Lunch Downtown for $5 or Less

I spend my workdays downtown and as an avid lover of food who has a budget, I'm constantly on the search for great lunch deals. Here are some of my favorites walking distance from my office:

Also, check out Twisted SandwichesOregon Crepe CafeMarco's Place , Taproot Cafe, Yummy Dumpling

La Margarita Express 515 Chemeketa St. NE

#5 Veggie Burrito: A cheese filled chile relleno, rice, beans and sour cream all wrapped in a flour tortilla

This is by far my favorite five dollar lunch. I love chile rellenos and this burrito makes it a meal. I order mine with black beans inside, but they also have pinto. I've easily had 20 of these already this year.
Bonus 1: You get chips, salsa and beans at your table if you eat in.
Bonus 2: They have a patio in the sun.

They also have a section of the menu that is Salvadorian, try the:

$2.25 (x 2) Ala Carta Pork & Cheese or Red bean & Cheese Pupusas (get two)

Siagon Restaurant 477 Court St NE

$3.75 Vietnamese Sandwiches- choice of meat served with house pickled carrots, cucumbers, daikon, cilantro, jalapeno, house mayo and ma
ggi soy.

I've tried the pork roll but I think next time I'll try the grilled chicken with lemongrass. The french bread is crusty and makes a mess, but the saltiness of the spread with the freshness of the veggies makes this an excellent cheap lunch!

India Palace 377 Court Street NE

$5.00 Small Take Out Box for the Buffet

This is my go to place when I'm hungry RIGHT NOW. Pick up their small to go box and fill it up from the buffet. It's always too much food for me, so I get to have more Indian food for a late afternoon snack. This also includes a soda, so don't forget to grab one of the to go cups by the soda fountain. Hint- I always put my na'an on top of my box so they don't get soggy and so far no one's chided me for it not being "in" the box.

Church Street Pizza ( now Roxy Dawgs324 Church Street NE

$5.00 Lunch special- slice of pie and a salad

I'm a big fan of the pizza here. It's New York style, big slices with a thin crust, you have to fold in half to eat. Comes with a fresh salad and they try to get veggies locally at the farmers market. I recommend the margarita pizza with their house made mozzarella. They also carry Gilgamesh beer on tap, but that blows your 5 dollar lunch and makes it difficult to go back to work.

Smile BBQ ( now Happy BiBim Bap635 Chemeketa Street NE

$3.95/$4.95 Lunch Bar/Buffet (not self serve)

A new place for me, but delicious and a new favorite. They have a buffet that they'll dish you up from, they'll also let you taste a couple of things before you pick. I had their spicy pork and the potato noodles and I loved it. Price varies based on what you pick so be sure to check before you order.

Napoleon's Creperie & Gelato (slated to reopen someday) In the Reed Opera House

$4.95 Soup of the Day

I'm a sucker for their artichoke soup, a favorite for a cold day. Soups change a couple of times a week so be sure to check out their daily offering.

Super Pho (now on Lancaster) 383 State Street

Gi Cun (Salad Rolls) 2 rolls - Fresh rice paper rolls with shrimp, pork, vermicelli noodles, mixed lettuce, served with side of peanut sauce or house special sauce.
So technically this is an appetizer, but don't be fooled it's plenty of food. It's essentially one of their noodle bowls condensed into a couple of rolls. There's also a pork only option if you don't want shrimp. Very tasty and fresh, just perfect for a lunch in the park.

What are some of your favorite lunches under 5 bucks?


Anonymous said...

1. La Perla tacos. Super cheap and quick if you get to go. Hit or miss sometimes though. I love the tacos al pastor
2. Saigon. The sandwiches are really good and very unique.
3. Salmon lox bagel sandwich at governors cup.
4. Straight From New York pizza. My favorite downtown lunch.

Anonymous said...

Christo's has a good lunch sized pie that is close to $5. The sushi place over next to La Capitale you can get a couple of nice fresh rolls for $5 and it is both good and healthy. Lifesource has a salad bar/hot food bar that you can fill up on for $5, and again a good heathy/veg choice. I have always liked the burritos at IKE box and they are well under $5 if you don't get the chips. Fuji Ricetime has a great teriyaki bowl for $5.

Anonymous said...

JR's Taqueria should be mentioned as well.

Mike Herron said...

Don't forget waffles from James the Waffle Guy. $4.00 for a delicious waffle, but the conversation is free.

Rebekah said...

You got most of my favorites, Kristi! I love the two pupusa combination from La Margarita Express. Comes with a cabbage slaw.

I'd also add a hotdog or "char"burger from Casey's will only run you $3-5.

And one of my very favorites, a bowl of tomato soup from Willamette Noodle Co. Comes with bread and garlic dipping sauce.

I also saw, El Maguey, the new Mexican place by the Conference Center has $4 lunch specials.

Aaron said...

The new Chinese restaurant on State Street (where Full House used to be) is decent. Had their chicken curry at lunch, with fried rice, two crab puffs, and choice of soup for $4.95. Very nice portion for the money. Will go there again in the future, that's for sure.

Kristi said...

Nice additions!

I also had the ramen soup today at Smile BBQ and it was great on this fallish day. Next time I'll have to try the tomato soup at WNC...

Anonymous said...

The sandwiches at Saigon are excellent and cheap. I've only had the original but my wife has been back quite a few times and tried others and she loves them. I think the original is $4.