Just because you are on a budget, does not mean you need to sacrifice on taste. These spots in Boston offer dinners for under $15, from pizza to Chinese food to sandwiches piled high, some even with a side.
Eating out in Boston is often a treat, an occasional necessity, but almost always more expensive than dining at home. However, with a few simple tricks and a little research, the indulgence of restaurants doesn’t have to be a drain on your pocketbook. You can save money without sacrificing the experience by knowing where to go (see below) and practice a few of these money-saving tips:
- Bigger can be better: With portions being the huge sizes they are nowadays, it’s easy to get filled up without clearing your plate all on your own. If on a date, keep it reasonable by splitting an appetizer and a meal to cut back on the overall tab if you know the servings are substantial. One main entree can also be stretched into two meals by simply saving your leftovers for lunch the next day; make sure you tailor your order to something that will keep and reheat well.
- Be smart with your spirits: Make your buck stretch further by finding the BYOB (bring your own booze) restaurants in your city. This will allow for dinner and drinks on a much smaller budget. Always ask about drink specials too. Whether it’s two-for-ones or just discounted house wines and wells, you can shave off a decent portion of the tab if you’re willing to step away from the premiums.
- Keep an eye on the clock: Happy hours are not just for drinks, as many places will offer food specials as well. If you are willing to dine earlier or later, you may be able to save on both your meal and your drinks.
- Have a nose for specials: Many places will have weekly specials, some every day of the week. Whether it’s the college cliché of Taco Tuesdays or half-price Mondays, get to know the schedule of the restaurants nearby and frequent them on those days.
- Sides can steal the show: Free bread or chips and salsa? Unlimited fries? Side salad included? Keep an eye on the extras and a smaller, lower-priced meal could be plenty to fill you up.
Enjoy a great meal without the guilt of overspending at these Boston locales.
331 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113
Most people think of the North End neighborhood as the place to go for quality Italian food, but right on the main street of Hanover, there is a take-out restaurant that serves up tasty, quick Chinese dishes. China House has a long list of dinner special combinations for under $9. A highlight is the combo platters that combine appetizers like the spring roll, plus give you an entree like shrimp with vegetables alongside with a generous portion of pork fried rice. There is more than enough food to either share or save for the next day.
111 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
Also in the North End is Italian restaurant Benevento’s, with its TVs for viewing your favorite sports, bar to sit at and admire the open kitchen and plenty of seating to lounge in while savoring the sangria and Italian dishes. Every single specialty pizza that comes out of the brick oven is under $15. Try something new like the North Ender, for $12.95, featuring prosciutto, sopressatta, garlic, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, basil and mozzarella cheese, or go for a classic cheese pizza, with your pick of toppings from the lengthy ingredients list.
69 Bromfield St.
Boston, MA 02108
Jerk chicken, pork chops, grilled salmon and other American comfort food recipes are served to patrons at Silvertone in downtown Crossing for $15 and under every day of the week besides Sundays. Always an upbeat atmosphere, this cozy restaurant has some of the best steak tips and macaroni and cheese in town. And its cocktail list features plenty of classic and new combinations including drinks made with Silvertone’s house-made raspberry vodka.
226 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116
Located in the Back Bay in a great spot around all of the shops or Newbury Street is Piattini. Surprisingly for the area, this Back Bay spot serves plenty of plates for under $15. Meatballs, butternut squash ravioli, gnocchi and calamari are just a few of the options, along with fresh salads like caesar and Caprese. There are also more pricey options, running diners a maximum price of $24 for entrees like veal or seafood dishes.
The Parish Cafe
361 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
Parish Cafe features patio dining and plenty of room to dine indoors. The beer is the star of the show, with a long list of options and even a mug club for customers to keep track of each kind they have tried, with hopes of getting a personalized mug in the bar area. But it is The Parish Cafe’s sandwiches that are the real standout. Chefs from around the area have shared their recipes for unique combinations like the zuni roll for only $12 with turkey breast, bacon, scallions, dill havarti cheese and cranberry chipotle sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla and served warm with a side of cranberry chipotle sauce and sour cream with scallions. This spot also has sides that come with the sandwiches like cole slaw or potato salad for a truly satisfying and affordable meal.
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Michelle Levine is a creative energetic, young professional that is passionate about everything Boston has to offer. She loves to attend local events, dine out, and cook and wants to share her findings with you. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.