.3945

Luscious Dumplings
The waits can be tremendous at this San Gabriel dumpling house that has some limited hours, but it’s always worth it. Dumplings are boiled or pan-fried and the noodle soups are great too. Cash only; 704 W Las Tunas Dr # 4, San Gabriel, CA 91776

By Whitney

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