Even though we are a city with a silly number of millionaires and billionaires, sometimes it’s nice for those of us with just one comma in our yearly salary to just keep it simple and cheap. With the help of this list you can keep both your stomach and wallet full. So, leave the sport coat at home, grab a few bucks, and prepare to have some of the best food in Dallas that’s all under $10.
What you’re getting: Slice of hot soppressata, $3
Bringing a little New York-style pie right here to Dallas, Zoli’s makes different pizzas daily that they drop into their display case. Like any good Samaritan, you would hate for that pizza to have to sit in that case all by itself, so alone, so afraid, so you free it and give it a good home, your belly. It’s cheesy, greasy, and topped with plenty of spicy cured pig.
What you’re getting: No. 5 Special, $2.69
Ahhh, the simple things in life, a fresh-made double-meat hamburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and special dressing... oh, and don’t forget the signature poppy seed bun. You can add French fries or tater tots, grab a drink and a shake, and still walk away for less than $10.
What you’re getting: Italian Stallion, $4.99/$7.99
Depending on how hungry you are you can eat for five bucks or eight bucks. Either way, you’re winning this deal. Mortadella, capicola, soppressata, pepperoni, provolone, porchetta, coppa, mozzarella, and prosciutto await you as all of that meaty and cheesy goodness rests peacefully on a white or wheat bun, with any of the vegetables you want and sweet and tangy cherry peppers. You really can’t go wrong with any sandwich there and you can’t really complain about a quaint little place where you can drink a good beer or grab a bottle of wine, eat a sandwich, and take away some awesome goodies to boot.
What you’re getting: Spicy beef noodle soup, $8
You pay your $8 and then you are handed a comically large “cup” of a deep-brown sauce, with bits of spicy oil floating around the top. Below the surface lies slow-braised beef shank, fresh herbs, and those insanely good house-made noodles. Once you grab your bowl you can hang around the front and watch more noodles being hand spun, then you can decide if you want more food. You do. Get the pork dumplings.
What you’re getting: Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hot, $5
Merely an Abraham Lincoln separates you from hot dog glory; a pork-and-beef smoked weenie, poppy seed bun, onions, spicy brown mustard, tomatoes, pickled sport pepper, and piccalilli. It’s a filling dog with loads of flavor and at only five bucks it leaves you a little bit of cash to grab an order of onion rings as well, because you’re going to want those.
What you’re getting: Olivia chicken biscuit... and probably a donut, $6
A huge breaded chicken breast nestled between a house-made biscuit and topped with honey. It’s simple, but sometimes you don’t need any frills for it to be just what you need. High-quality, juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside chicken and a soft, warm, buttery biscuit. You might want to grab a donut or two as well, don’t hold yourself back, or you could also opt for the Jim and have your donut and chicken at the same time.
What you’re getting: Cheesesteak, $5.25/$5.75
This is not a “feel good about yourself” kind of meal. This is the kind of thing you eat when you a) don’t care, b) just went through a break up, c) are fighting a grizzly bear the next day, or d) like good food and don’t let people tell you what to eat. This thing is like a utopia of meat resting between a fresh soft bun that is being overwhelmed with meat juices. You can add bacon, jalapeños, and many other toppings fit for beef and cheese. You should also get a side of chipotle mayo to throw on top as well, consider yourself warned though, it’s addicting.
What you’re getting: The Great American Hero, $5.95
Sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned sandwich, it’s clean, it’s somewhat healthy, and it just hits the spot by taking you back to your childhood when a sandwich and bag of chips was all you needed to fuel you for the rest of your day. When you eat at a new place it’s always good to eat the namesake meal, in this case the Great American Hero is Genoa salami, baked ham, bologna, and provolone cheese OR if you got your Christmas bonus, you can opt for the Super Hero which is all of the same things with the addition of Swiss cheese, pastrami, capicola, and pepperoni at the low price of $7.25.
What you’re getting: Sandwich Cubano, $7.99
A classic example of a stellar Cuban sandwich here; homemade pork, grilled ham, provolone cheese, mayo, pickles, mustard, and tomatoes, all served on toasted ciabatta bread. The sandwich comes with roasted potatoes and a whole lotta love, cliché, but true. The restaurant is quaint and clean and feels very low-key, and there are plenty of other sandwiches to tempt you if Cubans aren’t your thing.
