Dine on a Dime

50 delicious dishesall $10 or less.

 

 

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9. The Great Mississippi Mudslide at The Fountain on Locust $8.25
For pure over-the-top decadence, this adult ice cream drink has no equal. A sinful amalgam of coffee liqueur, Irish cream and vanilla deluxe ice cream garnished with an Oreo cookie, this dessert cocktail will more than satisfy your sweet tooth. Midtown, 314.535.7800, fountainonlocust.com.

10. Spring Vegetable Tart at Bixby’s $9.75
This menu item backs Bixby’s recent nod from Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the country’s best museum restaurants. Butternut puree, asparagus, green beans and pea sprouts seasoned with an orange fennel reduction? Yes, please! Forest Park, 314.361.7313, bixbys-mohistory.com.

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22. Hot Corned Beef Sandwich at Lester’s $9.50
Chef Brad Isaak trained with the folks at Carnegie Deli in NYC to get his corned beef just right, and it shows. True to the East Coast tradition, this sandwich is served on rye or a toasted roll with your choice of coleslaw or potato salad. Multiple locations, lestersrestaurant.com.

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12. Emerald Coast Salad at Crushed Red Urban Bake and Chop Shop $9
The Emerald Coast puts to rest the myth that a salad can’t be a meal in itself. Loaded up with shrimp, avocado, cucumbers, mushrooms and bacon on a bed of field greens and dressed with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette, it’ll fill you up and then some. Multiple locations, crushed-red.com.

13. Vegetarian Pad Thai at Bobo Noodle House $10
The folks at Bobo stir chunks of tender tofu into this Thai favorite, along with an abundance of wide rice noodles and crushed peanuts for crunchy contrast. University City, 314.863.7373, bobonoodle.com.

14. Blackened Chicken Sandwich at Circle 7 Ranch $9.49
This bountiful sandwich has a tender and tasty chicken breast, Swiss cheese, ham, lettuce, tomato, red onion and some spicy honey sauce between the buns. There’s also a wrap version for those looking for a bit less bread. Ballwin, 636.220.8777, circle7ranch.com.

15. Red Curry at Fork & Stix $7
This relatively mild dish (by the usual Thai standards, anyway) combines sticky Thai rice, tender bamboo shoots, green peas, bell peppers, basil coconut milk, the eponymous curry paste and your choice of chicken, pork or veggies. Add shrimp or beef for an extra two bucks, and it still comes in under $10. The Loop, 314.863.5572, facebook.com/forknstix.

16. Pho at Mai Lee $7.95-$9.95
No one does pho‰ÛÓthat oh-so-tasty Vietnamese rice noodle soup‰ÛÓbetter than Mai Lee. The menu has a half-dozen variations of the dish, from beef (pho tai) to shrimp (pho tom)‰ÛÓall for 10 bucks or less. Brentwood, 314.645.2835, maileerestaurant.com.

17. Blue Ribbon Burger at 5 Star Burgers $9
This vanguard burger from 5 Star starts with an all-natural Black Angus beef patty as its base, then builds on it with a simple roster of toppings‰ÛÓsmoked bacon, port-braised onions and gorgonzola‰ÛÓa stellar example of delicious, beefy simplicity. Clayton, 314.720.4350, 5starburgersstl.com.

18. Pulled Pork Sandwich at The Shaved Duck $9.99
The Duck is known for its off-the-hook barbecue, and this backyard delicacy is a perfect example of the Tower Grove joint’s meaty artistry. The pork is smoked for up to 20 hours until it needs no coaxing to come off the bone; then it’s served with a choice of one side. Tower Grove, 314.776.1407, theshavedduck.com.

19. Pastor Tacos Platter at Diablitos Cantina $9
The Diablitos version of this Mexican classic makes use of super-tender pineapple-braised pork topped with a roasted pina salsa, all tucked into your choice of hard-or soft-shell tortillas. It’s served along with green rice, refried beans and pico de gallo. Midtown, 314.644.4430, diablitoscantina.com.

20. Chicken Tandoori at House of India $9.95
This classic take on the Indian delicacy features chicken marinated in yogurt and various tandoori spices, then grilled over charcoal in a traditional jar-like clay oven to ensure all of the flavor remains. It’s served up on a bed of bell peppers and onions with basmati rice. University City, 314.567.6850, www.hoistl.com.

