How to Eat in San Francisco on the Cheap

Zack Garhart
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In a large, bustling city like San Francisco, the small things can quickly add up! For those on a budget, we’ve put together a list of a few eateries to check out while you explore the city by the bay! Here’s how to eat in San Francisco on the cheap!

For starters, we suggest heading over to our Pacific Tradewinds Hostel for a home base. With affordable rates, and an awesome social setting, this is a great place to start for travelers. The hostel is located in the famous Chinatown district of San Francisco, which means you’re smack dab in the city! Both private and shared rooms are available, and the location is in ideal proximity to the San Francisco airport, as well!

Once you’ve set up shop, it’s time to explore the city and grab something great to eat.

One of the best attributes of San Francisco is its diverse offerings of ethnic cuisines. From Vietnamese and Asian fare to Mexican and Italian, there is a vast array of options for you to choose from!

As far as it goes for Asian fare, we love Good Luck Dim Sum, which is known for its sticky rice, dumplings, bao buns and other street food options. Bring cash, as the establishment is cash-only! You can find this gem at 736 Clement Street, which is located in the Richmond District of the city!

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One late-night spot that we recommend is Golden Boy Pizza! This pizza joint serves up Sicilian style slices, and has been slinging dough since 1978. If you’re really hungry, grab a whole pie! Located in North Beach, not far from our hostel and other iconic sights, this is one place you don’t want to skip over!

If you’re one for spicy cuisines from countries like India and Pakistan, look no further than Pakwan Restaurant. This Pakistani joint has been serving up traditional dishes since 1999, and has become a local favorite. From curry to tandoori options, there’s sure to be something on the menu that catches your eye! They have three locations in San Francisco, so you shouldn’t have to look far for this gem!

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Feeling adventurous? La Oaxaquena in the Mission District is a spot for you to get not only delectable Mexican dishes, but also interesting combinations like a grasshopper taco! From their mole to their tortas, there are options for all tastes and cravings. Don’t forget to grab a sweet tamale on your way out, either!

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Last but not least, Saigon Sandwich! For classic Bahn Mi sandwiches, this is our favorite go-to! They serve up classics like roasted pork and chicken, and also offer tofu options for vegetarians. With amazing prices, and substantial portions, this sandwich spot is sure to satisfy your wallet and your tastebuds! Situated in the Tenderloin District, Saigon Sandwich has a great central location.

When touring San Francisco, now you have a solid list of options for places to eat on the cheap. We can’t finish this article without mentioning the famous Boudin Bakery, which has been serving San Francisco sourdough bread since the 1800s! With options that include sandwiches, small loafs, and pastries, this is one spot you don’t want to miss.

Still looking for more recommendations on cheap eats in San Francisco? Watch this video!

Now, go out there and grab some amazing cheap eats while you’re exploring San Francisco!

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