With another, possibly worse recession looming somewhere over the horizon, it would behoove us all to reacquaint ourselves with the virtues of thriftiness and delayed gratification. Unfortunately, living in a foodie mecca like L.A. can make even the most meager of belt-tightening efforts nothing short of a Herculean task. But fear not. If you know where to look, when to go and what to say, you’ll find that the city is crawling with lesser-known meal deals that will allow you to eat well for next to nothing and continue justifying not bringing a bagged lunch to work. To get you started on your budget bougie journey, we found eight specials that’ll satisfy your cravings for just $10 or less.
Their hand-tossed pies already make for relatively cheap, filling meals, but diners who are less picky about their toppings and looking to shave a few bucks off the sticker price might want to check out 800’s regional Instagram account, @800degreesla, to see if their “pizza of the day” is calling to them. There are no topping substitutions or additions allowed on these pies, but the trade-off is you’re getting the whole thing for $7.12. At that low a price, you should be willing to give an olive and sausage-topped pizza a shot.
Eschewing the Tuesday cliché, this Miracle Mile spot has designated Wednesdays the best day for taco sales, offering all their non-seafood tacos for only $1 each with the purchase of a drink from 11:30 a.m. to midnight.
As if your pizza cup weren’t already runneth-ing over, here’s one last quick and dirty dough deal. Every Tuesday, Pizzanista! offers slices and beers for $2 each.
On Tuesdays, frugal diners in the beach cities can score an incomprehensibly cheap dinner at any of the Rockefeller’s locations. Starting at 5 p.m., customers can get the restaurant’s Burger of the Month for a mere 99 cents, until they run out of ingredients. You’ll have to purchase a beer, wine, or two non-alcoholic drinks to take advantage of this promo, but plenty of those are cheap enough to still keep the bill under $10.
If you hit up Pour Haus between 4 and 7 in the evening, you’ll be able to take advantage of their Happy Hour menu, where small bites like oxtail tacos and flatbread go for $5 a pop. And if you’re understandably more in need of a drink than a bite after a long day at work, that same menu offers a selection of wine pours for the same price.
On Mondays, the Arts District’s best robatayaki spot posts a secret code word on their Instagram story, @inkonitola. Mention that word to your server during a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday visit that week, and you’ve just earned yourself a gratis off-menu dish of the chef’s choosing.
If Neapolitan isn’t your style, but you’re still jonesing for a slice, check out Triple Beam’s lunch special. Every day, between noon and 4 p.m., customers can snag four slices of their Roman-style pizza along with a roll and fountain drink for a mere 10 bucks.
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but for those willing to go above and beyond in their commitment to eating cheap, Tart Restaurant has an offer that puts that axiom to the test. Located in the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel, Tart offers diners the chance to cut their bill in half by jumping in the pool with their clothes on. Better still, if you keep your phone on you while taking the plunge, your meal is on the house. Now, for liability’s sake we’d never recommend you risk your expensive smartphone on something like this, but on an unrelated note, did you know that the iPhone X and all subsequent models are waterproof for up to one meter of depth? Two words of advice: if you do decide to cannonball your way out of the bill, be sure to let your server know before you jump, and tip them well after.