21. Half a Muffuletta at Three Kings Public House $9.99
There’s no need to head to the old country to nosh on this Italian favorite‰ÛÓThree Kings does it right with copious amounts of Genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, mozzarella, provolone and olive salad on round Italian bread. Get it hot or cold. The Loop, 314.721.3355, threekingspub.com.

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22. Hot Corned Beef Sandwich at Lester’s $9.50
Chef Brad Isaak trained with the folks at Carnegie Deli in NYC to get his corned beef just right, and it shows. True to the East Coast tradition, this sandwich is served on rye or a toasted roll with your choice of coleslaw or potato salad. Multiple locations, lestersrestaurant.com.

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23. Seoul Train Salad at Green Bean $8.50
East meets West on this train, with plenty of romaine, cucumber, radish, green onion, sesame seeds and grilled beef topped with gluten-free red pepper sesame dressing. This healthy dish can be served up as a salad or wrap. Central West End, 314.361.4444, greenbeansalads.com.

24. Cuban Sandwich at Luvy Duvy’s Cafe $7.95
Try this tasty version of the well-known Caribbean standby, with sweet-roasted Cuban pork, Swiss cheese, ham and pickles served hot with a side of spicy mustard, so you can control the heat level yourself. Benton Park, 314.776.5889, luvyduvys.com.

25. Roasted Vegetable Sandwich at Cafe Osage $10
Perhaps the best-kept secret in the CWE, Cafe Osage has an abundance of fresh menu choices. Take this veggie-centric specialty, for example, featuring tangy goat cheese and roasted red pepper aioli on five-grain wheat bread. Central West End, 314.454.6868, bowoodfarms.com.

26. Channa Masala at Rasoi $10
A long-time vegetarian favorite showcasing garbanzo beans cooked in a special blend of herbs and spices (coriander, ginger and garlic, among others), it’s the perfect antidote for the lunchtime blues. Central West End, 314.361.6911, rasoi.com.

27. The Cleopatra at Cyrano’s $9.95
It’s no wonder this dessert has become something of a signature sweet treat at Cyrano’s over the past four decades. It’s a bowl of French vanilla ice cream, bananas and strawberries covered with rum sauce and topped off with a towering mound of whipped cream. Need we say more? Webster Groves, 314.963.3232, cyranos.com.

28. Gyro at Olympia Kebob House & Taverna $7.50
The classics will never go out of style. Take this Greek wrap at Olympia‰ÛÓlean meat, onions, tomato and tzatziki sauce all on a fresh pita, the essence of tasty simplicity. Dogtown, 314.781.1299, facebook.com/OlympiaKebob.

29. Banh Cuon at Pho Grand $6.95
Pho Grand has long been the mainstay of Vietnamese food in St. Louis, and dishes like Banh Cuon are the reason. Choose from a variety of meats tucked into a rice crepe with mushrooms, onions and assorted veggies depending on the variation of your choice. Tower Grove, 314.664.7435, phogrand.com.

30. Ozark Mushroom Burger at Baileys’ Range $10
A beefy tour de force, this Baileys’ burger offers a grass-fed beef patty topped with crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions, black-peppered goat cheese and the traditional lettuce, tomato and onion. You can even get it built between your choice of three house-baked buns. Downtown, 314.241.8121, baileysrange.com.

31. Banh Mi at Banh Mi So 1 $3.50-$4.25
Banh Mi So 1 has half a dozen versions of this signature Vietnamese sandwich, from the traditional meatball variant (Banh Mi Xiu Mai) to a veggie edition with vegetables, tofu and peanuts (Banh Mi Chay). All of the sandwiches come with carrots, daikon, cilantro and jalapenos to spice things up to your liking. Tower Grove, 314.353.0545, banhmiso1.com.

32. Mortadella and Egg Sandwich at Schlafly Bottleworks $9.25
This sausage-lover’s delight pairs the namesake Italian salume with a farm-fresh fried egg, cheese and caramelized onion mayo‰ÛÓall packed between two pieces of toasted brioche. A side of local Billy Goat Chips is the perfect complement. Maplewood, 314.241.2337, schlafly.com/bottleworks.

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33. Raw Tacos at Frida’s Deli $9.95
Substitute a romaine leaf for a tortilla shell and some spicy sunflower “meat” for the usual beef filling, then top it off with some house-made pico de gallo and fresh avocado, and you have an uber-healthy spin on this favorite. University City, 314.727.6500, fridasdeli.com.

