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Updated: 22 Cheap Eats Destinations Around LA

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2008_10_hasmapsasdfasdf.jpgLos Angeles might not specialize in Michelin-starred restaurants or expense-account places as other cities, but it does boast some of the best cheap bites anywhere, thanks to a steady stream of ethnic options as well as some great Americana haunts. After a few revisions and updates, here are 22 of Los Angeles' best low budget dining picks, presented in map form.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mariscos Jalisco

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3040 E Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90023
(323) 528-6701

Just get the deep-fried shrimp dorados tacos and call it a day. Super cheap, topped with salsa and chunks of avocado, it's one of the best tacos in the city, period. The other items like tostadas and cocteles are pretty good too.

2. Ruen Pair Thai Restaurant

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5257 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 466-0153
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This late-night Thai Town haunt gets better with age. A revamped menu with all the classics and even some surprises (pork blood soup anyone?) makes this one of the best overall Thai restaurants in L.A. The salty turnip egg omelette, pak prik king (chicken preferred), stir-fried morning glory with crispy pork, and green papaya salad with raw crab are the things to order. It helps that dishes never cost more than $9. Cash only.

3. 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

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10889 Lindbrook Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(424) 239-5010

This quick-serve Neopolitan pizza is bound to have lines for mealtimes, but it's worth it, especially for the price (a basic pie hovers around $7, with more for toppings). Customize each pizza and wait a few minutes before it comes out of the wood-fired oven, bubbling hot and ready to eat.

4. Tsujita LA

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2057 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 231-7373
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Think of it this way: to get a bowl of a ramen this good anywhere else would require a flight to Japan. So, to save up, just ensure a wait at this lunchtime ramen joint (which turns into an izakaya at night) and get a bowl of ramen or tsukemen. Great noodles, rich, flavorful broth, quick service. It's hard to beat.

5. Mini Kabob

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313 Vine St
Glendale, CA 91204
(818) 244-1343

This mom-and-pop shop might look unassuming, but the cuisine more than makes up for it. Kabobs are always perfectly cooked and deliciously seasoned while hummus and eggplant caviar are spectacular. The couple running this place are here nearly every day of the year, so expect that charm as well. Cash only.

6. Zam Zam Market

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11028 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 841-2504

The hours and offerings are scattered, at best, at this Pakistani restaurant that features some of the most flavor-intense dishes in L.A. The biriyani is sure to blow out the sinuses while tandoori, kabobs, and house-fired naan are tops. Call ahead to find out hours and menu.

7. Chego!

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727 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(323) 380-8680
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Roy Choi's bowl-driven fusion makes for some of the best gut-busting in the city at this recently relocated spot in Chinatown. The kimchi platter, grilled vegetables, and meatballs get you started while the Beefy T, Pork Belly, or Grilled Chicken rice bowls stand out.

8. Sapp Coffee Shop

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5183 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-1035

The jade noodles (either dry and tossed or with pork broth) and Thai boat noodles are both phenomenal dishes that are must try items on the expansive menu. The roasted duck, beef fried rice, and crab-studded pad thai variant are also amazing. And, don't forget the excellent Thai iced tea. Cash only.

9. Ichimi Ann Bamboo Garden

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1618 Cravens Ave
Torrance, CA 90510
(310) 328-1323
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This soba specialist down in South Bay has no equal in L.A. Sure the simple zaru soba is satisfying, but adventurous types can delve into the cold and hot noodles, which come with a variety of accoutrements. Cash only, limited hours.

10. Pa-Ord Noodle

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5301 Sunset Blvd Ste 8
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 461-3945

This quick-service Thai restaurant focuses on noodles, though the standout is the standard-bearing Thai Boat Noodles with your choice of rice noodle. The broth is stunning, deep in flavor and spiced to your taste (always spicier than you expect though). Other highlights include the pad thai and crispy pork (which can be added to any stir-fry dish). Cash only.

11. Corner Cottage

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310 S Victory Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 843-2567

Known for cheap breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches, it's wise to call your order ahead. The best part might be the chili salsa that comes with the meal, the ideal foil to the rich burritos. Prices are dirt, but it's cash only.

12. ink.sack

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8360 Melrose Acenue
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 655-7225
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The sandos run between $5-8 dollars each, which is pretty cheap considering they're designed by Top Chef Michael Voltaggio. You'll want to get at least two sandwiches, but for lunch or early dinner, it's a good deal. The Jose Andres is a miniature take on the classic deli sandwich. The pineapple and chile, bbq pork rinds, and cookie are also worth a try.

