Food in San Francisco for Five Dollars or Less


Graphic by: Johanna Wong

By Oliver Rosenfield

You may not realize it, but there are thousands of superb and cheap food options just across the bridge in San Francisco. Yes, you may spend more on gas than food if you make the drive every day, but you could find some of the best food you’ve had in your life. Here are five places that will keep you belly and wallet happy.

1. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.
1570 Stockton St.
This San Francisco classic, located in North Beach , serves up slices at lunchtime everyday. Not only do they use the freshest ingredients they can get their hands on, they dish it out for cheaper prices than you could dream of. With a $3 healthy slice for meat-lovers, an authentic Italian atmosphere and nice view of Washington Square Park, what more could you ask for?

2. Good Luck Dim Sum
736 Clement St.
If you don’t have a problem traveling to the Inner Richmond, this dirt cheap dim sum is easily the best deal on this list. When I say $15 could stuff a family of four, I am in no way exaggerating. At just $1 for three pieces of dim sum, the possibilities are endless. Not only is it cheap, the quality is quite good as well. Don’t expect your all grass-fed, all organic meat and wrappings, but for the price, one cannot argue.

3. Nick’s Crispy Tacos
1500 Broadway St.
A short trip from the Golden Gate Bridge, just off Broadway, Nick’s has the tacos that you crave, from pescado to carnitas. With a hip nightclub layout and ‘80s reggae music playing, this is the perfect place to enjoy the best mexican cuisine in the Bay. The real deal here is in the name: the tacos. Offering two massive tacos with all the fix ins for $5, Nick’s should be the only Mexican spot on your mind.
4. Happy Donuts
761 3rd St.
Just across the street from San Francisco’s beautiful AT&T Park, this divey deli has great sandwiches, fresh chicken and waffles and killer doughnuts. Walk in before a ballgame and the place will be packed with Giants maniacs. The thing to get here is the basic build-your-own sandwich deal, which offers every bread, sandwich meat and topping under the sun, potato chips and mac salad for just about $5. Happy Donuts is always a better option than paying $15 for a sausage and coke in the ballpark.

5. Little Skillet
360 Ritch St.
Located in a tiny back alley of the SoMa district, Little Skillet serves up chicken and waffles for breakfast and catfish po’ boys for lunch. This hole-in-the-wall makes a bid for the best all-around food in the city. The only place to enjoy this delicious San Francisco-style soul food is on the low riding curbs of Ritch Street. The most popular and best-priced item is the Pulled Pork Grits. These will not only satisfy your watering mouth, but will please your wallet as well.

Graphic by: Johanna Wong
Graphic by: Johanna Wong