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34. Godzilla Sushi Roll at Cafe Mochi $10
This monstrous specialty roll has it all‰ÛÓtuna, salmon, avocado and spring mix, topped with a spicy mayo, wasabi mayo, Sriracha sauce and a bit of smelt roe and tobiko. Someone warn Tokyo! Tower Grove, 314.773.5000, cafemochistl.com.

35. Hazelnut Zuccotto at Cravings $6.25
This dessert is so spectacular, it took home a James Beard Award in 1993. Contrasting stripes of hazelnut and chocolate cake filled with alternating layers of cappuccino cream and white chocolate mousse make it simply irresistible. Webster Groves, 314.961.3534, cravingsgourmetdesserts.info.

36. Pot Stickers at Mosaic $8.50
The epitome of Mosaic’s penchant for flavor fusions, these plump dumplings are filled with a mix of tender pork and shaved celery and served with a sweet-and-savory Thai peanut sauce for a delectable small-plate experience. Multiple locations, mosaictapas.com.

37. New Year’s Resolution Burrito at Mission Taco Joint $8
This vegan’s delight starts with a house-made whole-wheat tortilla packed with chile-grilled tofu, black beans, vegetable quinoa, pico de gallo and roasted jalapeno salsa and topped with cilantro pepita pesto. Let’s just say we’ve heard of more than a few carnivores indulging in this meatless monster. The Loop, 314.932.5430, missiontacostl.com.

38. Portobello Reuben at The Mud House $8
Fill up on this hearty sandwich that eschews meat in favor of veggie goodness. The heart of it is, of course, roasted portobello mushroom, which is topped with Swiss cheese and sweet caramelized onions and accented with Russian dressing, all on toasted rye bread. Cherokee, 314.776.6599, themudhousestl.com.

39. Gogi Bowl at Seoul Taco $7
They’re known for Korean barbecue, but the folks at Seoul Taco have plenty of other tasty, affordable options‰ÛÓlike this meal-in-a-bowl featuring rice, fresh veggies, a fried egg, sesame oil and some gochujang pepper sauce for a spicy kick. The Loop, 314.863.1148, seoultacostl.com.

40. Bacon, Bacon Mac & Cheese at Cheese-ology Macaroni & Cheese $8
The guy who came up with the slogan, “Two great tastes that taste great together,” must have had this dish in mind. It’s a pairing of comfort food classics‰ÛÓdecadent pasta drenched in a creamy combo of mozzarella and gruyere cheeses, topped with copious quantities of thick-cut bacon. The Loop, 314.863.6365, cheese-ology.com.

41. The Beast at Salume Beddu $8.50
This sandwich was recently brought back on the lunch menu by popular demand. House-made salsiccia topped with roasted peppers and onions on a crusty roll, it definitely lives up to its moniker‰ÛÓboth in size and in flavor. South City, 314.353.3100, salumebeddu.com.

42. Five-O Calzone at Sauce on The Side $9
Talk about fusion‰ÛÓa combo of Italian and island flavors, this calzone features pancetta, red peppers, mozzarella, mascarpone, smoked cheddar and ricotta with a touch of pineapple to add some tropical sweetness. Downtown, 314.241.5667, eatcalzones.com.

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43. Twisted Pink Velvet Cupcake at Jilly’s Cupcake Bar $5
This specialty treat is one of Jilly’s eight permanent menu flavors. The moist pink velvet cake is filled with caramel and topped with a triple threat of cream cheese, caramel buttercream and pecan praline. It’s no wonder Jilly’s reigns victorious in Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” Multiple locations, jillyscupcakebar.com.

44. Miser Alecha at Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant $9.95
This dish offers something a little different for vegetarians tired of being relegated to the salad bar. Split lentils marinated in ginger with garlic, onions, olive oil and curry‰ÛÓcooked up just so‰ÛÓprove that vegetarian is anything but boring. Tower Grove, 314.772.4442, meskeremstl.com.

45. Build Your Own Burrito at Southwest Diner $5
Be your own boss and create your own south-of-the-border delicacy. Choose from a list of fresh ingredients that includes green or red chiles, beans, cheese, pico de gallo, chicken, beef and veggie chorizo, to name a few. Ellendale, 314.260.7244, southwestdinerstl.com.

46. Dim Sum at Lu Lu Seafood Restaurant $3.98-$5.98
Boasting a wide variety of dim sum (small portions of food served in individual steamers), Lu Lu has everything from sweet offerings like steamed egg custard buns to savory selections such as steamed beef tripe with ginger sauce. University City, 314.997.3108, luluseafood.com.

