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Sara Kerens

20 Solid Dallas Lunch Options for $10 or Less

A handy go-to list for your work week.

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While there's certainly nothing wrong with packing a lunch, some of Dallas' best restaurant deals happen during the daytime hours. Here you'll find some of the best lunchtime fare in the city, from classic sandwiches to authentic (and not-so authentic) tacos and spicy noodles, all for just about ten bucks or less.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Alligator Cafe

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Missing the Crescent City? Both locations of Alligator Cafe offer daily lunch specials, including half muffuletta or po-boy sandwiches accompanied by a cup gumbo or étouffée, Oyster BLT, and Red Beans and Rice, each $9.95. Grab a seat at the counter for lunch between 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aloha Hawaiian BBQ

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Never experienced the joys of a Hawaiian plate lunch? Get thee to Aloha promptly, where $5.99 lunch specials (available Monday-Friday from noon-2 p.m.) include generous portions of white rice, macaroni salad, and you choice of two meats like crispy breaded chicken katsu or shredded pork kalua. Consider tacking on an order of Spam musubi if you're really hungry (and not opposed to eating canned meats).

Bangkok City

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Bangkok City’s 14 Thai lunch specials are either $9 or $10, including tax, and are offered 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on weekdays. Choose from classics like Pad Thai, or get spicy with their flavorful Yellow Curry. Each lunch special is served with soup or salad, and will surely be enough to carry you through the rest of the day.

Bolsa Mercado

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Bolsa Mercado has a variety of satisfying salad, sandwich, and deli options, but the $10 housemade pastrami on rye with braised red cabbage is tops. Other options include a smoked hanger steak wrap with charred peppers and caramelized onion vinaigrette. Bolsa Mercado is open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Garden Cafe

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Believe it or not, you can get your home-cookin’, garden-fresh veggie fix for a reasonable price. While you can certainly spend more if you desire, $8 will get you the special of the day (the meatloaf on Wednesday is especially good) or a custom cage-free egg omelette plus a breakfast side. Who says you can’t have brunch on a weekday? Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Good 2 Go Taco

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Just one of these inventive tacos, salads, or plates is enough for a meal, but just try and pick only one. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day except Monday, but if you drop in after 11 a.m. you’ll get your pick of both breakfast and lunch. Good 2 Go uses organic eggs in their breakfasts, but vegans can substitute tofu. The Hotlanta taco is a favorite, featuring waffle-battered chicken, sweet potatoes, and honey butter for just $4. Bonus: get your locally-roasted caffeine fix at the Cultivar Coffee counter right inside.

Hospitality Sweet

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This sun-lit cafe housed in a corner of Dallas’ historic downtown post office and courthouse certainly is sweet. In addition to breakfast pastries, cookies, cake balls, and other assorted desserts, their sandwiches and salads make for a delightful lunch. Local favorite Empire Baking Co. provides the bread. Try the Turkey Pesto Ciabatta with Goat Cheese & Prosciutto with a side of orzo and wild rice salad ($9) and pair it with an Oak Cliff Coffee cold brew. Stop by for lunch between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays.

Hypnotic Donuts

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Hypnotic Doughnuts’ fried chicken biscuit sandwiches make a filling (and admittedly rather indulgent) lunch. Even the fully-loaded “Amy,” piled high with bacon, pickles, cheddar cheese, honey, and spicy mustard clocks in at just $7. At that price, go ahead and pick yourself out a doughnut. Open weekdays 6:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Jimmy's Food Store

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This East Dallas institution has been serving up giant sandwiches in the back of their small store for decades. Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., you can grab a variety of six- or 12-inch sandwiches for $4.99-$9.99. Meat eaters have plenty of options, including the classic Muffuletta or Italian Beef, and their Caprese Panino and Tuna Panino are solid too — and you'll probably have enough leftover for dinner. Don’t forget to grab a $1 shot of espresso on your way out.

Kalachandji's

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Load up on tasty vegetarian fare at the buffet inside this gorgeous Hare Krishna temple for a "suggested donation" of merely $8.95 at lunch. The selection rotates but expect daal (lentil soup), homemade breads, crispy pappadam and rice pudding for dessert. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Keller's Drive-In

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Drive-in mainstay Keller's feels like a little slice of old-school Americana -- plus it's dirt-cheap. Get a double-meat burger loaded up with cheese and your favorite toppings (don't skip the grilled onions) on a perfect poppy-seed bun, tots and a thick shake and you'll still come in well under $10. Open at 11 a.m. daily.

Latin Deli

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This friendly cafe from two former La Duni employees offers plenty of sandwich and salad options for $6.99-7.50 -- try the generously sized classic Cuban sandwich on warm ciabatta that's served with spicy seasoned fries and a creamy dipping sauce, or go a bit healthier with the chicken salad with avocado and strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. [Photo: Kenjah N./Yelp]

Monkey King Noodle Company

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Every item at this Deep Ellum hand-pulled noodle stand clocks in under $10. Spicy noodle soups, saucy peanut noodles, meaty wontons, and light-and-zesty cucumber salad are sure to satisfy both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Stop by for lunch between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. every day except Sunday. Although they don’t have much seating, the rooftop patio is an especially nice respite from your cubicle.

