Cheap Eats in Seattle
Collected by Stephanie Perry , AFAR Local Expert
Lunch under $10? Dinner under $20? Totally achievable in foodie-friendly Seattle. Enjoy savory Cuban sandwiches, Oprah-approved fried chicken, and made-to-order sushi that won't strain your budget.
1501 4th Ave #103, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
I'm hesitant to even put "food court" and "sushi" into the same sentence, because that summons up a mental picture that hardly does Sushi Kudasai justice. This friendly, unpretentious, mom-and-pop sushi shop is located in the heart of the downtown...
225 12th Ave #101, Seattle, WA 98144, USA
Who has the best banh mi? That's a question that could be debated endlessly - but Saigon Deli, in the International District, is a strong contender. For just $2.50, you get a fresh, crusty baguette stuffed with meat or tofu (the BBQ pork is...
4737 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
Sure, there's a lot of hubbub about Crumble + Flake right now, but for my money, it's hard to beat Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle (and now in Capitol Hill, at 15th and E. John). This immensely popular place always has lines snaking through the...
6538 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108, USA
This fun, cheap monster-burger joint with an Asian twist is the sister restaurant to Mashiko. Ground beef, chicken, pork loin, or tofu burgers are served katsu style: dipped in tempura batter, coated in panko bread crumbs, then deep fried. The...
4543 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
If you're one of those people who's reassured by seeing a long line of customers out the door, then Thai Tom won't let you down: this beloved Thai hole-in-the-wall is always packed. That doesn't stop devoted fans from lining up, taking a carved...
4721 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
In the heart of West Seattle's Alaska Junction is the local gem Husky Deli, family-owned since 1932. In summer, the line winds through the store for their famous ice cream — like the Oreo Coffee scoop shown here. But their made-to-order deli...
664 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
There are plenty of great dim sum restaurants in Seattle's International District, aka Chinatown, but Duk Li is a personal favorite. While they don't wheel carts full of steamer baskets around the restaurant, the food is served up fresh, fast, and...
5314 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Some say El Camion is the best taco truck in town. With four locations (including a sit-down restaurant), it's easy enough to find out for yourself, although we're partial to the authentic walk-up truck experience. (The trucks have tent seating...
1901 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Vietnamese restaurant Long Provincial offers one of downtown's best happy hour food menus in their Jelly Bar. The drinks menu features some interesting (and potent) options, like the tangy kumquat bubbly or tamarind fizz. But it's the snacks that...
309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
If you see a line stretching around the block and think, "No way," then Salumi isn't for you. But if you see a long line and think, "I want what they're waiting for!" bring a book and get ready for one of the messiest, meatiest, richest sandwiches...
1333 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Centrally located, but in a quiet commercial building, Origin is one downtown restaurant where it's easy to walk in and get a table even during the lunch rush — or, better yet, an outside spot on their large, sunny patio. Origin offers a wide,...
1207 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144, USA
There’s some confusion about this place’s real name — even the restaurant can’t seem to decide whether it’s 7 Stars Peppers, 7 Stars Pepper, or something else. But whatever you call it, they make some mean hand-shaven noodles. Highlights of their...
3515 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Of course there’s a pie food truck! Pie’s savory selections include classics like peppered steak and spicy pork, as well as more unusual flavors like channa masala, meatloaf, and triple pig (ground pork, bacon, ham, potatoes, onions, bacon gravy);...
1301 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Gluten-free folks will appreciate this Mexican food truck, where the entire menu is gluten-free. They offer tiny tacos with handmade tortillas in flavors like chicken mole and spiced mushroom with poblano cream, as well as gorditas — fat little...
1009 Boren Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
When a restaurant’s logo consists of bulbs of garlic, you can consider yourself warned. Mediterranean Kitchen uses liberal amounts of the stuff in their delectably aromatic Middle Eastern dishes. Their meals are a great value, since they include a...
1013 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
A popular spot for late-night carb-loading (it’s open until 2 a.m. every night), Bimbo’s serves up cheap and enormous burritos in its eye-catching restaurant, decorated wall-to-wall in a Mexican-wrestler-and-black-velvet theme. When you see the...
