Today we’ll be talking about one of my favorite categories of food: cheap eats! Now I know ‘cheap’ can be a subjective term, and can mean something different for everyone. Some of these places are cheap for San Diego, cheap for that type of food, or just cheap in general! Let me know down below if you’ve tried any of these places.
1. Tito’s Deli
Tito’s Deli is a Puerto Rican joint in National City. Without a doubt, they are one of my most favorite hidden gems of San Diego. They sell tripletas, a popular sandwich that hails from Puerto Rico. It's typically filled with three types of meat. As far as I know, only two places in San Diego sell them, and one is a food truck. These sandwiches are simply mind blowing- once you’ve tried them, you can never look at other sandwiches the same way again. My favorite is the Old San Juan, with Grilled Chicken, Ham, and Pulled Pork, Swiss, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Cilantro. Half a tripleta is $10.50, and you will be STUFFED.
2. 55 Thai Kitchen
Best Thai food in San Diego, if you ask me. Also the most affordable! If you get any entrée with chicken, veggies or tofu it’ll be under $10, and if you want shrimp, beef or fish it’s just $10.50! I usually get shrimp myself because I’m a bougie bitch and have been in the ‘treat yourself’ mindset since the pandemic started. They have all the goodies- pad thai, drunken noodles, pad see ew, fried rice, tom kha, tom yum, three different curries, and some house specials I would HIGHLY recommend, including spicy basil chicken, Thai fried chicken, and massaman chicken curry, which is made with slow cooked chicken thigh.
They have 4 locations throughout San Diego; I still remember going regularly to their very first location, which is in the back of a liquor store in Golden Hill! If you’re looking for a good dine in experience, I would recommend the PB location, which has a stunning interior and exterior.
Authentic Middle Eastern street food! Tahini is pretty famous in San Diego- they were on Yelp’s ‘Top 100 restaurants in the US’ list a few years back, and for good reason! They consistently serve high quality shawarma at an affordable price. My go to is their steak shawarma in a pita. Their steak is all natural certified angus beef and their pita bread is house baked and stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pickles and cucumbers! Their meat is always tender and juicy and I get it with extra garlic sauce, which packs quite the punch.
All for $10! And chicken is only $9. You can also get a bowl or a salad as well. The bowl definitely has more content as it can hold more, but something about the pita is just so comforting. I highly recommend either their falafel or halloumi cheese stix on the side. Never tried halloumi cheese? Well now’s your chance! It’s a bit hard to describe the taste, but it’s very mild and creamy and is delicious with their homemade fig sauce.