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Tacos El Gavilan
Tacos El Gavilan
Crystal Coser

13 Crucial Hollywood Cheap Eats

The star-studded streets of Tinseltown has a strong cheap eats game.

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Tacos El Gavilan
| Crystal Coser

Cheap eats probably aren't the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Hollywood. However, the land of movie stars and tourist attractions has all the makings of a vibrant, affordable dining scene. Just steps from the heart of Thai Town and Koreatown, Hollywood is one of the most diverse areas in the city, with a high population of Latinos and Asian Americans. The mix of Thai, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Indian, and even Canadian eateries makes it one of the most exciting, budget-friendly cities to explore at any hour of the day. Here now, 13 of the best cheap eats destinations in Hollywood.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Ponchik Factory

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If there were ever an archetype of an under-the-radar hole in the wall, Ponchik Factory would fit the bill. Nestled in a rather ugly stretch of shops that include the morbid Hollywood Dearly Departed tour, Ponchik is perhaps the most improbable café to turn out reliable breakfast and lunchtime fare. The bare bones space specializes in rotisserie chicken that is about as juicy as it gets, but pros know to order its $4.75 breakfast burrito with a side of house made pico de gallo before breakfast ends at 11 a.m. [Photo: Yelp]

Luv2eat Thai Bistro

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The new unlikely “it” restaurant of the blogosphere, Luv2eat had been quietly serving Southern Thai classics since last fall before making its rounds on the blogs and food-centric Instagram accounts. The buzz is for good reason. There may be no better place in the heart of Hollywood that serves up such skillfully prepared specialties like papaya salad and Phuket-style crab curry, at wallet-friendly prices. [Photo: Yelp]

RoRo's Chicken

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Where can you get the best shwarma and kebabs in this neck of the woods? RoRo’s, a tiny Lebanese joint that has been a longstanding resident of the strip mall that also houses newcomer Luv2Eat. Each plate comes with garlic sauce, hummus, and enough pita to make your order into two meals. [Photo: Yelp]

Tacos El Gavilan

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The westernmost outlet of taco chain Tacos El Gavilan recently opened its doors on Sunset and La Brea, making it a surefire hotspot for the late night post-club crowd. The tacos come loaded with a generous portion of well-seasoned meat, and ring in at only $1.52 after tax. Don’t miss the loaded mulitas for for an ultra cheesy, super filling steal at $2.99. [Photo: Crystal Coser]

Skooby's

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This Hollywood Boulevard institution serves its snappy hot dogs in sweet Hawaiian rolls. Be sure to go for a combo meal with Skooby’s hand-cut fries and freshly squeezed lemonade for under nine bucks. [Photo: Yelp]

Palms Thai Restaurant

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While Palms Thai first made a name for itself with its nightly Thai Elvis performances (sadly, Thai Elvis has retired, but live music remains), it has stuck around for its first-rate food. Dishes like barbeque beef, Thai sausage, papaya salad with raw blue crab, and dirt-cheap lunch specials, keep regulars coming back. [Photo: Yelp]

Rodded Restaurant

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Duck noodle soup is the name of the game at Rodded, a small restaurant on the Western edge of Thai town. Tender slices of duck are bathed in a dark, aromatic broth with a selection of noodles for just under $9 with tax. Cash only. [Photo: Yelp]

Star Of India

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Star of India has amassed a loyal customer base who rely on the recently relocated restaurant, now on Melrose and Vine, for straightforward Indian favorites. Lunch thalis hover around $10 and include a curry, vegetable, rice and salad. Low minimums and fast delivery make it a local standby. [Photo: Crystal Coser]

La Monarca Bakery & Cafe

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Homegrown bakery chain La Monarca serves up a wide variety of Mexican pastries and coffee at prices that make it an affordable stop for a sweet treat. Go for the cold-brewed café de olla, prepared with cinnamon and panela, for an unbeatable pick-me-up on a hot summer day. [Photo: Yelp]

Calle Tacos

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While diehard Ricky’s Fish Taco fans may scoff at the idea of eating cabbage-topped tacos filled with fish from anywhere else, Calle Tacos offers a darn right tasty option from a brick-and-mortar restaurant with a kitschy food truck façade. And with massive margaritas garnished with a Coronita and hours that stretch until 4 a.m. on the weekends, there’s no better local spot to both start and end your night. [Photo: Crystal Coser]

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

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Not much needs to be said about Roscoe’s, the fried chicken and waffle institution with famous fans that include Snoop Dog, David Beckham, and President Obama. It isn’t uncommon to see a celeb or two chowing down on hunger-busting plates of the eponymous speciality at the Hollywood location. [Photo: Yelp]

Smoke's Poutinerie

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Canadian-born Smoke’s Poutinerie brings a taste of Canada to the heart of Hollywood. Chicken and steak varieties of the seasoned fries topped with gravy and cheese curds weigh in at under ten bucks, making it a budget-friendly way to give your arteries a run for their money. [Photo: Facebook]