1412 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Started in 2009 as a humble food truck, this Hawaiian-Korean eatery has expanded to four brick-and-mortar locations (including Super Six, an offshoot in funky Columbia City). Get messy—and delighted—tucking into Spam sliders, kalbi...
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
One of the country's largest Asian markets, this massive complex has anchored the International District since 1928—and contains a Japanese bookstore, a 12-station food court, and a Taiwanese hot-pot hot spot: The Boiling Point. Its shelves...
419 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Banh mi shops inspire fierce loyalty among their fans, and Sub Sand has a strong following. They’re a little more expensive than some of the other Vietnamese delis in the neighborhood, but their subs are almost all under $5; the lemongrass chicken...
527 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
Comfort food doesn’t have to be heavy and drowned in grease: just try pho, the light and flavorful Vietnamese soup that’s much loved by Seattleites. Than Brothers is the local chain, with locations all around town, but the Capitol Hill one is one...
5315 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Sometimes only a sandwich — thick and hearty, piled with meat and cheese and toppings — will do. The Other Coast Cafe won’t blow your mind with some revolutionary take on the sandwich, but what they do, they do well: hot and cold sandwiches,...
1933 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Le Pichet (the sister to Cafe Presse in Capitol Hill) is a quaint little French bistro close to Pike Place Market. Locals rave about the quiche, which often sells out by lunchtime, but if you miss out, you can console yourself with their...
501 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
There’s nothing fancy about Ezell’s, a hole-in-the-wall fried chicken joint in Seattle's Central District—there isn’t even seating. But that’s not the point. You don’t go to Ezell’s for the ambience; you go for the crispy, batter-fried drumsticks,...
1427 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Too often, vegans and gluten-free folk get relegated to a sad corner of a restaurant menu with a paltry few selections. So it must be pretty amazing to walk into Veggie Grill, knowing that anything on the menu can be yours. They serve “100%...
115 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
In 1954, three friends set out to simply "serve fresh, high quality food at low prices with instant service." Bank executives warned they'd never turn a profit selling 100 percent beef burgers for 19 cents, but the drive-through was a runaway...
1908 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Don’t be discouraged when you see the long line winding through the store, out onto the sidewalk, and back into the building — it moves surprisingly fast, and Piroshky Piroshky is worth it. Plus, the wait will give you time to peruse the glass...
6301 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Craving a Cuban sandwich, but not quite enough to wait in an hour-long line at Paseo? Just a few doors down is Geo’s Cuban and Creole Cafe, which serves up deliciously messy, meaty sandwiches and other Cuban specialties without the wait. The...
1211 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
With two locations (Capitol Hill and Ballard), Lil’ Woody’s is known around Seattle for their hearty, inexpensive burgers. (Note to convention-goers: the Capitol Hill location is just a few blocks up Pine St. from the Convention Center.) Toppings...
3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
No surprises – pork is the focus at West Seattle’s Swinery deli. When you walk into the tiny shop, you’ll see a huge deli case full of steaks and chops, bacon, smoked meats, sausages, pates and confits, as well as all the pickled veggies, slaws,...
525 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144, USA
It sounds like a Portlandia sketch: the Northwest pizza joint with an on-site chicken coop, where you can get any pie topped with a soft-cooked egg. But Humble Pie is quite serious about their pizza (and their chickens); their goal is balancing...
9261 57th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118, USA
This chicken-and-waffles joint is owned by NBA star Nate Robinson, which explains the basketball jerseys and memorabilia decorating the restaurant. What needs no explanation are the juicy, sauce-glazed wings and fluffy, oversized waffles delivered...
1916 Pike Pl #14, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Don’t be misled by the name — there are no biscuits and gravy at Country Dough. This tiny mom-and-pop restaurant serves up Szechuan street food like flatbread sandwiches and thick-cut, hand-shaved noodles. Try the Szechuan flatbread No. 1,...
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