Memphis is not only a great city for fine dining, it’s also chock full of restaurants offering incredible food at amazing prices. On the hunt for cheap eats, we tapped a few of our favorite Memphis foodies to offer some of their favorite options for delicious, affordable food around town. From cookbook authors to chefs, our friends weighed in with their favorite cheap eats, and our mouths are now watering. We bet yours will, too!
Bert Smythe of McEwen’s
Eatery: Taqueria #5
“Taqueria #5 at the corner of Summer and Perkins has some of the best cheap eats in town,” says Bert. “You can spend $6 and have a great meal. The tacos are fresh and authentic.”
Ryan Trimm of Sweet Grass
Eatery: Pho Saigon
Dish: Bánh mì
Approximate cost: $3.99
“[It’s] solid traditional bánh mì, and I eat here at least once a week,” says Ryan, who adds, “You can’t beat the price, either.”
Michelle Pao Levine of Mosa Asian Bistro
Eatery: Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana
Dish: De Oreja De Elefante (Steak Tortugas)
Approximate cost: $12
“I love the homemade bread, the fresh avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, and seasoned sirloin — all of my favorite things in a yummy toasted sandwich!” raves Michelle.
Lisa Toro of City & State
Eatery: India Palace
Dish: Lunch buffet
Approximate cost: $12
For Lisa, the buffet at India Palace is a no-brainer. “The food is fantastic, they are attentive, and it’s great for a quick lunch or meeting,” she says.
Lindsay Smith of Wine Market
Eatery: Las Delicias
Dish: Cuban sandwich
Approximate cost: $7
“The Cuban sandwich at Las Delicias is the gem of the menu! It’s so affordable and filling with all its tasty ingredients: ham, pork leg, cheese, all with a layer of avocado and refried beans on the bread,” says Lindsay. “You can’t beat it, with a margarita and some guacamole!”
Glenda Hastings of Napa Cafe
Eatery: Lotus Vietnamese
Dish: Chicken pho
Approximate cost: $10
“This chicken soup is layered with flavors that I crave,” says Glenda. “The aromatic broth is filled with bean sprouts, noodles, cilantro and fresh-squeezed lime juice. I always ask for extra of the spicy sauce to mix in the dish. The co-owner tells me on every single visit how long his wife takes to make the broth and the special care that goes into making the soup. He speaks about it with such love and enthusiasm. I can tell by the twinkle in his eye that he is secretly referring to his wife. Sigh!”
Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence, authors of The Southern Vegetarian and The Chubby Vegetarian cookbooks
Eatery: Fino’s From the Hill
Dish: Whole veggie sub
Approximate cost: $9 (feeds 2)
“There’s magic in the Fino’s olive dressing made with green olives, black olives and banana peppers. They also add a tomato and onion marinade that’s rich with olive oil,” says Amy. “That’s all piled onto a La Baguette roll with three kinds of sliced cheese. Don’t worry, they add little lettuce to lighten the whole thing up. When Justin was young, he’d eat a whole one by himself, but now he’s learned to share; a whole veggie sub can feed us both. We’ve been eating these sandwiches with varying frequency for more than 20 years. A bag full of these subs was our go-to bribe 14 years ago when we needed help moving everything from our first apartment to our first house, where we still live today.”
Thanks to our experts for their delicious recommendations! Now get out and try these options for yourself!
Hungry for more great dining options? Download the SB App, and you’ll have the very best of Memphis right at your fingertips!