13. Dino's Chicken and Burgers

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2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-3554
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A true Angeleno creation of brilliant-red sauce that's immediately tangy, peppery and addictive, these grilled chicken atop french fries might make one of the single best dishes in L.A. for the money. Old timers can recount the days when a plate was less than four bucks, though these days it's upwards of five-six dollars for a plate, still an amazing deal. Insider tip - try the dish over rice instead of fries.

14. Hannosuke

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3760 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066

This tempura specialist inside Mitsuwa in West LA does an amazing bowl of fried tempura that's then topped off with an umami-rich eel sauce. One of the most satisfying meals that $10 could buy.

15. Tacos Punta Cabras

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2311 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 917-2244

This seafood taco and tostada specialist might be the best place for cheap Mexican food on the Westside. The ingredients are ultra-fresh and well balanced. And the cauliflower tostada is actually pretty good too.

16. Bill & Hiroko's Hamburgers

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14742 Oxnard St
Van Nuys, CA 91411

This road-side hamburger stand is pure Americana at its best, with fresh patties sizzling on a flat-top grill and thick strips of bacon. Kraft cheese and crisp lettuce makes for one of the best cheap burgers in L.A.

17. Top Round Roast Beef

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1000 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 549-9445

This improvement on the classic roast beef sandwich comes in a snappy, retro form. The variations include blue cheese, barbecue sauce, or old-school cheese whiz, which should be a comfort to those missing the Midwest or East Coast. Think of it as Arby's, but perfected, and don't miss the concretes (frozen custard with mix-ins).

18. Leo's Taco Truck

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1515 S LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 743-5207
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The al pastor here, which can be found mostly on the weekends, is one of the best anywhere. Sliced carefully off a trompo and then topped with a pineapple sliver, it's tough not to order anything less than four at a time. The mulitas, using the same meat, are also tremendous.

19. Mexicali Taco & Co.

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702 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0416
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The carne asada here is nearly unparalleled in the city. Get it via taco, tostada, or vampiro, then customize at the salsa bar, which is chock full of great toppings. No naked tacos!

20. My Taco

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6300 York Blvd, #4
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 256-2698
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The lamb barbacoa, available on weekends, is one of the cheapest meals anywhere, with the large portion easily able to feed two or three, for a mere $10. The agua frescas are also excellent.

21. Cho Man Won

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2881 W OLYMPIC
Los Angeles, CA 90006

This new Korean dumpling specialist has great fried, steamed, and boiled dumplings for less than $5 an order, making it easy to order a bunch and share with friends.

22. Pollo A La Brasa

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764 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 387-1531

This classic Koreatown Peruvian roast chicken joint has some new digs planned in an awkward looking building on the same triangle-lot on the corner of Western and 8th. The stacks of wood pile high outside while the perpetual smoke and aroma of chicken fills the streets nearby. Moist, juicy, addictive and perfect with the fries. The new location (on the same lot) will be opening soon.

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1. Mariscos Jalisco

3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Just get the deep-fried shrimp dorados tacos and call it a day. Super cheap, topped with salsa and chunks of avocado, it's one of the best tacos in the city, period. The other items like tostadas and cocteles are pretty good too.

3040 E Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90023

2. Ruen Pair Thai Restaurant

5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

This late-night Thai Town haunt gets better with age. A revamped menu with all the classics and even some surprises (pork blood soup anyone?) makes this one of the best overall Thai restaurants in L.A. The salty turnip egg omelette, pak prik king (chicken preferred), stir-fried morning glory with crispy pork, and green papaya salad with raw crab are the things to order. It helps that dishes never cost more than $9. Cash only.

5257 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

3. 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

10889 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024

This quick-serve Neopolitan pizza is bound to have lines for mealtimes, but it's worth it, especially for the price (a basic pie hovers around $7, with more for toppings). Customize each pizza and wait a few minutes before it comes out of the wood-fired oven, bubbling hot and ready to eat.

10889 Lindbrook Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90024

4. Tsujita LA

2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Think of it this way: to get a bowl of a ramen this good anywhere else would require a flight to Japan. So, to save up, just ensure a wait at this lunchtime ramen joint (which turns into an izakaya at night) and get a bowl of ramen or tsukemen. Great noodles, rich, flavorful broth, quick service. It's hard to beat.

2057 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

5. Mini Kabob

313 Vine St, Glendale, CA 91204

This mom-and-pop shop might look unassuming, but the cuisine more than makes up for it. Kabobs are always perfectly cooked and deliciously seasoned while hummus and eggplant caviar are spectacular. The couple running this place are here nearly every day of the year, so expect that charm as well. Cash only.

