Living in the Bay Area means all your money goes to rent, gas, and $15 elevated mocktails made of 50 percent seltzer. When you’re on a budget but you still want an excellent lunch or dinner, head to Vientian Cafe - a Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese spot in East Oakland. We come here for the flavorful nam kao ($7.95), the fresh papaya salad ($7.95), and the angel wings ($6.95) with a side of sticky rice. You’ll also want to ask for the menu of Lao specials, which includes a tangy fermented sausage ($3 a piece).
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Pho K & K
Pho K & K in Berkeley is your go-to for a hangover curing Vietnamese brunch or an affordable, casual dinner.
Saigon Sandwich’s Sandwiches are $4 and pack a punch. They’re the best affordable lunch in the game.
Sunflower Vietnamese Restaurant in Potrero Hill is a good spot for a casual meal when you have a small group to feed.
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