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San Francisco’s Best Cheap Eats – A Delicious Tour

Updated: Dec 12, 2019 08:44
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This article about San Francisco’s Best Cheap Eats was made possible by the fine folks at GIG Car Share. Wanna support an article? Holler at

The other day I decided it had been too long since I’d gone on a tour of San Francisco’s best cheap eats. As you can probably guess by the name of this site, got its start as the place to learn all about San Francisco’s best places to eat and drink for the least amount of money. So I figured it was time I got back to my roots and gave you the information you were clamoring for.

Here I am with my trusty steed for the day.

As it would take forever to hit this many excellent spots around San Francisco if I did it by mass transit, I used GIG Car Share to float around town like a bee collecting pollen or in my case checking out all my favorite legendary, cheap eateries in SF. GIG Car Share is a convenient, affordable, and eco-friendly way to get your errands (or ahem…food gorging tours) done around town.

And right now Gig is giving Broke-Ass Stuart readers $30 of FREE driving credits when they use the code “BROKE”. You can sign up right here (Offer valid for new members only. Expires 1/31/2020).

GIG Car Share is a convenient, affordable, and eco-friendly way to get your errands done around town.

The first stop on this legendary voyage was the El Tonayense taco truck that parks in front of Best Buy on Harrison and 14th.

Tacos are only $3 here and there are a ton of different fillings you can choose from. This delicious Mexican morsel was al pastor.

And here I am demolishing some carne asada tacos. Not gonna lie, I may have started out too strong. What can I say? I was hungry!

But the journey must continue and continue it did! I headed next to the Inner Richmond for some delectable dim sum.

Gourmet Dim Sum & Cafe in the Richmond is a San Francisco staple. Everything is fresh and toothsome, and it’s cheap as hell.

I mean, it cost me less than $5 for everything you see below!

Wipe your chin, I can see you drooling.

After my date with dim sum, it was time for a new neighborhood and a change of cuisine. So I headed over to North Beach, San Francisco’s traditional Italian neighborhood.

Golden Boy Pizza is one of my favorite slices in the world. They’ve been holding it down in North Beach since 1978. I love it so much that I’m actually looking bashful in this photo like, “Aw, shucks. I sure love you Golden Boy”.

While there I figured I should ad my sticker to the illustrious wall, so that’ just what I did:

And then of course I stuffed my face with a yummy slice of pepperoni pizza. The slice is only $4!

By this point, gorging on all those fantastic cheap eats was making me a little wacky as you can see here:

But the adventure wasn’t nearly done. I had places to go and cheap food to eat so I gathered my wits and headed to Red’s Java House on the Embarcadero.

Red’s Java House has been serving working people since 1955. Their awesome cheeseburgers come on a sourdough roll and you can get one with a coke for only $9! If you just want the burger, it’s only six bucks! Look how scrumptious it is:

After this mighty burger I finally hit a food coma. To be honest I’m surprised I made it this far.

But I couldn’t end my sojourn now. I knew I had to hit up one last legendary San Francisco cheap eats spot. I had to prove it to myself that I still had the touch, and I needed to inform you, dear reader, about a bomb-ass place you might not know about yet.

So to the Tenderloin I went.

The last stop on this whirlwind tour was Saigon Sandwich. It was one of the first places I put in my San Francisco book and a true staple of all SF broke-asses.

The humongous beauty above was only $4! I was so full though that I only took one bite and gave it to a homeless lady outside the shop.

And that my friends is where the tour of San Francisco’s best cheap eats ended. I was groaningly full and ready for a night of watching Netflix in bed.

I couldn’t have done it all without my trusty Gig Car though. This is me saying goodbye to my fearless steed.

My Gig Car was a convenient, affordable, and eco-friendly way to explore San Francisco’s best cheap eats. Not only that but you can do everything on your phone, no keys, no wait times, no hassles. I definitely recommend you check them out, they’ve got cars waiting for you all over the city.

Right now Gig is giving Broke-Ass Stuart readers $30 of FREE driving credits when they use the code “BROKE”. You can sign up right here (Offer valid for new members only. Expires 1/31/2020).

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.