F&W Free Preview All You Coastal Living Cooking Light Food and Wine tab Health myRecipes Southern Living Sunset
My F&W
quick save (...)

Bargains | America's 75 Best Food Buys

From juicy fried chicken in North Carolina to divine duck confit in L.A., here are 75 great things to eat and cook with for $10 or less.

Huntsville, AL

1 Marshall's Parker House-style yeast rolls, sold frozen, become buttery and pillowy soft when baked ($2.29 at Publix; Piedmont Point Shopping Center, 4851 Whitesburg Dr.; 256-650-2390).

Phoenix, AZ

2 Smothered pork chops plus two sides at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe. The place works on the honor system—you pay for what you say you ate ($8.80; 808 E. Jefferson St.; 602-262-9256).

Berkeley, CA

3 Poori (puffy fried bread) served with perfectly spiced chickpeas at Vik's Chaat Corner ($4; 726 Allston Wy.; 510-644-4412).

Healdsburg, CA

4 An amazing brie and olive spread sandwich from Jimtown Store ($6; 6706 State Hwy. 128; 707-433-1212).

Los Angeles, CA

5 The great pretzel burger at Röckenwagner, with fresh-cut shoestring fries ($7.95; 2435 Main St., Santa Monica; 310-399-6504).

6 Oaxacan mole negro (a sauce with chocolate and chiles) at Monte Alban— so good Spago's Mexican prep cooks order it ($8; 11927 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-444-7736).

7 A decadent bag of chocolate-covered Tao of Nuts from Comparte's of California ($7; 912 S. Barrington Ave.; 310-826-3380).

8 Luscious duck confit with creamy white beans and sausage at The Den at Opaline ($8; 7450 Beverly Blvd.; 323-857-6725).

9 Happy-hour (5 to 7:30 p.m.) oysters at Globe Venice Beach (50 cents each; 72 Market St.; 310-392-8720).

San Francisco, CA

10 Banh mi at Saigon Sandwiches, stuffed with spiced pork meatballs, cool pickled carrots and jalapeños ($2; 560 Larkin St.; 415-474-5698).

11 Ichiban-Kan in San Francisco's Japantown, for beautifully spare utensils and kitchen gadgets—like the elegant spice holder pictured above ($1; 22 Peace Plaza; 415-409-0472).

12 Ultrafresh masa, for making your own corn tortillas, at La Palma grocery (65 cents a pound; 2884 24th St.; 415-647-1500).

13 "Falafels deluxe" in lavash bread, with silky eggplant and fried potatoes, at Truly Mediterranean ($5.75; 3109 16th St.; 415-252-7482).

Boulder, CO

14 Carnitas (pork) tacos from El Taco Loco—good as any in Mexico ($1.75; 1664 30th St.; 303-247-1562).

Denver, CO

15 Tokyo Joe's rice bowls ($4 to $7; the $2.70 kid's meal includes a cookie; 1360 Grant St.; 303-830-7277).

16 Fried chicken or roasted turkey with real mashed potatoes from Jus Cookin's ($8.99; 10600 E. Iliff Ave., Aurora; 303-696-6789).

Miami, FL

17 The Manchego-and-salami sandwich at Caviar & More, in Dadeland Mall ($1.90; 7535 N. Kendall Dr.; 305-669-9005; there is also a branch in Aventura Mall).

18 A dark chocolate ganache truffle from Ice Box Cafe—a terrific way to spend any extra quarters ($1.25; 1657 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-8448).

19 Free samples of vanilla rum cake, while you wait, at the bakery Sweet Art by Lucila (5734 SW Bird Rd.; 305- 668-0060).

20 Jamaican specialties like saltfish and akee (creamy tropical fruit) at Caribbean Delight ($6.95; 236 NE First Ave.; 305- 381-9254).

St. Marks, FL

21 The spectacular smoked mullet basket at Posey's Oyster Bar ($7.95; 55 Riverside Dr.; 850-925-6172).

Atlanta, GA

22 The prime steak—your choice of filet mignon, New York strip or rib eye—served during happy hour (5 to 6.30 p.m.) at Prime ($10; 3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, Lenox Sq.; 404-812-0555).

23 The scrumptious potato-filled samosa at Royal Sweets—the best one for miles around, according to discerning Indians and Pakistanis in the area (75 cents; 1766 Lawrenceville Hwy., Decatur; 404-327-5799).

Chicago, IL

24 Savory stewed goat from Vee Vee's Nigerian truck—so popular the city's African cabbies line up for it ($7; on N. Columbus Dr., between Randolph St. and Wacker Dr.; no phone).