What you’re getting: Tai Nam Gau Gan Sach, $4.95/$5.95
If you want a proper bowl of pho sometimes you have to travel outside of your zone and this one is worth it. The broth is flavorful, fresh, and beefy, all the things you want in your bowl of pho. You can also ask for “nuoc beo” which is a fattier broth that is a little richer in flavor. In that broth will be eye of round, brisket, tendon, and omosa, along with all of the traditional veggies on the side. While it’s frowned upon to some degree, definitely throw in a bit of Sriracha to spice things up. Take in the authentic feel of the restaurant and slurp that soup down to the last drop.
What you’re getting: No. 17 sour cream enchiladas, $8.95
This is Texas, y’all -- Tex-Mex is where it’s at and Herrera’s does it really well. Go with a plate that’s filled with beans, rice, and two big ol’ tortillas stuffed with tender chicken and topped with creamy and tangy sour cream sauce. In true Texas fashion though, you will probably gorge yourself on chips and salsa because this spot has some of the best around, so go ahead and grab a to-go box.
What you’re getting: Tacos, duh!, $1.69
Pick your favorite protein, pick your favorite salsa, and load it up with onions, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. You have, or course, heard of Fuel City, but it's a bit of an institution here in Dallas and deserves a shout-out for consistently putting out excellent tacos for many years now and hopefully many more to come. Pro tip: hit up the corn stand in front of the gas station for a nice little side for your tacos.
What you’re getting: Pastor tacos, $1.50
It’s hard to beat that delicious pig-flavored meat called pork. The pastor tacos at Come Taco are some of the finest you will ever come across. Like many of the awesome tacos that are out there, these are “street”-style tacos on corn tortillas with onion, cilantro, and limes to squeeze on them.
What you’re getting: #1 phat ke mao, $7.99
What’s not to love about Thai food? Full flavor, fresh herbs, spicy peppers, amazing textures with soft and chewy noodles, crispy vegetables, and sweet, spicy & garlic sauces. CrushCraft Thai serves its ke mao or drunken noodles with ground beef in lieu of chicken breast or steak, gotta keep the cost down, right? But there's an amazing amount of flavor packed into this dish, and if you’re a fan of Thai food, CrushCraft is a must try.
What you’re getting: Gordita, $1.49
Not exactly a taco, but close enough! The gorditas at Cesar’s are one of the greatest things you will stuff in your beautiful face. The shell is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside and you can fill it with fajita beef or chicken, pastor, or taco meat, plus it has some good veggies and cheese, too. The hot sauce is on point and a perfect complement to this culinary masterpiece.
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1. Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern202 W Davis St, Dallas
2. Keller's Drive-In6537 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas
3. Jimmy's Food Store4901 Bryan St, Dallas
4. Monkey King Noodle Company3014 Main St, Dallas
5. Luscher's2653 Commerce St, Dallas
6. Hypnotic Donuts9007 Garland Rd, Dallas
7. Cheesesteak House2015 W Davis St, Dallas
8. Great American Hero4001 Lemmon Ave, Dallas
9. Herrera's3311 Sylvan Ave, Dallas
10. Fuel City801 S Riverfront Blvd, Dallas
11. El Come Taco2513 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas
12. Latin Deli5844 Abrams Rd, Dallas
13. Pho BangVillage Plaza Shopping Center, 3565 W Walnut St, Dallas
14. Crushcraft Thai Street Eats2800 Routh St Ste 150, Dallas
15. Cesar's Tacos2919 W Davis St, Dallas
Founded as a rebuttal to fancypants pizza places like Il Cane Rosso, Zoli's serves up authentic NY-style slices in a no-frills storefront with a butt-kickin' back patio.
In true 1950s fashion, Keller's serves up everything from it's short menu to the comfort of your driver's seat for no more than a few bucks. One doesn't come here for variety or to be met with many options -- everyone walks away with some variation of meat on their signature poppyseed bun. Beef, chicken or ham is chosen, and from there's it's all a matter of piling it up with cheese, bacon, and sauces.
This Dallas mainstay is the go-to local spot for all-things-Italian. Founded in 1996, the specialty food store has been a family-owned crowd favorite for over 50 years. Daily, the staff hand-rolls meatballs and bakes Italian sweets (with old, family recipes, of course) in the back of the shop, while in front, they help patrons select gourmet groceries and bottles from their carefully curated Italian wine selection. Locals can order hefty, fresh sandwiches at the counter, sample house-made olives, and shop for everything from imported balsamic vinegars, to handmade pastas. The imported cheese and meat selections are expansive, the antipasti bar is stuffed, and in true Italian fashion, dollar espresso shots are available all day. And while the folks at Jimmy's offer wine tastings on Saturdays, the wine room tucked behind the store is open to guests all week.
