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Enjoying a great meal doesn’t have to break the bank — there are plenty of restaurants around the city serving up phenomenal dishes without a big price tag. We were on a mission to find the best “cheap eats” in town and picked the brains of six Charlotte foodies, ranging from executive chefs to food bloggers, to see what their favorite cheap meals are. The result — several incredible meal ideas from lots of different restaurants and food trucks throughout the QC and all for under $10!


Charlotte Cheap eats|

Enjoy a night out and an entire meal for under $10 at these local restaurants.

Charlotte Foodies’ Favorite Cheap Eats

Chef Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit Charlotte

Eatery: Sabor Latin Street Grill
Dish: Dominic on a diet — Full braised chicken machaca served with sautéed cabbage and salsa wrapped in a wheat wrap.
Approximate cost: $7 – $8

“It’s flavorful, filling, healthy and as authentic as it gets. Load up on the salsa bar as it’s all you can consume. Feeling sporty? Grab a traditional soda pop outta the cooler.”

Sabor Latin |

Sidewalk view of Sabor Latin Street Grill. | Image: Sabor Latin Street Grill

Kristi Martin, Owner of Feast Food Tours and Culinary Events

Eatery: Dish
Dish: BLGT sandwich (comes with side) — a traditional BLT, but with a fried green tomato substituted in place of the tomato with a horseradish dill sauce in place of the mayonnaise. Or the chicken and dumplings, which comes with a side, a biscuit and a deviled egg.
Approximate cost: $7.99 – $8.99

“For any of these, when you add the warm atmosphere, the energetic staff and the comforting nature of their menu — with most things costing around or less than $10 — it is always a great option to feed the soul!”

Chef Chris Coleman of Stoke Charlotte

Eatery: Yafo Kitchen
Dish: Quarter rotisserie chicken with two sides
Approximate cost: $8.99

“The chicken is amazing and tender, and with sides like roasted Brussels, potatoes, cucumber salads and some of the best mac and cheese I’ve ever tasted, you can’t go wrong.”


YAFO Kitchen creates organic and fresh Mediterranean cuisine and produces it at a “fast casual” rate.

Susannah Brinkley of Feast + West Blog

Dish: Margarita flatbread with marinara, fresh mozzarella and sweet basil
Approximate cost: $7
“I love sidling up to the bar at Craft any day of the week. It’s such a great place to meet up with friends for drinks or a quick bite. The food is delicious and not too expensive, so you don’t feel like you’re breaking the bank when you’re just grabbing a beer or two. The cheese and meat plates are unmatched and quite filling — and only $9.”
StyleBlueprint neighborhood highlight, South End

Here’s just one of Craft Tasting Room‘s delicious flatbreads! There are several different toppings to choose from, and they’re all amazing.

Jessica Moore, Finicky Lady: Queen City Food + Lifestyle Guide

Eatery: JJ’s Red Hots
Dish: Char Heel Dog — House-made chili, slaw, diced onions, yellow mustard, plus a side of Borracho Nachos — house chips, borracho beans, queso, fire-grilled salsa, pickled jalepeños
Approximate cost: $3.99 each/total $8

“JJ’s is my favorite cheap eat in Charlotte, because of their quick and friendly staff, perfectly cooked hotdogs and their spacious rooftop patio.”

JJ Red Hot's |

Enjoying a Char Heel Dog and local brew from Sycamore Brewing on JJ Red Hot’s rooftop patio on a beautiful day. Image: Jessica Moore

Katrina Bearer, Owner and Executive Chef of The Blossoming Kitchen

Eatery: Nana’s Porch Food Truck
Dish: Homemade pimento grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread with bacon jam and side of corn slaw
Approximate cost: $8

“They make everything homemade, and the quality is top-notch. I’m all about supporting other chefs, especially when they went to Johnson and Wales University, because there’s very few of us who are still in the field doing what we went to school for.”

Nana's Front Porch|

A peek at the Nana’s Front Porch menu. YUM! We’d definitely like to try one of everything. Image: Nana’s Front Porch

We may not exactly be foodies, but we do like to eat! StyleBlueprint Charlotte’s favorite cheap eats: A tie between Savor Cafe‘s banana pudding with marshmallow topping and Nilla Wafer crust, $6.50 (sometimes it’s dessert, sometimes it’s dinner — no judgments!), and Pike’s Soda Shop‘s buffalo chicken sandwich (with a side — we always get their chips that are made in-house), $9.99.

Savor Cafe |

The delicious banana pudding from Savor Cafe.

Happy dining!

We’d love to hear about your favorite “cheap eats” in Charlotte! Email us at [email protected] and let us know. Visit our food and dining archives for more articles on the Charlotte food scene, cocktails, recipes and more. 


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