Food & Drink

5 must-try, under-$20 menu items

Published On 05/29/2014 Published On 05/29/2014

Boston There's undeniably great food here in the Hub. There's also rent to pay and Red Sox tickets to buy (they stopped losing every game!), so get in on these crave-worthy tastes (both new and old) that can be acquired with a single Andy Jackson or less.

Crush Pizza

Bourbon BBQ Chicken Pizza ($9.95)
Crush Pizza, FiDi
FiDi newcomer Crush Pizza is… ummm… crushing it with generous personal pies made in front of your eyes, then blasted in their 900-degree oven for a mere 90 seconds (starting at $7.95... you're saving time AND money). Indulge yourself for a sawbuck with the Bourbon BBQ Chicken Pizza ($9.95), topped with grilled chicken, house bourbon BBQ sauce, red onions, house mozzarella, scallions, crispy tortilla strips, and cilantro.
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Charlie’s Kitchen

Any sammie (from $4 to $8)
Charlie’s Kitchen, Harvard Square
Good ol’ Charlie’s Kitchen serves up good ol’ sandwiches that hit the spot without hitting your wallet (or even lightly tapping it). Stop in for a special (like the recently added Hawaiian Double Cheeseburger), or indulge in the Lobstermelt with cheddar ($8). Congratulations! You’re full and you have extra money to spend on drinks in their sunken beer garden/ Summer oasis.

Mei Mei Restaurant

The Double Awesome (from $9 to $11.50 at dinner)
Mei Mei Restaurant, Fenway/Kenmore
The Mei Mei crew rocked the local scene (and taste buds) with their crave-worthy food truck favorite Double Awesome (scallion pancake sandwich with local greens pesto, Vermont cheddar, oozy poached eggs). They’ve upped the ante at their brick & mortar with a shareable dinner portion ($9) plus meaty add-ons (house-made bacon, ham, or pastrami -- $2.50 each)… equaling quadruple awesome for your appetite and bank account. Daily specials (like the Big Bowl of Spring Stuff – roast pork, Spring-dug parsnips, fiddleheads, turnips, poached rhubarb, asparagus, radish & mustard greens, raw egg yolk, and smoked spelt bonji) are usually $15 or less, so pop in for some fresh bites ASAP.

Dirty Water Dough Co.

12" Burgah Bomb Pizza ($12.50)
Dirty Water Dough Co., Back Bay
You’ll really like Back Bay’s latest pizza parlor for their house-roasted meats, house IPA-infused dough, and secret house-blend mozzarella… but you’ll really love Dirty Water Dough Co. once you’ve dropped their Burgah Bomb into your life. It’s loaded with house-marinated beef, dirty sharp/mild cheddar mix, mozzarella, ketchup, mustard, onions, tomatoes, and shredded romaine. Yeah. They’re also slinging cheap slices: cheese for $2.75 and specialties for $3.75.

Kirkland Tap & Trotter

KT&T Hot Dog ($16)
Kirkland Tap & Trotter, Somerville
Okay, $16 doesn't seem like a bargain for a hot dog, but this is no ordinary wiener. Chef Tony Maws follows up his not-so-secret burger domination at Craigie on Main by letting the dogs out (Ah-HA!) at KT&T. Available on Monday evenings, his new artisanal frank is crafted from pork shoulder, beef chuck, and beef shoulder -- served on a pretzel bun with mustard and relish… all house-made, of course. It’s off-menu the rest of the week, but you can covertly order it at the bar (or try) until supplies run out (they will).

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1. Crush Pizza 107 State St, Boston, MA 02109 (Financial Dist Waterfront)

Catering to the hustle and bustle of FiDi lunchtime worker bees, these guys have three 900-degree ovens that will blast a delicious pizza for you IN 90 SECONDS.

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2. Charlie's Kitchen 10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (West Cambridge)

Charlie's Kitchen is the place to go for American eats, an awesome outdoor space, and killer waffle fries.

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3. Mei Mei 506 Park Dr, Boston, MA 02215 (Fenway Kenmore)

Specializing in creative Chinese-American cuisine, Mei Mei is the brick-and-mortar incarnation of the beloved food truck of the same name. The 36-seat space is livened by bright yellow chairs, walls lined with Sriracha, and an open kitchen, where crispy dumplings (and pierogi), dan dan noodles, vegetable-packed curries are made. Stop in during lunch for the Double Awesome, a scallion pancake sandwich made with pesto, cheddar, two eggs, and your choice of protein (cottage bacon, ham or turkey). There’s also a takeout-only menu equipped with late-night items like hot dog & kimchee fried rice, sweet corn fritters, and, naturally, the Double Awesome.

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4. Dirty Water Dough Co. 222 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

With a booster shot of custom-made Cape Ann IPA in every bit of dough (a refreshing alternative to actual dirty water, Boston patriotism aside), Dirty Water Dough Co. is serving up both classic pies and pizzas with exciting new toppings (Steak 'n Cola, mac 'n cheese pizza).

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5. The Kirkland Tap & Trotter 425 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143 (Inman Square)

Tony Maws' Somerville gastropub is more laid-back than its upscale sibling, Craigie on Main, but the food is just as good. Inspired by English neighborhood pubs, KT&T wants to be the kind of place you can go every night of the week, so it serves an American comfort menu that will have you begging for more. Both brunch and dinner are a meat-lover's paradise, and the kind of amazing grass-fed cheeseburger is available on both menus.



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