50 must-try Charlotte Cheap Eats under $10

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The best ways to fill up on 10 bucks or less.

Giant slice at Benny Pennello’s, $4-$5

The slices from their massive 28-inch pies are bigger than your head and they serve until 3 a.m. on the weekends.

Address: 2909 N. Davidson Street | Website

Classic Big Cheesy at Papi Queso, $6

You know a food truck dedicated solely to the humble grilled cheese is going to do it up right. Try the tomato soup.

Follow on Facebook for food truck location schedule

Cheesesteak at Clover Joe’s, $7.25

It’s not just cheap; it’s the best. Ted named it the #1 cheesesteak in Charlotte.

Address: 124 Brevard Court | Website


#6 at Le’s Sandwiches, $4.25

The Charlotte institution has been serving up traditional Vietnamese sandwiches since 2004, and nothing on the menu is over $5. First timer? Read this. Vegetarian: #11.

Address: Asian Corner Mall, 4521 N. Tryon Street | Website


Chicken & dumplings at Dish, $8.99

This generous bowl of straight up Southern comfort food is served with a biscuit, deviled egg and your choice of a side. Mac & cheese is aways a good choice. Vegetarian: Cajun veggie loaf and mashed potatoes.

Address: 1220 Thomas Avenue | Website

BEC on a cheddar biscuit at Sunflour Baking Company, $7.25

You’ll dream about that cheddar biscuit daily, but their giant flaky croissants are also legendary. Decisions, decisions. Prefer something sweet? The cinnamon roll is out of this world.

Address: 2001 E. 7th Street and 220 East Boulevard | Website

Lunch specials at Miguels, $4.25

A different deal every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Taco salad on Monday, burrito on Tuesday, quesadilla on Wednesday and so on (all the way through Sunday).

Address: 4252 Business Center Drive | Website

White Trash Burger at Pinky’s Westside Grill, $5.50

A 5-ounce burger topped with provolone cheese, fried pickles, onion rings and spicy ranch sauce. Sounds healthy. Vegetarian: Get The Nature Boy veggie burger “White Trash Style.”

Address: 1600 W. Morehead Street | Website

by Pop Rock Photography via Facebook

Falafel pita at Little Village Grill, $4.80

Everything on the menu at this family-run Greek food counter is under $6.

Address: 710 W. Trade Street | Website

little village grill falafel

The Char Heel at JJ’s Red Hots, $3.99

JJ’s best-selling dog is smothered in chili, slaw, diced onions and yellow mustard. They have veggie dogs, too.

Address: 1514 East Boulevard and 15105 N. John Delaney Drive | Website

Grit bowl with a farm egg at Earl’s Grocery, $5.99

Geechie Boy grits with green tomato chow chow and cheddar cheese. Add a farm egg for $1.50.

Address: 1609 Elizabeth Avenue | Website

Chicken Torta at Rhino Market, $7.99

Pulled chicken, avocado, provolone, jalapenos, tomato, lettuce and mayo on ciabatta. Ted raves about it. Vegetarian: The Tofu You is the truth.

Address: 1500 W. Morehead Street | Website

Supreme nachos at Sabor, $6.95

A mountain of tortilla chips topped with queso, refried beans or black beans, lettuce, sour cream, pico, guacamole (no, it’s not extra!) and your choice of protein. Vegetarian: Get tofu ranchero as your protein.

Address: multiple locations | Website


Pork BBQ tray at Bar-B-Q King, $7.95

Serving west Charlotte since 1959.

Address: 2900 Wilkinson Boulevard | Website

BEC at Poppy’s Bagels, $4.29

We saw Greg Olsen here one time, no big deal.

Address: 2921 Providence Road | Website

Tacos at Tacos el Nevado, $2 each

The real deal.

Address: 4715 Central Avenue and 4640 South Boulevard | Website

Quarter chicken plate at Price’s Chicken Coop, $7.50

A Charlotte classic.

Address: 1614 Camden Road | Website


Hashbrowns “All the Way” at Midnight Diner, $5.49

This 24-7-365 diner is the place to be for late-night eats after the bars close. The “all the way” upgrade on the hashbrowns adds cheese, ham and onions.

Address: 115 E. Carson Boulevard | Website

12-inch Italian at Sandwich Max, $8.50

It’s their #2 most popular sandwich and we like a runner up. Looking for #1? It’s the TCB — Turkey Cordon Bleu, aka Takin’ Care of Business. Vegetarian: Try the Garden Burger or build your own veggie sandwich with hummus.

Address: 1941 E. 7th Street | Website

Classic Mac at Jack Beagle’s, $2.99

The perfect low-brow drink pairing is a heaping bowl of mac & cheese.

Address: 3213 N. Davidson Street | Website

Vegetarian combo at La Shish Kabob, $7.99

Hommus, salad, baba ghannouj, falafel and yalanji served with pita bread.

Address: 3117 N. Sharon Amity Road | Website

la shish kabob falafel

Wafflewich at Fud at Salud, $4-$7

Take your handheld meal to the next level with sweet and savory options — like chicken salad, ham and brie or PB, banana and bacon — sandwiched between two waffles. Keep an eye on their specials like this recent lox wafflewich with smoked salmon, red onions, capers and cream cheese.

Address: 3306A N. Davidson Street | Website

California Wet Burrito at Burrito Factory, $7.49

Ground beef, fries, queso, beans, rice, cheese and pico. Vegetarian: Sub tofu for beef.