From a dude who savored on the streets of Taipei and northern China, plus trained with a noodle master in NYC, all before getting his noodle restaurant on, MKNC promises both legit ass noodles, but also a show: the guy pulls noods in the kitchen window, rolling, kneading, slapping, and stretching wheat-and-water dough into those guys you're about to slurp up.
Deep Ellum’s Luscher’s Red Hots is slinging gourmet, Chicago-style dogs with a slight Texas twist. The Post Oak Red Hot is a tribute to Chicago’s dog scene, with a pork and beef frank, poppy seed bun, brown mustard, pickle relish, onions, tomatoes, and sport pepper. But Luscher’s doesn’t discriminate in its meat repertoire; sandwiches and burgers highlight attention to lamb, “eye-talian” beef, fish, chicken, and bratwurst. If you are one of those meat-free folks, give the Tex Cobb salad a shot. Counter service and a laidback atmosphere allow for some much-desired alone time between you and your feast.
Artisanal donuts and chicken biscuits pair together perfectly as this strip-mall style spot. Stop in for unique, doughy creations like the Evil Elvis or Bavarian the Barbarian.
This place is a meat mecca, serving up succulent steak on a fresh, soft bun drenched in meat drippings. Go crazy and throw some bacon, jalapeños or chipotle mayo on top, but prepare for a full stomach and a new sandwich addiction.
This shop is a Dallas gem and has been around for over forty years. There’s reason for that... let’s just say it’s in the details. Details like using Farmers Market-fresh produce, healthy ingredients, the best pickles in town (not kidding), freshly squeezed limeade & lemonade, a pet-friendly patio, and even the convenience of a drive-thru. And if you’re a first-timer, you’ll get a free cup of fruit. Order the #28 -- a Cuban panini (grilled) with roasted pork, baked ham, turkey, cappacoli, Swiss cheese, spices, sliced Dill pickles, and grain Dijon mustard.
Herrera's is so good, it was even featured in National Geographic in the 1980s, yes, really. Why? Herrera’s made and still makes kick-ass Tex-Mex. The original location was housed in a 1930s adobe building and was BYOB, which resulted in lines wrapped around the door and some interesting stories. Today, they’ve moved across the street, and while there's no BYOB, they still serve up the same excellent food that put them on the map, literally.
If you need to wash your car, fill up on gas, buy some beer, and find some delicious street tacos, but you only have time to make one stop -- almost unbelievably, Fuel City has you covered.
El Come Taco focuses on simply prepared street tacos made with corn tortillas and filled with brisket, sirloin, or if you're craving a crunch, crispy grasshopper. The add-ons are minimal (most tacos are topped with nothing more than cilantro and chopped onion), letting the juiciness of the meat and the grainy texture of the tortillas speak for themselves.
Serving up sammies with Latin flavors and locally-sourced ingredients, Latin Deli offers coffee, sweets, and more as takeout from their digs on Abrams.
The pho served here is authentic and delicious. Eye of round, brisket, tendon, omosa and all the traditional vegetables swim in flavorful, fresh and beefy broth. The price is right at $5.00 for a regular bowl and $5.50 for a large bowl. Spice up yours with a bit of sriracha.
This stylish thai restaurant is exactly what it needs to be: authentic street food gone gourmet meets Texas grit. Both bohemian and industrial, diners sit under a corrugated metal roof and colorful streamers, Bangkok license plates, subway tiles, and exposed wood. With such an extensive menu you might have trouble picking between the Gaang (coconut milk-based curries), Phat (wok-fried noodles and rice), and Kap Khao (rice dishes), but we crave the OG Phat Thai (chicken and tofu served over rice noodles and bean sprouts with veggies and a toasted peanut topping). Sip on imported Thai beer or a rotating local craft brew while you anxiously wait for your flavor-packed bowl goodies.
This simple, no-fuss setting with only a few seats serves authentic Mexican street food around the clock. Swing by and grab one of their gorditas (a crispy small cake stuffed with meat and cheese), fajitas, or anything al pastor. The hot sauce is incredibly on point, too, so be sure to use it.