Posted Jul 30, 2015
Cheap Eats in Los Angeles on a Starving Actor’s Budget
The city of Los Angeles is a city known for decadence, glamor and luxurious living. There are certainly plenty of high-end eateries that cater to A-listers and Hollywood execs. However, for the rest of the millions of LA renters out there including the starving artists, cheap eats are usually a must.
LA has always been a city of creative people— and it’s totally reflective in the food. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty meals to be had in LA, even if you live on the smallest of shoestring budgets. Want to know the best cheap places to eat in LA? Read below for more details:
Who says LA residents don’t know how to make pizza? For true Neapolitan pie without the sticker shock, head to 800 Degrees. There are three different crusts to choose from: original Neapolitan (a chewy, soft and light concoction), crispy and gluten-free.
There are also four different sauces and dozens of toppings to choose from if you want to create your own pizza masterpiece. However, there are some delectable specialty pies to choose from too, including spicy meatball, BLT and, of course, the original margherita.
Bill and Hiroko’s Burgers
Located in Van Nuys, Bill and Hiroko’s Burgers is an LA standby if you crave classic griddled double cheeseburgers with all of the fixings.
This is as old school as it gets, folks: According to the Los Angeles Times, the owner claims the griddle dates back to 1920s.
La Azteca Tortilleria
For delicious, authentic Mexican food, East LA is your best bet– and La Azteca has been dishing out freshly made tortillas for more than 65 years. Fillings for their cheap and mouthwatering burritos include authentic refried beans, juicy carne asada, roasted poblano chiles and meringue-battered chile relleno.
Be advised: This is actually a tortilla factory, not a kitchen, so there is only counter service and two small tables– take your burrito, head to the nearest park and enjoy.
Karabagh Meat Market and Deli
LA is known for having a thriving Armenian population in East Hollywood, where kebab sandwiches are king.
Lules, which are kebabs made of ground beef or chicken, are only $2 a pop at Karabagh Meat Market and Deli— yes, this means that you can eat three sandwiches for lunch and your meal will still cost under $10.
Yes, this is technically a food court– but don’t be fooled: Koreatown Galleria is not the less-than-stellar cuisine you find in many malls in the suburbs.
On the third floor of the galleria, you’ll run into a humongous Korean supermarket with loads of delicious wallet-friendly options, including bibimbap, milk tea boba, and hot beef pots loaded with fresh kimchi.
Considering the chef here was featured on “Top Chef,” the menu is surprisingly affordable as well as inventive at Ink Sack. There are lots of cheap snacks under $3 to choose from, including Maryland crab chips and pineapple with chile and lemon, as well as sandwiches that range between $5 and $7.
The most celebrated sandwich here has to be the Jose Andres, or “The Spanish Grandfather,” which includes ham, tomato, chorizo, and manchego cheese.
Ramen has become insanely popular in LA, and I can’t disagree as to why. Delicious homemade broth and noodles, soft-boiled egg, the comforting flavors of ginger and tender, simmered meat in one bowl is a delicious and wonderful way to eat on a budget.
The best place to slurp it all down? Tsujita LA, a now famous institution in Little Osaka, only serves ramen during lunch hour, because yeah– it’s that popular. Be prepared for the lines– but trust me, it’s worth the wait, and won’t do damage to your bank account.
Leo’s Taco Truck
LA is also known for dishing out some pretty authentic al pastor, and when you have a craving for tacos, it’s best to hop off the freeway and head to the one of four Leo’s Taco Trucks in town.
The al pastor tacos come with fresh pineapple, and Eater LA claims that the mulitas “are also tremendous” at this popular roadside establishment.
Sushi is an art form in LA– but a lot of places, let’s face it, are pretty expensive. However, you can still enjoy a wonderful sushi dinner date at West Hollywood’s Murakami Sushi, which offers sushi bowls for less than $15– a steal considering how much fresh fish is piled on top.
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