Great food just simply doesn’t have to be expensive, as these eateries prove every day. While eating out might seem like a stretch, we all know that time away from the hectic household can often be a life saver.
Eating out in Seattle is often a treat, an occasional necessity, but almost always more expensive than dining at home. However, with a few simple tricks and a little research, the indulgence of restaurants doesn’t have to be a drain on your pocketbook. You can save money without sacrificing the experience by knowing where to go (see below) and practice a few of these money-saving tips:
- Bigger can be better: With portions being the huge sizes they are nowadays, it’s easy to get filled up without clearing your plate all on your own. If on a date, keep it reasonable by splitting an appetizer and a meal to cut back on the overall tab if you know the servings are substantial. One main entree can also be stretched into two meals by simply saving your leftovers for lunch the next day; make sure you tailor your order to something that will keep and reheat well.
- Be smart with your spirits: Make your buck stretch further by finding the BYOB (bring your own booze) restaurants in your city. This will allow for dinner and drinks on a much smaller budget. Always ask about drink specials too. Whether it’s two-for-ones or just discounted house wines and wells, you can shave off a decent portion of the tab if you’re willing to step away from the premiums.
- Keep an eye on the clock: Happy hours are not just for drinks, as many places will offer food specials as well. If you are willing to dine earlier or later, you may be able to save on both your meal and your drinks.
- Have a nose for specials: Many places will have weekly specials, some every day of the week. Whether it’s the college cliché of Taco Tuesdays or half-price Mondays, get to know the schedule of the restaurants nearby and frequent them on those days.
- Sides can steal the show: Free bread or chips and salsa? Unlimited fries? Side salad included? Keep an eye on the extras and a smaller, lower-priced meal could be plenty to fill you up.
The following locations are places where you can find a great dinner for less than $15. Use that extra money to pay some bills or just have some fun.
8411 Greenwood Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
Mr. Gyros has been serving Seattle since 2002 and now has locations in Greenwood, Ballard and even one on the Microsoft Campus. The business is owned by two brothers who are known for their customer service and cheap eats. A lamb gyro or gyro plate varies from $5.49 to a max of just under $11, so there is plenty of room for a drink or a side if you order smart. A meal includes very well-seasoned lamb meat and definitely no skimping on portion size.
West Seattle Fish House
9005 35th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98126
West Seattle Fish House is one of those rare places that offers fantastic food at very low prices. The owner is known for being extremely friendly and the restaurant clearly takes pride in its appearance. Fish and chips can be enjoyed with cod, tilapia or salmon while the clam chowder is a crowd pleaser for sure. Remember to bring cash, as the West Seattle Fish House is cash only.
Rain City Burgers
6501 Roosevelt Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115
Roosevelt’s Rain City Burgers has to be on any list of great Seattle cheap eats. Located on the busy corner of 65th and Roosevelt, parking can be a pain, but it is worth it once you get inside and eat a burger. This restaurant offers plenty of beef, chicken and vegetarian selections and even some burgers that don’t fit into any category. The Sounders Burger is unique and delicious with cream cheese, grilled jalapeno with garlic, bacon and pepper jack cheese all on a kaiser bun ($7.49). You can also keep it simple with a basic cheeseburger featuring good old American cheese.
219 Broadway Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98102
The formula at Tacos Chukis is simple; pick your meat and pick your vessel, then enjoy! Beef, chicken, pork and vegetarian options are all available and each is seasoned to perfection. If it is your first time, check out the special Taco Chukis which includes marinated pork, cheese, guacamole and grilled pineapple. This is a small menu and no dish on it will cost you over $10, so this is one heck of a deal. The location can be tricky to find; it is located upstairs in a small mall facing Broadway.
The Barbeque Pit
2509 E. Cherry St.
Seattle, WA 98122
Good barbeque can often be very hard to find, but Pookie at The Barbeque Pit simply knows what he is doing. A full menu of chicken, pork, ribs, hot links and all of the classic sides can be found at this University District stop. The place is cash only, but you won’t need much as it is extremely affordable. The location is very small, so be mindful of school release times.
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Megan Knight resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. During the day she works in IT Management and at night is a royal news junkie. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.