Good Cheap Eats: West Hollywood, LA on $64/day
One of the best things about living in LA is the food mecca that it has become over the years. Spend one day in LA (ok fine, two) and your tastebuds can hit up all corners of the world within this 500 square mile metropolis. Craving Mexican? Hit up Guisados. Want a carb-loaded bowl of rigatoni? Madeo is always a good idea. In the mood for spicy tuna rolls? SUGARFISH never disappoints. No matter what your belly is begging for, LA has it all and you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to enjoy a tasty meal.
Acclaimed chef and Top Chef winner, Michael Voltaggio, opened this casual eatery to answer all of our sandwich prayers — an affordable sando that doesn’t compromise quality or taste. Sack Sandwiches pays tribute to the beloved brown bag lunches you enjoyed as a child, except with an adult twist. Try the Spanish Godfather, a meat lover’s dream, piled high with ham, chorizo, manchego and all the traditional fixings for a whopping $7.25. The cold fried chicken is another fan favorite and it’s smothered with ranch cheese — YES, RANCH CHEESE!
If you spent a Sunday at the farmers market and made lunch with your pretty produce, that’s basically what the menu at Lemonade looks like. It’s a casual marketplace of colorful and seasonal food where you can mix and match your favorites and eat as much (or as little) as you please, guilt-free. With several locations sprinkled throughout the city, this particular one has ample patio seating. Hello sunshine.
Bao Dim Sum House
Unless you’re in the San Gabriel Valley, good dumplings are hard to come by. Whether you like ‘em steamed or pan grilled, Bao Dim Sum has a nice selection of both and all your other favorite Chinese dishes. Chow mein anyone?
Zinque on Melrose may just take the award for prettiest patio of them all. The Bohemian chic, French-inspired cafe by day, wine bar by night is a favorite among locals who want to feel like they’ve been whisked away to a Parisian sidewalk cafe. Whether it’s an open-faced tartine or a crunchy baguette sandwich you’re craving, the menu has both and other traditional French dishes like a quiche zucchini (a must!).
Full disclaimer: this particular location is a total tourist trap but that shouldn’t stop you from grabbing a bite here (it’s highly recommended for breakfast or coffee mid-week to avoid the crowds). Best known for their coffee drinks and heavenly slices of cakes and pastries, you can treat yourself after that egg white omelet but definitely don’t leave without trying the Spanish latte for the perfect morning pick-me-up.
This convenient corner restaurant is a WeHo hotspot that serves modern Italian fare. You’ll find both business professionals and trendsters flock to Cecconi’s at all hours of the day but perhaps the best time to swing by is Tuesday through Saturday between 4pm to 7pm where food and drinks are $4, $7 and $9! Find a seat at the bar (if you’re lucky) and enjoy a meal without breaking the bank.
Night + Market
Tucked away on the Sunset Strip, Night + Market is easy to miss but hard to forget. Not for the faint of heart (or vegans!), the tasty, nose-to-tail Thai dishes that come flying out of the kitchen have repeatedly won this family-owned restaurant many well-deserved accolades. Must-have dishes include the sticky rice, startled pig, and the pad thai.
A lunch spot favorite, Mendocino Farms offers a variety of classic and seasonal sandwiches for just about every palate — including vegans! Served on freshly baked artisanal bread, the sandwiches are hearty and source local ingredients when possible.
Joan’s on Third
Joan’s on Third may arguably be one of the pioneers that made specialty markets trendy in LA. It’s like a trusted friend — you can always count on food that tastes good and is good for you. Nosh on the Chinese chicken salad (one of their popular dishes) and then head over to the baked goods section to indulge in a sweet treat. If you’ve got a few bucks to spare (woohoo!), take home a block of cheese for that bottle of wine you plan to crack open later.