If you're anything like us, the first thought that runs through your head when someone asks if you want to go out to eat is, "In this economy???????" Well lucky for us in Dallas-Fort Worth, there are still a plethora of places out there keeping it real for us working stiffs and keeping prices manageable. As tough as soaring prices are for consumers, it's even harder for restaurants to stay afloat these days, so we'd like to salute these places and their amazing foodie deals.
1. sushi house
There’s big value on an assortment of the plates at this Dallas sushi institution on Lovers Lane, where $8-10 gets you eight pieces of sushi, in salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and several other choices. The flavors are all impeccable, and they have been since the place opened in 2006. Value here isn’t just about getting lots of sushi — this is good-quality stuff.
2. record grill
It ain't fancy, but the food is timeless and great at the Record Grill near the entrance to the West End. Grab breakfast and lunch here for unbelievably low prices from the quick-service menu that has kept this place humming since the 60's. Grab a breakfast burrito and a cup of coffee for just $5. Have one of their famous lunch specials for little more than that. This place is a true blue Dallas gem.
3. angry dog
When you need something meaty smothered in chili, cheese and onions, you can't do much better than the Angry Dog downtown. The half-pound burgers are incredibly tasty — exactly what you crave when you've been slightly overserved — and you can still get out of there with a full belly for $15 or so.
4. dino's subs
If you're headed to Arlington for a Cowboy game or a Ranger game, do yourself a favor. Factor in an extra 45 minutes and stop by Dino's first. It's truly sub sandwich heaven — and the prices are as lost in time as the decor. We kid because we care. Take a look at the menu board, know what you're getting when it's your turn to order and speak up when you're talking to the staff — they're trying to keep the line moving here. Get a beer with your sandwich for less than $4, and take one with you to-go — we're not kidding — it's something they offer, so take advantage.
5. lockwood distilling co.
With a selection of shareables for around $10 and select sandwiches hovering around $15, Lockwood is a sensible place to dine in at either their Richardson location or in Fort Worth's Near South Side. We love their delicious muffaletta ($12.95) and their big tuna melt ($13.95).
6. uncle uber's sammich shop
Uncle Uber’s in Deep Ellum serves up unique sammiches and burgers for incredibly reasonable prices. Operating like an old-school deli, the bare-bricked shop serves up classics like the the Cuban, quirky specialties like the Veggie BunME, and downright deviously tasty stuff like shaved ribeye steaks as well.
7. keller's drive-in
57 years ago, Jack Keller had a vision — a vision as simple as it was genius: “Just a place to sell beer and some hamburgers, that’s all.” That vision still resonates as strongly today at all three Keller's locations (the original on Northwest Highway, on Garland Road and on Harry Hines) as it did in 1965. Any longtime Dallas resident will recommend the "No. 5 Special," a beautiful double-meat and cheese delicacy that last time we checked was still $2.89. God bless Keller's.
8. mike's chicken
The chicken at this venerated Dallas staple features distinctive spice blend that includes sage, turmeric, lemon, and ghost peppers. And as good as everything is at Mike's, the price is right, too. You can still get a meal for around $10 at both locations: at the original on Maple and the newer location on Forest Lane.
9. monkey king noodle co.
We have loved watching these Noodle Kings grow almost as much as we have enjoys slurping down their famously delectable dishes these last few years. And as big as the Monkey Kings' britches have gotten, you can still get some of their classics for just $11-$12. Can't beat that with a pair of chopsticks.
10. Mami coco
Tacos are THE coveted Texas cuisine because they’re simple, rich in flavor and flexible. Mami Coco knows this truth to be self-evident, and they know how to slang 'em, too. Tacos in a corn tortilla for $1.99 or in a flour tortilla for $2.50. Three sopes (pictured above) for $7.50. With two locations in Old East Dallas, make this the next taco destination to cross off your Dallas bingo card, and come home with a little change left in your pocket to boot.
Everything is more expensive these days of course, but almost nothing has soared quite like the prices of a good piece of meat. So it stands to reason that the steaks at Deep Ellum's CheapSteaks aren't quite as cheap as they once were, but they're still holding it down with a $15.99 house-cut sirloin, served with truffle fries.
12. cheba hut
"Nug" sized sandos (half-size) start at just $6.49 at Cheba Hut, which has locations in Fort Worth, Dallas and Denton, while "Pinner" sized sandwiches (regular size) can be had for around $10 in many cases. Which is far out, man.
13. chip's old-fashioned hamburgers
Another reliable Dallas hamburger institution, Chip's has locations in the Park Cities, Plano, Lakewood and in Oak Cliff. They've been around since the early 80's, and you can still get in and out of there for around $10 if you know what you're doing. A delicious 1/3 pound burger is $6.49, and a small fry is $2.99. And believe us, there's a reason these folks have been a Dallas staple as long as they have.
14. wingfield's breakfast & burgers
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Yes, that place in Oak Cliff with signage outside that looks like McDowell's from the movie Coming to America serves up a BOMB burger. It is absolute FIRE, y'all. Do not sleep on this place — it is a true hidden gem. The triple is too much for any mere mortal — stay in bounds with a beautifully greasy cheeseburger combo for less than $11.
15. fuel city tacos
Utility, convenience and speed of service are the name of the game at the five DFW area Fuel City Taco locations. With five varieties of tacos available for less than $2.50 apiece, and elote stands sitting outside several of the gas station locations as well, you simply cannot beat these deals.
