In a city famed for its food, where even sandwiches and salads can push $20, finding cheap eats is a challenge. From Mexican taquerias to upscale French brasseries and everything in between, we found some of the best under-$10 meals without resorting to a burger or a food cart.
Click here for the full gallery of 15 top Fog City finds.
Dim Sum at Dim Sum Club
We love dim sum, but the mix-and-match setup is typically best for larger groups. Also, many places stop serving it late in the afternoon. Not Dim Sum Club. Here you can order a dim sum platter for dinner for just $10 and get two shrimp dumplings, two pork-and-shrimp dumplings, one steamed barbecued-pork bun, one egg roll and, for dessert, two sesame balls with lotus paste.
Rice Bowl at The Chairman
The Chairman began as a food truck and became famous for its bao, stuffed with fillings like pork belly and tofu. You can grab one big baked bun or just about any two steamed buns for under $10, but our most-filling pick would be the namesake rice bowl. The basic version comes with pickled daikon, marinated mushrooms, spicy cucumbers, daikon sprouts, furikake and tempura flakes; top it with a spicy chicken or Coca-Cola-braised pork and the check will still be under a 10 spot.
Super Kati Roll at Kasa Taco Trio at Pancho Villa
Once a food truck, Kasa now has two brick-and-mortar restaurants serving their signature kati roll and the meal-sized super kati roll. A wheat wrapper is filled burrito-style with your choice of chicken or vegetable fillings, chutney, onions and basmati rice, then topped with cooling cucumber raita.
Every San Franciscan has a favorite taqueria, but Pancho Villa is a classic with plenty of bargain-minded choices. The taco trio is just $7 and comes with a side of fresh chips and salsa. There are 12 different fillings, including spicy chicken, carne asada, tongue, chorizo and pork chile verde. We opt for the steak fajitas, cooked to order with plenty of fresh peppers and onions.
For more great bargain bites in San Francisco, check out the full gallery. Then tell us: What’s your favorite cheap meal?