47. Lechuga Asad at Maya Cafe $5.95-$9.95
This Mexican dish is a salad and then some‰ÛÓboasting half a head of Romaine lettuce marinated in Schlafly Oatmeal Stout and garlic, then grilled and filled with your choice of chicken or beef and topped with Chihuahua cheese and creamy Criollo dressing. Maplewood, 314.781.4774, mayacafestl.com.

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48. Bibimbap at U-City Grill $5.95
One of the tastiest of Korean dishes, this specialty might just be a bowl of warm white rice with sauteed veggies and beef, crowned with a fried egg, but its flavor definitely transcends the sum of its parts. The Loop, 314.721.3073.

49. Sausage Fatty Sandwich at Bogart’s Smokehouse $6.99-$8.75
Get your recommended weekly dose of meat with this peppery sausage sammich. Don’t worry‰ÛÓthe “fatty” in the name refers to the size of the thing, not the quality of the meat. It also comes with a choice of two sides. Soulard, 314.621.3107, bogartssmokehouse.com.

50. Truffled Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Dressel’s Public House $10
Your childhood favorite all grown up, the Dressel’s version of this classic sandwich includes a creamy blend of three cheeses along with some truffle oil between two slices of Texas brioche‰ÛÓwith a side of tomato bisque to make it just right. Central West End, 314.361.1060, dresselspublichouse.com.

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Ozark Mushroom Burger, $10, Baileys’ Range

1. Cini at Cini Italian Chow $2.45
Arancini, tiny balls of fried rice, are traditional street fare in Italy, and this local chain does the tradition proud. Guests can choose from three types of cini (sausage, veggie or four-cheese). Multiple locations, cinichow.com.

2. Blue Plate Special at Farmhaus $10
Once you try this lunch special, you’ll never hit the drive-through again. It changes daily, Monday through Thursday, and features a variety of stick-to-your-ribs favorites, from fried chicken to meatloaf to fried fish. A delicious side spinach salad with pickled veggies and a glass of sweet tea top off the deal. South City, 314.647.3800, farmhausrestaurant.com.

3. Verdura Flatbread at Pan D’Olive $10
A crispy flatbread base topped with plenty of asparagus, roasted tomato, peppers, feta and onion, this Mediterranean-style pie is the cure-all for pizza-lovers with meat-lover’s overload. Dogtown, 314.647.8000, pandolivestl.com.

4. Frito Pie at Pappy’s Smokehouse $7.25
We can’t think of a wackier way to indulge in Pappy’s award-winning barbecue‰ÛÓa heap of those famous corn chips topped with your choice of meat, plus baked beans, cheddar cheese and onions. Douse it with one of three Pappy’s sauces and go to town. Midtown, 314.535.4340, pappyssmokehouse.com.

5. Charcuterie Plates at Modesto $6-$9
This small-plate bastion offers a plethora of cured meat selections that are perfect for sharing. Options include jamon serrano (aged ham), lomo embuchado (dry-cured pork tenderloin), Salume Beddu chorizo (dry-cured pork sausage, smoked paprika and garlic) and soria (cured lean pork sausage). The Hill, 314.772.8272, modestotapas.com.

6. Warm Spinach & Crispy Prosciutto Salad at Local Harvest Cafe $10
This hearty salad from the locavore’s go-to spot features a bed of tender spinach and plenty of crisp prosciutto, as expected. But it ups the ante with a soft-boiled egg, pecans, Prairie Breeze cheese and a light sherry vinaigrette. Tower Grove, 314.772.8815, localharvestcafe.com.

7. Irish Stew at Llywelyn’s $10
Nothing warms the soul quite like an order of this traditional Irish pub favorite. Chock-full of hand-carved lamb, bangers and assorted vegetables in a Guinness-Jameson stock and ladled into a bread bowl, it’s the epitome of hearty goodness. Multiple locations, llywelynspub.com.

8. Ballistic Elvis Sandwich at Iron Barley $5.75
Long live the King! An homage to decadence, the Ballistic Elvis is a sinful combo of PB&J and grilled cheese with some pepper flakes thrown in for a little heat. Go all in and get bacon on it for two bucks extra. Carondelet, 314.351.4500, ironbarley.com.

 

Photo credit: Jonathan Gayman

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