Maybe you splurged a little too much at the beginning of this quarantine (Donuts! Boxes of wine! Hand sanitizer!), or maybe you just dropped $50 for a packet of yeast in an abandoned parking lot. Whatever the reason may be, there’s no need to resort to eating leftover banana bread every night for dinner. Here are 25 delivery and takeout options where you can get a great meal for $15 or less.
There are a number of Vietnamese spots serving phở in Dorchester right now, including Phở Le and Phở 2000, but we’re partial to the excellent broth at Phở Hoa. The extra large bowls of phở are $9.50 each, and almost everything else on the menu is $15 or under (try the lemongrass grilled pork chop). Call the restaurant at (617) 287-9746 to place an order.
A wagyu roast beef sandwich for $10 is a great thing for Back Bay residents who may be more used to $90 cakes (that’s a real thing, by the way). Place an order online and pick it up at the extremely convenient takeout window.
The majority of NU Kitchen’s menu is plant-based, and though eating at kind-of healthy places can sometimes cost more than Gronk on pay-per-view, that’s thankfully not the case here. All of the grain bowls, paninis, and wraps are under $10. Also, we’d happily get the chorizo brussel hash for breakfast every morning.
Harry's All-American Breakfast
Learning how to flip an omelet can either be really fulfilling or incredibly humbling. The latter, especially when paired with the terrible smell of burning eggs, is particularly unpleasant. Harry’s serves a variety of gigantic four-egg omelets, including one with corned beef hash inside, and pretty much any other diner food you could want at relatively affordable prices. Place an order on Uber Eats.
Everything on the menu at El Pelon is under $9, so you should just go ahead and place an order through their website right now. We’re partial to the “El Guapo” burrito, with steak, fried plantains, and fire-roasted salsa. There’s also another location in Brighton if you don’t live near Fenway.
Dakzen has been our go-to place for spicy noodles for a while now. For $8.95, you can pick from a wide array of things, including khao soi, pad kee mow, and their body-warming tom yum soup (just in case you don’t make it outside today). Delivery is available through Uber Eats as well.
All of the combo plates at Yely’s, which come with a choice of meat and side (rice, tostones, plantains, yucca, or a salad), are $12 each. You can also get an additional arepa for $2. We tried to come up with reasons to not order that arepa, but even after a number of intense Zoom meetings, we failed.
Rod D By Sitti Thai Cuisine
98.2% of Rod D by Sitti’s large menu is under $15 (please don’t do the math), including things like sweet chili soft-shell crab and duck leg noodle soup. This place also sells Thai donuts with a condensed milk dipping sauce, and we really have a poor history with budgeting and donuts.
At Sammy Carlo’s in Eastie, a large meatball sub is $8.99. It’s simple, delicious, and gigantic enough to split into lunch and dinner for the day. If you’re looking for something even more affordable, they’re also selling family meals that feed 10-12 people for $35-$50. It’s an incredible deal, considering that was basically the price of a hot dog and two beers at Fenway a few months ago.
Yes, there are other things on the menu at Mediterranean spot GreCo, but honestly we prefer to just order three loukoumas. These Greek donuts - with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon - are one of our favorite desserts in the city, but these days we’re not really sticking to food conventions like “dinner” or “dessert.”
It’s a lot of work to make hand-pulled noodles, and yet they always seem to be an affordable option all over the world. We still haven’t figured out this particular economic conundrum, but in the meantime we’ll still be enjoying our $9 spicy lamb noodles from MDM.
Punjabi Dhaba isn’t the best Indian restaurant in Boston, but it is a pretty affordable one, especially when you order the house special combos. The platters come with a meat or vegetarian dish, a curry, naan, a samosa, chutney, and basmati rice. If that sounds like a lot of food for $10-$12, that’s because it is. The mixed platter for two is an even better deal, if you have someone other than your cat to split your food with.
A large plate of jerk chicken, rice and peas, and vegetables from Only One will set you back $14, but the portion size is substantial enough to serve two (or you and then your future self at breakfast tomorrow). We also like the oxtail, goat curry, and mac and cheese from here, in case you’re looking for other options.
The great thing about Jalisco’s tamales is that they’re only $2.99 each, and you’ll probably be pretty full after two. The other great thing is that they freeze well, which means you won’t have to rely on your old friend Stouffer’s anymore.
Dirty Water Dough, with locations in East Boston and Back Bay, is open for takeout and delivery. A large pizza (starting at $16) should be enough to feed three, but we’re not trying to limit anyone here. If you’re looking for a less traditional pizza tonight, try the “Dirty Taco,” with chili beef, sour cream, and Doritos.
A good proportion of the menu at Saloniki is under $15, but the best deal may be the quarantine feast for four for $45. It comes with three types of meat, halloumi, pita, fries, slaw, and two homemade sauces. If you’re under quarantine with a lot of cacti, move some of that beer around in the fridge.
Korean-Mexican spot OliToki may have some of the best late night food available at the moment. After a couple of beers, we definitely want some tater tots with kimchi salsa and spam-kimchi rice bowls. We were skeptical too, at first. But in retrospect, we realize we’d enjoy kimchi in almost any form.
Bánh Mì Ba Le
For $15, you could purchase the decidedly mediocre movie Like A Boss, or you could get two and a half báhn mì sandwiches from Báhn Mì Ba Le in Dorchester. This Vietnamese grocery store and deli also sells lo mien, spring rolls, and BBQ pork rice plates, at equally affordable prices. Plus, all of it’s now available on Uber Eats for the first time - just don’t try to order a sandwich half.
Cafe Mami is a tiny Japanese spot inside Lesley University’s Porter Campus with pretty great donburis for $8.99 each. They also have a chicken and pork tonkatsu, and a “ground beef steak” set for $10.99. Believe it or not, that ground beef steak has been Cafe Mami’s best-seller since the beginning of this quarantine.
Kebabs and biryani are a stronger couple than any of the ones you might’ve seen on Love Is Blind or The Bachelor recently. They’re more fiscally responsible too, at least based on what we can tell from the wardrobe on those two shows.
If Thaitation is a new form of meditation that involves consuming drunken noodles while lying down in bed, then we’re all for it. A few seafood dishes at this Thai spot in Fenway cross the $15 threshold, but a lot of other menu items do not. Try the beef num tok or mango fried rice with shrimp - available for delivery on Uber Eats.
It’s hard to explain just how much we like the $12 coconut grits with chickpea stew at Tawakal, but we keep thinking about it every time we walk into our kitchens for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner.
We’re fans of the specialty burritos at Los Amigos, like the “Surf & Turf” with steak, shrimp, and smoky chipotle mayo, and “The Plantain” with fried plantains, mango salsa, and guac. All of the huge burritos are $10 or less, which is all the more reason to grab a couple of churros to go as well. They have five locations throughout the city, all of which are open for takeout and delivery.
The Island Jerk Chicken Melt from All Star is one of the top five sandwiches in Boston. There, we said it. We order it anytime we need some excellence between two slices of bread, which is pretty often. At $14, it is a little pricey for a sandwich, but we usually split it between two people anyway. Or we save it for ourselves, depending on our level of roommate animosity.
The large Kombu Dashi Tsukumen bowl from Tsurumen is $22, but you get enough noodles and broth to feed two people. Of the list of ramen spots open in Boston right now, this might be one of our favorites. Place your order on Uber Eats.