Ask anyone who lives in San Francisco if they like living there, and they’ll answer: “It’s amazing, BUT it’s so expensive”. As a visitor, it’s important to find a few cheap meals to offset the expensive cost of living (and eating) in SF.
Breakfast: Super Duper
“Fast food burgers. Slow food values”. Their tagline describes their business model which toes the line between fast food and good food. While known for their burgers, which don’t disappoint (add the garlic fries if you’re here later in the day), we want to highlight their breakfast menu that many don’t know about. They offer an egg sandwich, donut, and Four Barrel Coffee all for just $5.50. And it’s not half bad! Just a coffee and a mint can cost that much in this city! They have options to upgrade your sandwich and add more fixings. If you are a serious breakfast eater like us we recommend loading your sandwich as the basic order can be a little boring. Make sure to check all their locations’ hours as they have six locations and breakfast hours vary from store to store.
Lunch: Taqueria El Buen Sabor
Located right on the corner of Valencia and 18th street in the heart of the Mission district, you won’t find a better Mexican joint in the area. Nothing special on the outside, but the family owned establishment does it right inside. You can get almost anything on the menu for less than $10. But our go-to is the Super Taco for $4.55 (out the door $4.95). We call it the loaded taco and it starts with a scoop of rice, choice of beans, choice of meat and then it is loaded with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, cheese and ends with house-made tortilla chips on the side. You’re probably asking, one taco, really? Sounds lame, right? Well, this frugal meal packs a punch. Yes it’s one taco, but by the time this thing is loaded up you won’t be able to tell it’s a taco. The taco is so loaded that you can’t pick it up without first eating half of the meat. This is where your chips come into play. Don’t forget to use the two red and green chili salsa sauces that they keep out on the tables. FYI – $10 minimum for cards! Enjoy El Buen Sabor, the good taste.
Dinner: The Flying Falafel
Need a quick and easy pick me up before continuing on with your afternoon or evening? This downtown vegan joint always hits the spot when you most need a burst of flavor and minimal wallet dent. The go-to item on the menu is the falafel pocket, which is a freshly baked pita stuffed with several falafel balls, topped with a garden of veggies and sauces to your delight. Not only are these falafel sandwiches super tasty, but the large pocket is just $7! If you find yourself on Market Street between the Civic Center and Powell BART stops, definitely stop in. Beware that you order at the counter and there’s just one high-top table outside. People move quickly, but you’ll often find people standing and stuffing their faces. All part of the experience.