Address: 5920 South Boulevard and 9601 N. Tryon Street | Website

Burger “All the Way” at Brooks’ Sandwich House, $3.50

Serving Charlotte’s best burger since 1973.

Address: 2710 N. Brevard Street | Website

1/4 chicken with 2 sides at Viva Chicken, $8.75

You’ll want to bathe in the sauces. Vegetarian: The quinoa-stuffed avocado is nuts.

Address: multiple locations | Website


Dogs at Vic the Chili Man’s Cart

Charlotte’s favorite hot dog slinger is Vic “The Chili Man” Werany. He makes his own sauces, is constantly concocting inventive new specials and even has veggie dogs. Get a full meal with a dog, chips and a drink under $10.

Address: S. Tryon and 4th Street | Website

via Facebook

Po Boy Sandwiches at Po Boy’s Lowcountry Seafood Market, $5.95 – $7.95

Choose from fried catfish, flounder, shrimp, softshell crab and more.

Address: 3022 Freedom Drive | Website

Veliki cevapi at Euro Grill, $8.99

An authentic Bosnian sandwich with little sausages stuffed inside a pita-like flatbread called lepinje.

Address: 2719 Central Avenue | Website

Zack’s Special at Zack’s Hamburgers, $5.59

A Charlotte institution since 1975.

Address: 4009 South Boulevard | Website

Philly cheesesteak at Whooli’s, $8.50

A sneaky good spot you may have missed on Independence Boulevard.

Address: 7146 E. Independence Boulevard | Website

Chicken burrito at Johnny Burrito, $8.08

You’ll find this crazy popular burrito counter in the basement of Wells 2. The line gets intense at lunchtime so be ready to wait. Vegetarian: Veggie burritos are $7.39.

Address: 301 S. Tryon Street | Website

Bucatini cacio e pepe at Luca Italian Kitchen, $7

The simplest of Italian comfort foods prepared by renowned chef Luca Annunziata.

Address: 1523 Elizabeth Avenue | Website

Frito pie at Tipsy Burro, $5

A bag of Fritos topped with chili, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

Address: 2711 Monroe Road | Website

Daily Special at NoDa Bodega, $8 or less

Their house sandwiches are $5 – $8 and they’re all winners, but be sure to follow along on Facebook to see what the daily special will be.

Address: 1200 E. 36th Street | Website

New York Style Reuben at Bedder Bedder & Moore, $8.79

I believe the photo will speak for itself.

Address: 3501 S. Tryon Street and 1730 Abbey Place | Website

by @lifestylesobrien via Instagram

Cauliflower crust pizza at 8.2.0, $6-$7

A personal 7-inch pizza that you can pretend is healthy because it’s made out of vegetables that just happen to also be smothered in cheese.

Address: 820 Hamilton Street | Website

via Instagram

Black bean burger on a signature pretzel roll at VBGB, $8

The pretzel roll is a game changer.

Address: 920 Hamilton Street | Website


Chili cheese dog at Green’s Lunch, $2.40

Greens has been a Charlotte staple for 91 years. Don’t let the “lunch” fool you; they serve breakfast too.

Address: 309 W. 4th Street | Website

Chili mac at Lupie’s Cafe, $7.75

Choose from four types of chili — Texas, Southern, vegetarian or Cincinnati — served over spaghetti noodles with a side of cornbread.

Address: 2718 Monroe Road | Website

Big K All the Way ($3.95) and a soft serve cone ($2.25) at Mr. K’s

Mr. K’s opened its doors on South Boulevard way back in 1967. Vegetarian: Yep, they have veggie burgers.

Address: 2107 South Boulevard | Website

All-you-can-eat enchiladas at Three Amigos, $8.99 on Thursdays

You better come hungry.

Address: 2817 Central Avenue | Website

Unlimited lunch buffet at Pizza Peel, $8.99 weekdays 11a-2p

All-you-can-eat pizza, salad and a drink under 10 bucks? Yes, please.

Address: 1600 Central Avenue and 4422 Colwick Road | Website

Pizza Peel via Facebook

BBQ sandwich plate at Bill Spoon’s Barbecue, $8

And every order comes with bottomless hushpuppies.

Address: 5524 South Boulevard | Website

Meatless loaf at The Diamond, $8.95

Served with veggie gravy, rice milk mashed potatoes, cornbread and your choice of side.

Address: 1901 Commonwealth Avenue | Website

Chopped pork BBQ sandwich at Art’s Barbecue & Deli, $4.95

This family-run business opened in 1976.

Address: 900 E. Morehead Street | Website

Chicken on rice con queso at The Roasting Company, $8.65

They’re open until midnight or later every night of the week and you’ll see people lining up for to-go orders as the bars approach last call. Vegetarian: Get the vegetarian combo. (Note: Dinner price jumps to $9.99)

Address: 1521 Montdord Drive | Website

Totchos at VBGB, $7.50

Nachos but with tots. You get it.

Address: 920 Hamilton Street | Website

Anything at Common Market

The entire deli menu is under $10. Breakfast sandwiches, build-your-own breakfast bowls, sandwiches, salads. You can’t go wrong. Tons of veggie options.

Address: multiple locations | Website

Medium pho at Pho Plus, $9.49

A popular lunch stop for the Uptown crowd. Yep, they have a vegetarian one.

Address: 128 Brevard Court | Website

Fat Boy platter at Original Chicken & Ribs, $7.25

Double cheeseburger with fries and a drink.

Address: 1100 Beatties Ford Road | Website

Header photo by Ashley Hayward via Instagram

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