Best Cheap and Local Eats in San Diego

One of the best ways to get to know a town is by its food. Thankfully, San Diego is full of great restaurants that’ll exceed your expectations while you stay under budget. And especially if you’re not from a large town, make sure to experiment with the mix of cuisine you can find in a huge city like San Diego! After all, vacations should be about a break from the norm!

Super Cocina

A place dedicated to giving you the best Mexican food for the lowest dollar, Super Cocina’s filling meals never disappoint! Located on University Avenue between Highway 15 and the 805, this cafeteria-style restaurant has something for everyone, from fish to beef, from soups to potato-cheese patties! Get out a ten-dollar bill and be ready to receive the closest thing to homemade authentic Mexican you can find in San Diego.

Kono’s Surf Club Café

Who wouldn’t want breakfast all day—especially if you could have pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs on your plate for under $8? Kono’s delicious, hearty breakfasts are filling for their costs and are available all day long—which is great since they’re busy from open to close! Their lunch menu is delectable as well, with options like the Mexi Burger and the veggie sandwich for under $9. Find Kono’s on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.

Mama’s Bakery and Deli

In Mama’s Bakery and Deli, try out the best Lebanese food you’ll ever taste outside the Levant for cheap! Delicious, bursting manaeesh (just try it, trust us) for $7.50, and all sorts of wraps from $7.25 to $8.50 make just browsing the menu a culinary adventure. You can take the safe route and grab turkey and cheese, or be exotic with dishes like baba ghanouj and fried grape leaves! The restaurant is on El Cajon Boulevard, a few miles north of the zoo.


This Thai place is another perfect spot for a meal under $10. Their curries are the real deal, and they offer fresh takes on salads that you won’t find easily in America! Just remember that when they ask you how spicy you want something, Americans aren’t used to normal Thai levels of spice! Sab-E-Lee’s original location is on Linda Vista, east of Mission Bay.

Soda and Swine

Finishing our list with more American delights, Soda and Swine is happy to offer you some delicious plates for $10 or less, with their cheap but filling $4 – $9 sides really stealing the show. Come in whether hungry for a full meal or a moderate bite and leave delighted either way. Soda and Swine has two locations—one in North Park, the other at Liberty Station.

Living the Good Life

Just like with these restaurants, enjoying the finer things in life doesn’t demand spending an arm and leg! For example, look at the fantastic value you can get on a San Diego rental home when you book with SanDiego.Rentals. Call us at 888-511-2575 and learn how we can help you enjoy the good life on a budget!