313 Vine St
Glendale, CA 91204

6. Zam Zam Market

11028 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

The hours and offerings are scattered, at best, at this Pakistani restaurant that features some of the most flavor-intense dishes in L.A. The biriyani is sure to blow out the sinuses while tandoori, kabobs, and house-fired naan are tops. Call ahead to find out hours and menu.

11028 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

7. Chego!

727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Roy Choi's bowl-driven fusion makes for some of the best gut-busting in the city at this recently relocated spot in Chinatown. The kimchi platter, grilled vegetables, and meatballs get you started while the Beefy T, Pork Belly, or Grilled Chicken rice bowls stand out.

727 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

8. Sapp Coffee Shop

5183 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The jade noodles (either dry and tossed or with pork broth) and Thai boat noodles are both phenomenal dishes that are must try items on the expansive menu. The roasted duck, beef fried rice, and crab-studded pad thai variant are also amazing. And, don't forget the excellent Thai iced tea. Cash only.

5183 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

9. Ichimi Ann Bamboo Garden

1618 Cravens Ave, Torrance, CA 90510

This soba specialist down in South Bay has no equal in L.A. Sure the simple zaru soba is satisfying, but adventurous types can delve into the cold and hot noodles, which come with a variety of accoutrements. Cash only, limited hours.

1618 Cravens Ave
Torrance, CA 90510

10. Pa-Ord Noodle

5301 Sunset Blvd Ste 8, Los Angeles, CA 90027

This quick-service Thai restaurant focuses on noodles, though the standout is the standard-bearing Thai Boat Noodles with your choice of rice noodle. The broth is stunning, deep in flavor and spiced to your taste (always spicier than you expect though). Other highlights include the pad thai and crispy pork (which can be added to any stir-fry dish). Cash only.

5301 Sunset Blvd Ste 8
Los Angeles, CA 90027

11. Corner Cottage

310 S Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

Known for cheap breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches, it's wise to call your order ahead. The best part might be the chili salsa that comes with the meal, the ideal foil to the rich burritos. Prices are dirt, but it's cash only.

310 S Victory Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502

12. ink.sack

8360 Melrose Acenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069

The sandos run between $5-8 dollars each, which is pretty cheap considering they're designed by Top Chef Michael Voltaggio. You'll want to get at least two sandwiches, but for lunch or early dinner, it's a good deal. The Jose Andres is a miniature take on the classic deli sandwich. The pineapple and chile, bbq pork rinds, and cookie are also worth a try.

8360 Melrose Acenue
Los Angeles, CA 90069

13. Dino's Chicken and Burgers

2575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

A true Angeleno creation of brilliant-red sauce that's immediately tangy, peppery and addictive, these grilled chicken atop french fries might make one of the single best dishes in L.A. for the money. Old timers can recount the days when a plate was less than four bucks, though these days it's upwards of five-six dollars for a plate, still an amazing deal. Insider tip - try the dish over rice instead of fries.

2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

14. Hannosuke

3760 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

This tempura specialist inside Mitsuwa in West LA does an amazing bowl of fried tempura that's then topped off with an umami-rich eel sauce. One of the most satisfying meals that $10 could buy.

3760 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066

15. Tacos Punta Cabras

2311 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

This seafood taco and tostada specialist might be the best place for cheap Mexican food on the Westside. The ingredients are ultra-fresh and well balanced. And the cauliflower tostada is actually pretty good too.

2311 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404

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16. Bill & Hiroko's Hamburgers

14742 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91411

This road-side hamburger stand is pure Americana at its best, with fresh patties sizzling on a flat-top grill and thick strips of bacon. Kraft cheese and crisp lettuce makes for one of the best cheap burgers in L.A.

14742 Oxnard St
Van Nuys, CA 91411

17. Top Round Roast Beef

1000 S. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

This improvement on the classic roast beef sandwich comes in a snappy, retro form. The variations include blue cheese, barbecue sauce, or old-school cheese whiz, which should be a comfort to those missing the Midwest or East Coast. Think of it as Arby's, but perfected, and don't miss the concretes (frozen custard with mix-ins).

1000 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

18. Leo's Taco Truck

1515 S LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

The al pastor here, which can be found mostly on the weekends, is one of the best anywhere. Sliced carefully off a trompo and then topped with a pineapple sliver, it's tough not to order anything less than four at a time. The mulitas, using the same meat, are also tremendous.

1515 S LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

19. Mexicali Taco & Co.

702 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90012