25 Expertly fried shrimp, moist and juicy inside, from Goose Island Shrimp House ($8 a pound; 1013 W. Division St.; 312-642-3640).

26 Kalles Kaviar (codfish roe in a tube), for squeezing onto crackers, at Wikstrom's ($3.89; 5247 N. Clark St.; 773-275-6100).

27 Polish comfort food (pierogi, kielbasa) from the all-you-can-eat buffet at Bobak Sausage Company restaurant ($8; 5275 S. Archer Ave.; 773-735-5334).

28 For late-night cravings, the grilled chicken on a pita with feta at Lincolntown Gyros ($5; 2500 N. Halsted St.; 773-929-9411).

29 Carol's Cookies, in Chicago, for slightly underbaked (in a good way) cookies, each enormous enough to share ($1.99 at Whole Foods Market; 1000 W. North Ave.; 312-587-0648).

30 The hot Italian sandwich (provolone, pepperoni, salami, capocollo, mortadella) at Potbelly Sandwich Works ($3.59; 2264 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-528-1405).

31 Garlicky deep-fried yuca from the popular Costa Rican restaurant Irazu ($2.50; 1865 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-252-5687).

Solon, IA

32 The pork tenderloin sandwich at Joensy's Restaurant, with meat pounded as big as a pizza pie ($5; 101 W. Main St.; 319-624-2914).

Louisville, KY

33 Weisenberger grits, stone-ground the old-fashioned way, at Lilly's ($3 for a side order; 1147 Bardstown Rd.; 502-451-0447).

New Orleans, LA

34 The humongous Cuban sandwich at Meme's Market Lakefront ($4.69; 7041 Canal Blvd.; 504-282-0317).

35 Boiled crawfish at Franky & Johnny's; the place may be a dive, but celebs can't get enough ($8; 321 Arabella St.; 504-899-9146).

Georgetown, ME

36 Fresh and succulent steamers from Five Islands Lobster Co. ($5 a pound; 1447 Five Islands Rd.; 207-371-2990).

Boston, MA

37 Chocolate cake spiked with seven North African spices at Baraka Café ($5.50; 80 1/2 Pearl St., Cambridge; 617-868-3951).

38 Tender calamari meatballs in red sauce at Daily Catch ($4.75; 441 Harvard St., Brookline; 617-734-5696).

39 Pho ga (chicken noodle soup) at Pho Pasteur ($5.25; 36 Dunster St., Cambridge; 617-864-4100).

Ann Arbor, MI

40 A cup of rich, creamy lobster bisque and a peasant roll at Le Dog ($5; 410 E. Liberty St.; 734-665-2114).

Minneapolis, MN

41 Egg salad sandwich on house-baked bread at the Walker Art Center's Gallery 8 Restaurant ($1.95; 725 Vineland Pl.; 612-374-3701).

Oxford, MS

42 The fried pies at Deke's Barbecue, sublime crescents of dough stuffed with sweet peaches or apples ($2; 107 County Rd. 207; 662-236-9141).

Missoula, MT

43 Seasonal flavors (pumpkin, eggnog) and specialty sorbets and ice creams (cardamom, Marsala) in cones or cups from Big Dipper Ice Cream ($1.75; 631 S. Higgins Ave.; 406-543-5722).

Clifton, NJ

44 The fried hot dogs at Rutt's Hut; the relish could best any in the U.S. ($1.80; 417 River Rd.; 973-779-8615).

River Edge, NJ

45 An enormous, hot, messy and delicious cheese steak sandwich from Fink's Funky Chicken & Ribs ($6; 626 Kinderkamack Rd.; 201-634-1319).

Santa Fe, NM

46 Santa Fe's favorite street food, Frito Pie (Fritos and chili with shredded cheese on top) at the Five and Dime General Store ($3.75; 58 E. San Francisco St.; 505-992-1800).

47 Killer breakfast burritos from Chicago Dog Express, a spiffy hot dog stand on a busy corner ($3; 600 Cerrillos Rd.; 505-984-2798. Also, 5741 Airport Rd.; 505-471-5771).

New York, NY

48 A coconut patty—a flaky golden crust filled with coconut—at Christy's Jamaican Patties ($1.75; 334 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; 718-636-9746).

49 The fabulous panelle sandwich—a chickpea fritter with ricotta—at Ferdinando's Focacceria, a real Sicilian find in Italian American Carroll Gardens ($4; 151 Union St., Brooklyn; 718-855-1545).

50 A slice of the baby-artichoke pie at DiFara: one of the reasons this pizzeria is said to be the city's best ($4; 1424 Ave. J, Brooklyn; 718-258-1367).

