The Ultimate Guide To L.A.'s BEST Cheap Eats

Photo: Courtesy of Fresh Corn Grill.
Put down the instant ramen. Step away from the grocery-store sushi. Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you can't eat out in L.A. Some of the city's best meals also happen to be insanely budget-friendly.
From crunchy chopped salads to scary-delicious fried chicken sandwiches, this city might have the best cheap eats out there. And, yes, In-N-Out ranks high on any left coast food roundup, we figured you're well aware of that little animalistic heaven. Instead, we looked long and hard, and scoured every little crevice of L.A., to come up with some affordable eats that you hopefully haven't tried, overdone, and gotten sick of already.
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Ahead, find 19 crazy-good, under-$12 dishes to chow down on right now — your wallet (not to mention your stomach) will thank you.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fresh Corn Grill.
Fresh Corn Grill
Fresh Corn Grill makes our list for its slew of ultra-healthy, filling, and reasonably priced meals. Even the side dishes are diet-friendly — think grilled asparagus, sauteed kale, steamed broccoli, and more. No greasy fries here!
Our Fave Dish: Grilled Chicken Taco Plate, $9

Fresh Corn Grill, click here for locations

Caffe Latte
This cute spot in an unassuming strip mall on Wilshire Boulevard serves breakfast all day. You'll realize this is a really, really good thing once you try the scrambles.
Our Fave Dish: Eggs Italiano Scramble, $8.95

Caffe Latte, 6254 Wilshire Boulevard (near South Crescent Heights Boulevard); 323-936-5213.
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800 Degrees
The tastiest Neapolitan-style pizzas around. The best part? Your pizza is baked in front of you in less than two minutes.
Our Fave Dish: Personal Pizza, starting at $5.35

800 Degrees, click here for locations

Jacks n Joe
There's no shame in being a tax-paying adult on a college kid's budget — just hit up this breakfast-all-day spot near the USC campus to get your pancake fix on the cheap.
Our Fave Dish: Combo 1 (two pancakes, two eggs, potatoes, and bacon or sausage), $8.75

Jacks n Joe, 2498 South Figueroa Street (near West Adams Boulevard); 213-748-4565.
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Photo: Courtesy of Asian Box.
Asian Box
Just because it offers super-fast service doesn't mean it has to be unhealthy. Everything here is made from scratch with local ingredients — including the to-go boxes.
Our Fave Dish: Shrimp Box, $9.25

Asian Box, 116 East Palm Avenue (Between North 1st Street & North San Fernando Boulevard); 818-563-4269.
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Photo: Courtesy of Chop Daddy's.
Chop Daddy's
When it comes to BBQ, this Venice spot means business. All rubs, sauces, and smokes are made in house.
Our Fave Dish: The Belly Up, $8.25

Chop Daddy's, 1146 Abbot Kinney Boulevard; 310-450-1533.

Bludso's Bar and Que
Love Texas-style BBQ? This joint serves up out-of-this-world briskets, chicken, pulled pork, cornbread, coleslaw, and more.
Our Fave Dish: Pulled Pork Sandwich, $8

Bludso's Bar and Que, 609 North La Brea Avenue (near Melrose Avenue); 323-931-2583.
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Photo: Courtesy of Macolicious.
mac-O-licious
Say goodbye to the days of boxed mac-n-cheese. Initially a food truck (you definitely spotted it at farmers' markets around town), the restaurant now has a permanent location, which is both amazing and just a little bit dangerous.
Our Fave Dish: The Lunch Special (mac of your choice, salad, and a cornbread muffin), $10.75

MacOlicious, 5217 Laurel Canyon Boulevard (at Magnolia Boulevard); 818-814-6220.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mendocino Farms.
Mendocino Farms
Everything on the menu is pretty solid, but the seasonal specials are especially worth a try.
Our Fave Dish: Smoked Turkey Romesco on Pretzel, $9.85

Mendocino Farms, click here for locations
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Photo: Courtesy of Eggslut.
Egg Slut at Grand Central Market
Oh, Egg Slut, how we love thee. If you haven't been already, you're missing out on the most delicious breakfast sandwich in town.
Our Fave Dish: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese, $6

Eggslut, 317 South Broadway (near East 3rd Street); 213-621-2865.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tacos Tumbras a Tomas.
Tacos Tumbras a Tomas
Tomas Martinez, the genius behind this taco stand, makes authentic, delicious tacos that are completely worth standing in line for.
Our Fave Dish: The Carnitos Taco

Tacos Tumbras a Tomas at Grand Central Market, 317 South Broadway (near East 3rd Street); 213-620-1071.

Joe's Pizza
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better slice of New York-style pizza in all of L.A. — seriously, Joe's is that good.
Our Fave Dish: Classic cheese slice, $2.75

Joe's Pizza, 111 Broadway (near Ocean Avenue); 310-395-9222.
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Photo: Courtesy of Plan Check.
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
This busy bar offers some really delicious happy hour eats on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., as well as two hours before closing, if you're more of a night owl.
Our Fave Dish: Green Pimento Cheeseburger, $8

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, 1800 Sawtelle Boulevard (at Nebraska Avenue); 310-288-6500.

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Free Range L.A.
Find Free Range at the Melrose Place Farmers' Market every Sunday. Can't wait 'til Sunday? Take advantage of its pickup, delivery, and catering services — perfect for your next office bash.
Our Fave Dish: Watermelon popsicles, $1 each

Free Range L.A. at Melrose Place Farmers' Market, 8400 Melrose Place (at North Orlando Avenue); 646-256-7570.

Tsujita
Tsujita has the best ramen in town, no matter the price point. It's a bold statement, but one we're definitely standing behind.
Our Fave Dish: Tsukemen, $9.95

Tsujita, 2057 Sawtelle Boulevard (at Mississippi Avenue); 310-231-7373.
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Photo: Courtesy of Night + Market.
Night + Market Song
Though we've yet to find anything we don't like here, this off-menu fried chicken sandwich has our heart.
Our Fave Dish: Fried Chicken Sandwich, $9

Night + Market Song, 3322 Sunset Boulevard (near Micheltorena Street); 323-849-0223.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sticky Rice.
Sticky Rice at Grand Central Market
This Thai food stall may have a small menu, but everything is fresh and super delicious.
Our Fave Dish: Mango Sticky Rice, $7 ($4 for a half order)

Sticky Rice at Grand Central Market, 317 South Broadway (near East 3rd Street); 213-621-2865.

Soda Pop's
You haven't lived until you've had a sandwich from this popular WeHo spot. Plus, it delivers!
Our Fave Dish: Grilled Sweet Potato Sandwich, $9

Soda Pop's, 349 North La Cienega Boulevard (near Beverly Boulevard); 310-967-0119.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bacari PDR.
Bacari PDR
Thanks to its amazing pizzas, paninis, burgers, and more, this 2-week-old Playa Del Rey spot has quickly become one of our favorites.
Our Fave Dish: Smoked Mushroom Pizza, $8

Bacari PDR, 6805 Vista Del Mar Lane (near Culver Boulevard); 310-439-2100.
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