Where can you get a delicious, inexpensive meal for under $15 in San Francisco? We asked our Instagram followers for their favorite cheap eats in the city and got some fantastic recommendations. Read on for an incomplete list of SF restaurants that give you the most bang for your buck, in no particular order. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for a map!
Saigon Sandwich is a must for fresh, tasty, and affordable bánh mi in SF — and these massive sandwiches run for just $5 each. Pick up your choice of Vietnamese sandwiches with fillings including roast chicken, roast pork, and meat ball pork. Keep in mind that there’s usually a line, the restaurant is cash only, and you must order to go (Jefferson Park is only a 10 minute walk away if you want to have a picnic).
Location: 560 Larkin St
If it’s homestyle burgers, sandos, and brunch items you crave, Delancey Street Restaurant is a must. Think 3-egg scrambles and eggs benedict with home-fried potatoes for under $10, fried chicken sandwiches and reubens for under $10, and pasta dishes and BBQ chicken for under $15.
Delancey Street Restaurant is a training school for the Delancey Street Foundation, which is the country’s largest residential self-help organization. The restaurant is run by Delancey residents and all tips are considered donations to help feed, clothe, and support the residents so that they may lead successful lives free of drug and crime.
Location: 600 The Embarcadero
3. El Farolito
This classic, local favorite offers enormous portions and quality meat options for burritos, tacos, chiles rellenos, quesadillas, and more. A regular burrito with rice, beans, salsa, and meat comes to just $7.75, and the most expensive item on their menu (carne asada or alambres con camarones) barely cracks $15. It’s also a great late-night haunt, because the kitchen is open until the wee hours of the morning at most locations. Be advised that El Farolito is cash-only!
- 2950 24th St
- 2779 Mission St
- 4817 Mission St
- 1230 Grant Ave
Get a stack of tasty dim sum to go at this cash-only neighborhood haunt in the Inner Richmond. Choose from a wide range of dumplings, cakes, and buns that come to just $3.60 for 3, meaning you can mix and match all you want to create your own unique plate. Don’t forget to take a look at the larger items which include a plate of spare ribs for just $7.50 and salted pork in bamboo leaves for $5.
Location: 736 Clement St
Just about everything on DragonEats’ Vietnamese street food menu is $9 each. This includes sandwiches, rice noodle bowls, salads, and rolls with flavors like spiced chicken, roasted pork, roasted duck, teriyaki tofu, and pork meatball. Grab a Vietnamese iced coffee or a house-made lemonade and you’re good to go.
- 1671 Haight St
- 520 Gough St
- 555 Folsom St
Golden Boy is your quintessential late-night pizza joint. But even during waking hours, it still hits the spot with its fluffy, doughy squares available by the sheet or by the slice. A slice will run you between $3-4.50, and a 13″x9″ pan comes out to just $12 and feeds 2.
Location: 542 Green St
7. La Oaxaqueña
This no-frills Mexican restaurant in the Mission is a must for $7-8 burritos, $7.50 tortas, and even giant tlayudas that serve 2 for just $13. La Oaxaqueña is especially memorable for its more unique menu items, which include jumbo grasshopper tacos, tarantula meat (on occasion), and piping hot Mexican hot chocolate (to which you can add guajillo chili powder and ginger for an extra kick).
Location: 2128 Mission St
Phở Huỳnh Hiệp, also known as Kevin’s Noodle House, serves up quality Vietnamese noodle soups averaging between $10-12, which you can order in small, medium, and large sizes. Even the large combination rice plates with grilled pork chops, beef, and egg rolls will run you $12-13 each.
Location: 1833 Irving St
9. Lou’s Cafe
Lou’s Cafe specializes in gigantic sandwiches with a quarter-pound of Boar’s Head premium deli meat each. You can build your own sandwich for $9.85 or order from the gourmet menu, which averages around $11. Lou’s also serves up hearty breakfast sandwiches and gourmet salads.
- 5017 Geary Blvd
- 1508 Taraval St
Get your fill of Pakistani Indian food at Pakwan. The menu boasts large shareable plates including bengan bhartha for $9.99 and chicken biryani for $12.99. If you’re feeling fancy, you can spring for the meat curries at $15.99, but it’s easy enough to keep prices down with most other menu items topping out at around 12-13 bucks for a generous serving.
- 501 O’Farrell St
- 3180-82 16th St
- 1140 Ocean Ave