Where To Stuff Yourself Silly in S.F. — Under $10

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on April 11.]
We'll admit it: Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the funds can run low in the Bay Area. But even so, a girl’s gotta eat! Luckily, having perfected our palates ‘round these parts, we know better than to settle for subpar grub when we're pinching pennies.
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The upside? Our loss is your gain: We’ve learned a thing or two about eating well on a budget, and now we’re passing our best-kept secrets along to you. From delicious, deep-fried mac ’n’ cheese for $2, to free-oyster Fridays, allow us to present S.F.’s cheapest, tastiest bites, all under $10 bucks. Feeling full and happy on less than a Hamilton? It can be done. Read on for the best spots to make both your tummy and wallet feel super satisfied.
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Sweet Crepes at Genki Crepes, $4.30 to $6.75
Nothing satisfies like a huge, piping-hot crepe filled with strawberries and Nutella, especially when it only costs $4.30. If chocolate isn't your thing, we suggest sampling any of the other sweet offerings. Whether it's apple, peanut butter and banana, or cinnamon and brown sugar — they’re all winners in our book. Keep in mind there’s a $10 minimum for credit cards, so you’ll want to bring cash.
Genki Crepes, 330 Clement Street (between 4th and 5th avenues); 415-379-6414.

Photo: Via Genki Crepes
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Taco Tuesdays at Nick’s Crispy Tacos, $2 Each
With tons of spicy options around us, San Franciscans has set the bar pretty high for Mexican fare. Rest assured, the stuff they serve up at Nick’s Crispy Tacos more than makes the cut. On Taco Tuesdays (from 5 to 10 p.m.), treat yourself to $2 tacos (normally $3.75). For an extra 75 cents each, you can get them “Nicky’s way” — crispy with jack cheese and gauc — just the way we like ‘em.
Nick’s Crispy Tacos, 1500 Broadway Street (at Polk Street); 415-409-8226.

Photo: Via Nick's Crispy Tacos
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One-Day-Old Cookies at Hot Cookie, $0.95 Each
Need a little something sweet? These cookies may seem small, but they also add up fast. Trust us, we’ve been there. Luckily, Castro’s beloved Hot Cookie (complete with phallus-shaped treats and pics of naughty cookie-eaters on the walls), has you covered. Get there right when the shop opens (11 a.m.), and you can scoop up unsold cookies from the day before for just $0.95 a pop. It’s a total steal (full-price cookies are sold by weight and are typically around $2.50 each).
Hot Cookie, 407 Castro Street (between Market and 18th streets); 415-621-2350.

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile
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Sliders at SliderBar, $3.50 to $6 Each
It’s doesn’t matter what kind of sliders you’re craving: Whether you're in the mood for beef and veggie or seafood and chicken, the Castro’s SliderBar has it all (along with quirky names like Fatty Patty and Swiss and Tell). Plus, with sammies starting at just $3.50, it’s totally possible to get a full meal, complete with a mini burger and fries or a salad, all for well under $10.
SliderBar, 2295 Market Street (at 16th Street); 415-431-7700.

Photo: Via SliderBar
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Grab-and-Go Items at The Plant Café Organic, 20% off
This healthy hub is a favorite among the FiDi lunch set, and with good reason! The dishes are divine, not to mention chock-full of fresh, good-for-you ingredients. The best part: Although prices normally hover at around the $10 mark, at the FiDi location you can get 20% off any remaining grab-and-go meals at 2:30 p.m. (half an hour before close). That means you can snag that avocado and grapefruit salad for just $8 instead of $10. Arugula, shaved fennel, and macadamia nuts, here we come!
The Plant Café Organic, 101 California Street (corner of Front and Pine streets); 415-696-9730.

Photo: Via The Plant Cafe
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Personal Pizza and Lonestar Beer at West of Pecos, $9
On those thrifty days, we’re often forced to choose between food and brews. And, sometimes, that’s just not a trade-off we’re willing to make. Enter “West of Pecos Wednesdays” at the Mission-based Tex-Mex bar and grill, West of Pecos. The deal is solid, plus we love the lively yet laid-back vibe of the place. Be sure to tell the host or hostess you’re there for the special when you come in so they seat you in the appropriate area. It goes down every Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m.
West of Pecos, 550 Valencia Street (between 16th and 17th streets); 415-252-7000.

Photo: Courtesy of West of Pecos
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Oysters at El Rio, Free
A low-key dive bar plus classy free food? Sign us up. On Fridays, line up at 5:30 p.m. for a fresh oyster on the half shell. You choose whether you want it raw or cooked on the grill, then hop back in line as many times as you want until they run out! We suggest arriving at 5:30 on the dot — although you’ll probably get a good handful while they last, the goods go fast.
El Rio, 3158 Mission Street (at Precita Avenue); 415-282-3325.

Photo: Via El Rio
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Deep Fried Mac and Cheese at Andalu, $2
You know that deep-fried goodness that landed a spot on our list of best mac and cheese dishes in S.F.? Well, while an order normally rings in at $7.50 (and it’s still so worth it!), you can snag it for a mere $2 on Mondays. That’s right, a full-size portion for just two bones. And because Mondays at Andalu aren’t always super-busy, you can often walk right in, sans reservation.
Andalu, 3198 16th Street (at Guerrero Street); 415-621-2211.

Photographed by Maria del Rio
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Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns at Yank Sing 2 Go, $1.70 Each
S.F.’s fancy dim-sum spot Yank Sing has a to-go counter, and that’s where you’ll find a true on-a-budget gem, the steamed barbecue pork bun. These buns are the thrifty trifecta: cheap, flavorful, and filling. One alone is a sizeable snack, but put two or three together and you have yourself a meal. Nom!
Yank Sing 2 Go, 101 Spear Street (between Mission and Howard streets); 415-781-1111.
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Barbecue at Bender’s on Sundays, Free
Cheap eats are great, but eating free — well, nothing tops that. On Sunday afternoons from 3 to 7 p.m., the Mission’s well-loved neighborhood dive Bender’s treats its customers to free barbecue out on the back patio, cooking up burgers, veggie options or whatever else it's in the mood for. Add the pool tables and photo booth, and we’d say you’re in for a pretty sweet Sunday.
Bender’s, 806 South Van Ness Avenue (at 19th Street); 415-824-1800.

Photo: Via Bender's
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