Cactus Mexican Food

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Longstanding late night taco joint Cactus Taco slings Mexican-American standbys until 4 a.m. on weekends and 3 a.m. on weeknights. The $5 Cali burrito is no doubt one of the most affordable ways to soak up a night of excess. [Photo: Yelp]

Ponchik Factory

If there were ever an archetype of an under-the-radar hole in the wall, Ponchik Factory would fit the bill. Nestled in a rather ugly stretch of shops that include the morbid Hollywood Dearly Departed tour, Ponchik is perhaps the most improbable café to turn out reliable breakfast and lunchtime fare. The bare bones space specializes in rotisserie chicken that is about as juicy as it gets, but pros know to order its $4.75 breakfast burrito with a side of house made pico de gallo before breakfast ends at 11 a.m. [Photo: Yelp]

Luv2eat Thai Bistro

The new unlikely “it” restaurant of the blogosphere, Luv2eat had been quietly serving Southern Thai classics since last fall before making its rounds on the blogs and food-centric Instagram accounts. The buzz is for good reason. There may be no better place in the heart of Hollywood that serves up such skillfully prepared specialties like papaya salad and Phuket-style crab curry, at wallet-friendly prices. [Photo: Yelp]

RoRo's Chicken

Where can you get the best shwarma and kebabs in this neck of the woods? RoRo’s, a tiny Lebanese joint that has been a longstanding resident of the strip mall that also houses newcomer Luv2Eat. Each plate comes with garlic sauce, hummus, and enough pita to make your order into two meals. [Photo: Yelp]

Tacos El Gavilan

The westernmost outlet of taco chain Tacos El Gavilan recently opened its doors on Sunset and La Brea, making it a surefire hotspot for the late night post-club crowd. The tacos come loaded with a generous portion of well-seasoned meat, and ring in at only $1.52 after tax. Don’t miss the loaded mulitas for for an ultra cheesy, super filling steal at $2.99. [Photo: Crystal Coser]

Skooby's

This Hollywood Boulevard institution serves its snappy hot dogs in sweet Hawaiian rolls. Be sure to go for a combo meal with Skooby’s hand-cut fries and freshly squeezed lemonade for under nine bucks. [Photo: Yelp]

Palms Thai Restaurant

While Palms Thai first made a name for itself with its nightly Thai Elvis performances (sadly, Thai Elvis has retired, but live music remains), it has stuck around for its first-rate food. Dishes like barbeque beef, Thai sausage, papaya salad with raw blue crab, and dirt-cheap lunch specials, keep regulars coming back. [Photo: Yelp]

Rodded Restaurant

Duck noodle soup is the name of the game at Rodded, a small restaurant on the Western edge of Thai town. Tender slices of duck are bathed in a dark, aromatic broth with a selection of noodles for just under $9 with tax. Cash only. [Photo: Yelp]

Star Of India

Star of India has amassed a loyal customer base who rely on the recently relocated restaurant, now on Melrose and Vine, for straightforward Indian favorites. Lunch thalis hover around $10 and include a curry, vegetable, rice and salad. Low minimums and fast delivery make it a local standby. [Photo: Crystal Coser]

La Monarca Bakery & Cafe

Homegrown bakery chain La Monarca serves up a wide variety of Mexican pastries and coffee at prices that make it an affordable stop for a sweet treat. Go for the cold-brewed café de olla, prepared with cinnamon and panela, for an unbeatable pick-me-up on a hot summer day. [Photo: Yelp]

Calle Tacos

While diehard Ricky’s Fish Taco fans may scoff at the idea of eating cabbage-topped tacos filled with fish from anywhere else, Calle Tacos offers a darn right tasty option from a brick-and-mortar restaurant with a kitschy food truck façade. And with massive margaritas garnished with a Coronita and hours that stretch until 4 a.m. on the weekends, there’s no better local spot to both start and end your night. [Photo: Crystal Coser]

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

Not much needs to be said about Roscoe’s, the fried chicken and waffle institution with famous fans that include Snoop Dog, David Beckham, and President Obama. It isn’t uncommon to see a celeb or two chowing down on hunger-busting plates of the eponymous speciality at the Hollywood location. [Photo: Yelp]

Smoke's Poutinerie

Canadian-born Smoke’s Poutinerie brings a taste of Canada to the heart of Hollywood. Chicken and steak varieties of the seasoned fries topped with gravy and cheese curds weigh in at under ten bucks, making it a budget-friendly way to give your arteries a run for their money. [Photo: Facebook]

Cactus Mexican Food

Longstanding late night taco joint Cactus Taco slings Mexican-American standbys until 4 a.m. on weekends and 3 a.m. on weeknights. The $5 Cali burrito is no doubt one of the most affordable ways to soak up a night of excess. [Photo: Yelp]

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