No matter where in the world you are or how much money you have at any one time, it can be handy to know the less expensive places to eat—especially the yummy ones. In a city with a ton of excellent food choices, here are 14 scrumptious options that won’t upset your budget.
Chili’s South Indian Cuisine
Restaurant, Indian, Vegetarian, Vegan
One of the best Indian restaurants around town, Chili’s South Indian Cuisine also happens to be affordable—which makes sense with its location on The Ave. Known for their dosas, they offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetizers, entrées, and specialties! The casual, simple décor allows the food to speak for itself.
“Little Saigon’s Best-Kept Secret” is a joint with delicious sandwiches, for only three dollars each. Offering takeout, delivery, and catering, this deli in Seattle’s International District is one of the best food-to-go deals in the area. Patrons rave about the deli’s banh mi. The worst part is the frequent crowdedness: the downside of being awesome.
Fast-food fans should head to Dick’s Drive-In | Courtesy of Dick’s Drive-In
Dick’s is a delicious, cheap, quick Seattle staple. Other than their original location in Wallingford, which opened in 1954 and underwent a remodel in 2006, this family-owned company now has four additional locations in Seattle: Broadway, Queen Anne, Holman Road, and Lake City. Their business model is based on “instant service,” and having a menu with about 10 items certainly helps with this goal.
Beecher's Flagship Handmade Cheese | Photo Credit, Rina Jordan
As an artisan cheesemaking shop with the “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese, it’s a wonder that the food is still affordable. The shop opened in 2003, driven by the owner’s passion for pure food—made with local, healthy ingredients. In an effort to change the way Americans eat, Beecher’s educates its patrons on what’s in their food, going so far as to put their cheesemaking on display. Their second Seattle location is at Sea-Tac airport, for the most delicious travel snack of your life.
Opened in 2004, Tat’s is an East Coast deli started by natives of Philadelphia and New Jersey. Striving to recreate the delicatessens from home “in both product and atmosphere,” patrons can enjoy food in-store, as takeout, or have it delivered. Also available for catering, their menus offer items such as Philly steaks, subs, and hoagies.
Kedai Makan began as a simple food vendor at local farmers markets and has since evolved into a full restaurant with a full bar. Offering both traditional and non-traditional Malaysian-inspired food, they also make their own Chinese medicinal infusions and sambal. Takeout is available depending on how busy they are, and since they have no phone, you can only place an order in person.
Dong Thap Noodles has gained a lot of attention with its in-house prepared noodles. Their small space becomes crowded, so make sure to call ahead or be ready to wait a decent amount of time before getting your hands on a delicious bowl of pho.
Il Corvo was opened as a lunch-only Italian restaurant to allow Chef Mike Easton to achieve a suitable work-life balance. Passionate for handmade, artisanal pasta, Easton runs Il Corvo with his wife, bringing unique, beautiful, delicious pasta to the table. Ingredients such as eggs and flour are purchased locally from organic sources and then paired with sauces made from seasonal products.
A UW graduate from Tijuana and his friend, who used to be a taquero (taco artisan) in Mexico City, started Tacos Chukis in 2011. Now, with two locations (Capitol Hill and South Lake Union), they offer tacos, mulitas, baby burritos, quesadillas, tortas, nopal asado, and their house taco, tacos chukis—all between $2 and $7 each.
Smoked Salmon Pate Piroshky | Courtesy of Piroshky Piroshky
Piroshky Piroshky, which opened in 1992, is a Russian bakery with its flagship store at Pike Place Market and three other locations in Seattle (Columbia Center, Northgate Mall, and Westfield Southcenter Mall). Their piroshkies are made from scratch and molded by hand into their various shapes. With both sweet and savory options, the bakery combines “traditional recipes with local flavor.”
New England Clam Chowder | Courtesy of Pike Place Chowder
Pike Place Chowder is one of the best internationally known restaurants in Seattle—and with good reason. The seafood’s flagship is in the iconic Pike Place Market, with another location at Pacific Place. Their chowder has been entered in the Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, Rhode Island—and won (several times). In fact, it is one of the only chowders outside of New England to win that competition. Today, the chowder continues to win national awards because, well, it’s just that good.
Restaurant, Korean, Fusion, Street Food, American, $$$
Marination Food | Photo credit, John Beck
This community-minded eatery, which started with a food truck serving Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine, works to bring “everyday aloha” to the public. Marination Ma Kai is one of six concepts by the Marination family, including Marination Station, Marination 6th & Virginia, Super Six, The Truck (Big Blue, the one that started it all), and Marination catering.
Forget farm-to-table and try “trailer park to table.” Fighting the Seattle Freeze with some Southern hospitality, Biscuit Bitch isn’t fancy—which helps it feel more like home. For homemade meals where customers aren’t just served, but taken care of, check out Biscuit Bitch’s delicious locations at Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and in Belltown.
Paseo Caribbean Food uses locally sourced ingredients to bring Caribbean flavors to the Emerald City. Best known for their sandwiches, they also provide scrumptious bowls as well as delightful entrées and small plates. Another location is in Fremont, and in 2017, they opened a third spot on Capitol Hill. Want to share the love? Paseo Caribbean offers both catering and event space.