51 The fried chicken in the all-you-can-eat buffet at Charles' Southern Style Kitchen makes the trip to Harlem more than worth it ($10 at lunch; 2837-41 8th Ave.; 212-926-4313).

52 Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan for one delectable square of thin, dimpled pizza bianca garnished with olive oil and rosemary ($1; 73 Sullivan St.; 212-334-9435).

53 Deep-fried skewered meats like panko-crusted pork at Win49, a spare Japanese take-out shop ($1.75; 205 Allen St.; 212-353-9494).

54 A flourless chocolate walnut cookie, a steal at the lovely Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro ($1.50; 1032 Lexington Ave.; 212-717-5252).

55 Roasted corn on a stick with cotija cheese and chili powder at the cozy Café Habana ($3.75; 17 Prince St.; 212-625-2001).

56 Granny-made soon-dae (Korean blood sausage) behind Han Yang Market ($5; 150-51 Northern Blvd., Queens; no phone).

Chapel Hill, NC

57 Juicy Southern-fried chicken, along with collards or turnip greens and fresh-baked biscuits or corn bread, from Mama Dip's Kitchen ($7.95; 408 W. Rosemary St.; 919-942-5837).

Mebane, NC

58 At A&M Grill, a plate of chopped pork barbecue with sweet slaw, hush puppies and all the iced tea you can drink ($7; 401 E. Center St.; 919-563-3721).

Akron, OH

59 The brown sugar—stoked hamburger at Sky-Way Drive-In, served at your car door with a smile ($1.89; W. Market St., Fairlawn; 330-836-2806).

Oklahoma City, OK

60 A "split-level" banana cake, a sweet way to finish off a meaty meal at Leo's BBQ ($2.72; 3631 NE Kelly St.; 405-424-5367).

61 Crisp links of Polish sausage from the Crescent Market ($3.63 a pound; 6409 Avondale Dr., Nichols Hills; 405-842-2000).

62 Tart rhubarb bread pudding at Queen Anne Cafeteria ($1.49; 5900 Mosteller Dr.; 405-842-8610).

Portland, OR

63 Homemade noodle of the day with Bolognese sauce at Justa Pasta Co. ($6; 1336 NW 19th Ave.; 503-243-2249).

Providence, RI

64 Portuguese-style steak (with a fried egg) and thin-cut round fries at Solmar Restaurant ($9 for lunch; 497 Warren Ave., E. Providence; 401-431-1122).

Memphis, TN

65 A top shoulder pork barbecue sandwich at Payne's BBQ ($3; 1762 Lamar Ave; 901-272-1523).

66 Bargains like a bacon press and a Memphis cookbook at funky general store A. Schwab ($3 to $6.98; 163 Beale St.; 901-523-9782).

Nashville, TN

67 Vandyland ($2.40; 2916 W. End Ave.; 615-327-3868) and Elliston Place Soda Shop ($3.11; 2111 Elliston Pl.; 615-327-1090) vie for top honors in the ongoing milkshake war.

68 A hamburger at ancient dive Rotier's Restaurant, with atmosphere to match ($3.65; 2413 Elliston Pl.; 615-327-9892).

Dallas, TX

69 A hefty plate of 12- hour-cooked brisket from Sammy Walker's Barbecue, owned by the Olympic weight-lifting and shot-put star ($8.25 a pound; 6201 Dalrock Rd., Rowlett; 972-463-6595).

Montpelier, VT

70 Maple Creemee (soft ice cream) from Morse Farm Sugar Works, made with the farm's own maple syrup ($1.40 for a medium cone; 1168 County Rd.; 802-223-2740).

Lynchburg, VA

71 "Cheesy Westerns" (hamburgers with egg, relish and cheese) at the Texas Inn, familiarly known as the T-Room ($2.04; 422 Main St.; 434-846-3823).

Seattle, WA

72 "Bronzed salmon" sandwich with a big pile of bistro fries—all that and a view overlooking a canal and bridge at Ponti Seafood Grill ($10; 3014 3rd Ave. N.; 206-284-3000).

73 The Niman Ranch bacon cheeseburger, also at Ponti—and if you're really broke, it's half price in the bar at happy hour, 4 to 6:30 p.m. ($4.50; address above).

Madison,WI

74 The momo cha (vegetarian dumplings) from Nepalese restaurant Himal Chuli ($6; 318 State St.; 608-251-9225).

Milwaukee, WI

75 Thick, meaty, subtly sweet applewood-smoked bacon at Usinger's ($5.28 a pound; 1030 N. Old World Third St.; 414-276-9100).

Published March 2003
You Might Also Like

Comments

Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    advertisement
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    advertisement
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.