16. sky rocket burger
It's true. A staple of the Dallas cheap eats scene is the upgraded grease-burger joint. And have we got another classic for you in Sky Rocket Burger. With locations in Deep Ellum, Lewisville, Plano and Frisco, get to the nearest one and try a little of everything ASAP. A double burger is just $8.59 and cheese fries start at just $3.99 with $.50 add-ons! You can also get a Blue Bell Ice Cream shake for about $5.
17. taqueria la ventana
Tacos are just $2.50 at all five Dallas-area locations of the beautifully authentic Taqueria La Ventana. According to their menu, this is not a weekly special; this is not a Happy Hour deal — this is just the way things are. And we love them for that. Find them Downtown on McKinney, in Addison on Belt Line, at the Dallas Farmers Market, on Cedar Springs and in Mansfield, too.
now for the Foodie deals
This next section features places that wouldn't normally fit into the "cheap eats" category, but have one or more AMAZING specials that creates fantastic value.
We agree — spending $37.50 on brunch doesn't necessarily count as being frugal, but for all you get with this amazing brunch deal at Ziziki's, we're counting it as a foodie deal for the ages. First off, the mimosas that accompany this deal are indeed bottomless, so there's that. But you get four rounds of amazing shareable dishes, starting with: ROUND 1: Ziziki bread,
Ziziki's salad and Greek salad, artichoke dip and pita bread as well as Greek pasta with basil and feta. ROUND 2 goes a little something like this: Smoked salmon with herbed cream cheese, homemade buttermilk pancakes and scrambled eggs with feta and fresh basil. Hit the link above to see what Rounds 3 and 4 entail, and be sure to grab a seat in the courtyard for maximum vibes!
19. taco y vino
🚨 Folks, we have a six (6) tacos and a bottle of wine for $35 alert. 🚨 I repeat, this is an official six (6) tacos and a bottle of wine for $35 alert. 🚨 Do not adjust your television sets. What you are seeing is real. 🚨 This has been your six (6) tacos and a bottle of wine for $35 alert. 🚨 Seriously though, no place blurs the line between fancy and super casual like Taco Y Vino. There are fine boutique labels available, but somehow they don't leave your wallet on empty. There are unique creations happening between these four walls, for both meat-eaters and those who abstain, that imitate art both on the plate and in your mouth hole. Before you take the plunge on your six (6) tacos and a bottle of wine for $35, be sure to also try the spicy tamale bites ($6.25).
20. wabi house
Wabi House on Lower Greenville has a $9 ramen lunch special on weekdays, and it will light up the rest of your day. Their menu includes ramen and small plates like takoyaki, sweet corn fritters and a variety of skewers. Oh did we mention there's a full bar too?
Happy Hour at Loro in Old East Dallas is a thrifty little thing of beauty. Weekdays from 2-6 p.m. you can nibble on brisket tostadas for just $8, smoked salmon dip for just $6, or something more substantial like their crispy smoked chicken sandwich for $8. Get a yuzu spritz or a boozy slush for just $5, too!
Whether you're closest to the Shakertins location in Plano, Allen, The Colony or Prosper, keep an eye on their website for rotating specials. One day it might be half-price burgers, the next it could be $1 street tacos and $2 Cerveza Sol bottles. There are some seriously good deals to be had if you keep you keep your eyes peeled.
23. rodeo goat
The Rodeo Goat Empire has officially taken over DFW, with seven, count 'em, seven locations scattered hither and yon across the fair Metroplex. Get to your closest one on Wednesdays, when their scrumptious cheese fries are half-price for dine-in customers.
24. japan house
North Richland Hills has an all-you-can-eat sushi joint where robots bring you your all-you-can-eat sushi. Hit the link to check out the cute little robots! The all-you-can-eat deal is $19.99 for adults at lunch and $31.99 at dinner. Unfortunately, the robots aren't big enough to wheel you out of there when you inevitably fall into a sushi-coma.
25. gen korean bbq
Gen Korean BBQ in Carrollton has another awesome all-you-can-eat option — it's just $20 at lunch or $30 at dinner Monday - Thursday. The lunch menu is insane with 27 different meat cuts to choose from and the dinner menu has OVER 37 UNLIMITED options! This place even has stoves built into the bar area so you can have a drink and cook at the same time!
26. The Reserve
The Reserve by Taqueria Taxco sits in the Dallas Farmers Market and features a couple different OUTSTANDING deals. Happy Hour is every day from 3-6 p.m., when you can get almost any taco on the menu for just $2.50. But they also feature an amazing deal if you have a group of four or more. Their trompo towers come with 20 tacos for $35 or 30 tacos for $50, so the whole crew can get in on the spicy savings.
No one could ever get away with calling Boulevardier in the Bishop Arts District a "cheap eat," — on the contrary, it's one of our favorite fine-dining steak experiences in town. But every Tuesday, they do have a pretty sweet deal for all you penny pinchers. Their famous steak frites are usually $39, but all day every Tuesday, they're just $26 - that's a full 1/3 off the price, starting at 4:30 p.m.!
28. sushi mocki
Sushi Mocki at (where else?) Mockingbird Station offers some really nice Happy Hour deals from 3-6 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 3-5 p.m. on Fridays. Sushi rolls start at just $4 while draft beers are just $4-$5. Check out the whole Happy Hour menu here!