(Various Locations- Richmond, SoMa, Tenderloin)
There are a lot of Vietnamese places in San Francisco but this is one of the few that I can actually go to over and over again. Not only are the prices low, but the portions are enormous. My favorite thing to get when I come here is the chicken pho ($6.20). It’s a safe option but I never can resist the salty chicken broth, rice noodles and hunks of chicken. Top it with the bean sprouts and a squirt of lime and you have the perfect meal for under ten bucks. Other good options are the chicken fried rice ($7.20) and the stir-fried beef ($7.20).
(Tenderloin- 560 Larkin)
Prices: $3.50- $4.00
Most of you have probably seen this tiny shop while on the 31 bus. It took me almost a year of being at USF to discover its amazing sandwiches. There really is nothing fancy about them except that they are made fresh to order and are smothered in an amazing sauce. I have no idea what is in it and the owner won’t let any one know- you know it’s got to be good if she won’t tell you. I love the tofu banh mi ($3.50) with everything on it including the jalapeño and shredded carrot mixture. Other options include chicken, beef or pork banh mi sandwiches.
(Richmond- 3751 Geary)
Prices: $8.95- $13.95
This place has great barbecue and is on the pricier side of being “cheap” but is worth it for the food. They have amazing pulled pork sandwiches ($8.95) that come with one of their sides as well as the smoked chicken plate ($11.95) that comes with two sides. Every one of their sides is made on site and include sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and grilled corn.
You get a lot of food so you can even share with a friend for lunch! Even though this is a barbecue place, there are plenty of options for vegetarians including the grilled veggie sandwich ($8.95) and loaded baked potato ($5.95).
There’s no doubt that these portable restaurants have sprung up everywhere. From Indian food to cupcakes, food trucks can be found in every part of the city. Not only is the food that is made equally as good as in a restaurant, the prices are lower too. Thursday nights, head over to upper Haight for a gathering of 10- 15 food trucks. On Fridays, go to Fort Mason for many more. A few of my favorite trucks are: Kasa Indian, Bacon Bacon, Nom Nom and Liba Falafel.