100 Cheap Things to Do in LA: Dining

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Border Grill fish tacos

When it comes to Los Angeles dining, think beyond the white tablecloth. A great meal is all about the taste, not about the bill. Find a place to suit your tastebuds with our guide to some of L.A.'s best meals under $20.

For more budget-friendly ways to experience L.A., visit our guide to the 100 Cheap Things to Do in Los Angeles.

El Cid Restaurant



Get your tequila fix at El Cid in Silver Lake during Margarita Mondays, featuring margarita specials and $1 tacos.

The Park Restaurant



Visit The Park Restaurant in Echo Park on Tuesday nights for their $15 three-course prix fixe menu.

Load up on protein with some of L.A.'s best BBQ at Bludso's. Try the Texas Sampler to get the most bang for your buck.

Canter's

Canter's Deli



No matter the hour, you can drop into Canter's Deli to quell your hunger pangs. They're known for their matzo ball soup and pastrami sandwiches, but be sure to leave room for dessert. Their black-and-white cookies can stand up to their east coast counterparts.

Leave your comfort zone with a trip to Taza in Arcadia. On the weekend, they serve a spam musubi croissant - the perfect mix of flaky and salty.

Little Dom's

Little Dom's



Dine like a celebrity. Visit Little Dom's, a Los Feliz celeb favorite, on Monday nights for their $15 three-course menu.

Bossa Nova- West Hollywood



Sample Brazilian cuisine at Bossa Nova, with an expansive menu bound to appeal to most palates. Not feeling adventurous? You're bound to find something you like on their menu of pizzas and pastas.

Visit 55 Degree Wine in Atwater Village to sample wine flights with an emphasis on Italian wines. Not a wine aficionado? Opt for their beer tastings.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery



Try the Godmother sandwich at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery. The mixture of four Italian meats can't be beat, but the real star of the sandwich is the crusty bread baked fresh every 20 minutes.

Cole's



Grab a hearty French dip sandwich at Cole's in Downtown L.A. Cap off the night by heading through the back of the restaurant to The Varnish for some of the best craft cocktails in L.A.

Chow down on some of L.A.'s best tacos at Guisado's Tacos. Start with the sampler platter if you're a first-timer.

Lamill Coffee

Lamill Coffee



Get caffeinated at LAMILL Coffee in Silverlake. Their Black Velvet coffee is a crowd-pleaser, while the orange-infused cappuccino is perfect for those looking for a unique drink.

Daikokuya

Daikokuya Little Tokyo



Cure whatever ails you with the ramen at Daikokuya in Little Tokyo. Their soup exclusively uses kurobuta or black pork, known for its tenderness and unique flavor.

Border Grill



Unwind after a long day during happy hour in the cantina at Border Grill, featuring $5 margaritas and $3 tacos.

The Sycamore Kitchen



Try brunch at the Sycamore Kitchen, a neighborhood café on La Brea run by Karen and Quinn Hatfield of the acclaimed Hatfield's restaurant. Menu highlights include the salted caramel pecan babka and the Jerusalem Bowl, comprised of warm wheat berries, lentils, barley, zahtar chicken, roasted green chilies and fried eggs.

21 Choices

21 Choices



Get creative with your dessert at 21 Choices in Pasadena, where you can get your choice of fruit, candy, cakes and confections mixed into your yogurt. You'll feel like a kid again with their classic Circus Animal Cookie flavor, although purists can opt for plain yogurt mixed with fruit.

The Burger

Golden State



Try one of L.A.'s best burgers at the Golden State on Fairfax. The creamy dipping sauce paired with their sweet potato wedges will leave even french fry purists satisfied.

TOFM 1

The Original Farmers Market



No matter what you're craving, you'll find it at the Farmers Market. Have a hankering for Mexican food? Try the tacos at Loteria Grill. In the mood for Brazilian BBQ? You're in luck. And if you have a sweet tooth, take your pick from doughnuts, ice cream or the delicate pastries at Short Cake.

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Trio of tacos: chorizo and papas, clams and lardo, bologna with escabeche. | Photo courtesy of B.S. Taqueria, Facebook

B.S. Taqueria



In April 2015, chef Ray Garcia partnered with restaurateur Bill Chait to open B.S. Taqueria on 7th Street's thriving restaurant row. The casual space boasts a colorful, whimsical design by All the Bells & Whistles. Guests order at the counter, get a number and seat themselves. Try one (or all) of their eight specialty tacos which include shrimp, carnitas, and chorizo and papas. You can also get a $2 Tecate during happy hour!