Uncle Uber's Sammich Shop

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This Deep Ellum staple features classic, high-quality sandwiches, burgers, salads, and condiments. Their Cuban is a favorite, served on a grilled baguette with Uber sauce ($7.29,) but the real standout is the Shaved Ribeye Steak topped with grilled red onions and blue cheese ($7.99). Add hand-cut fries ($1.29) and don’t forget to ask for the habanero ranch! Avoid the lunch rush by calling in your order, or eat in and enjoy the eclectic decor.

Veracruz Cafe

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This interior Mexican restaurant in Bishop Arts has one of the best mole enchiladas in the city -- and on weekdays from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. this dish can be yours for just $8.95. If mole isn’t your thing, try the Adobe de Puerco with papas olmecas and black beans or Cactus Salad with grilled chicken, corn, and mango (both $8.95.)

Bubba's Cooks Country

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When you're craving some down-home country cooking (read: fried stuff and carbs), look no further than Bubba's. You can get a two-piece fried chicken plate with two sides (fries or mashed potatoes and slaw are always advised) and a roll for between $7.99 and $8.99, depending on whether you prefer dark or white meat.

Fadi's Mediterranean Grill

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Fadi's is like a Mediterranean version of Luby's, except uh, way better. While most of their combo plates clock in around $11-13, you can hack the system by getting it to go. An a la carte entree like the juicy chicken kebabs is $4.59, then tack on a side of the spicy hummus for $2.99. Thanks to the free self-serve pita bread, you'll likely end up with enough food to make a couple meals out of. [Photo: Fadi's/Facebook]

Off-Site Kitchen

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Even in its newer, fancier Trinity Groves digs, OSK remains an ideal bargain lunch spot. Burgers are always a good choice, but the clutch move is the chicken strip basket with fries ($7.99 and worth every penny).

Pecan Lodge

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Barbecue has a reputation for being expensive — thanks, crazy-high beef prices — but it doesn't have to be. At Pecan Lodge, the meatravaganza known as the Pitmaster sandwich comes loaded with brisket, pulled pork, sausage, slaw, and jalapenos, and it will definitely satisfy. In fact, you might need to nap under your desk afterward. [Photo: Margo Sivin]

Tacos Y Mas

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Tacos are an obvious choice when you're eating on the cheap, and Tacos Y Mas on Lower Greenville will fill you up for less than $10 any day of the week. Try the Cuban torta platter, as this hefty sandwich will provide a more than suitable lunch for just $8.

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Alligator Cafe

Missing the Crescent City? Both locations of Alligator Cafe offer daily lunch specials, including half muffuletta or po-boy sandwiches accompanied by a cup gumbo or étouffée, Oyster BLT, and Red Beans and Rice, each $9.95. Grab a seat at the counter for lunch between 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aloha Hawaiian BBQ

Never experienced the joys of a Hawaiian plate lunch? Get thee to Aloha promptly, where $5.99 lunch specials (available Monday-Friday from noon-2 p.m.) include generous portions of white rice, macaroni salad, and you choice of two meats like crispy breaded chicken katsu or shredded pork kalua. Consider tacking on an order of Spam musubi if you're really hungry (and not opposed to eating canned meats).

Bangkok City

Bangkok City’s 14 Thai lunch specials are either $9 or $10, including tax, and are offered 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on weekdays. Choose from classics like Pad Thai, or get spicy with their flavorful Yellow Curry. Each lunch special is served with soup or salad, and will surely be enough to carry you through the rest of the day.

Bolsa Mercado

Bolsa Mercado has a variety of satisfying salad, sandwich, and deli options, but the $10 housemade pastrami on rye with braised red cabbage is tops. Other options include a smoked hanger steak wrap with charred peppers and caramelized onion vinaigrette. Bolsa Mercado is open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Garden Cafe

Believe it or not, you can get your home-cookin’, garden-fresh veggie fix for a reasonable price. While you can certainly spend more if you desire, $8 will get you the special of the day (the meatloaf on Wednesday is especially good) or a custom cage-free egg omelette plus a breakfast side. Who says you can’t have brunch on a weekday? Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Good 2 Go Taco

Just one of these inventive tacos, salads, or plates is enough for a meal, but just try and pick only one. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day except Monday, but if you drop in after 11 a.m. you’ll get your pick of both breakfast and lunch. Good 2 Go uses organic eggs in their breakfasts, but vegans can substitute tofu. The Hotlanta taco is a favorite, featuring waffle-battered chicken, sweet potatoes, and honey butter for just $4. Bonus: get your locally-roasted caffeine fix at the Cultivar Coffee counter right inside.

Hospitality Sweet

This sun-lit cafe housed in a corner of Dallas’ historic downtown post office and courthouse certainly is sweet. In addition to breakfast pastries, cookies, cake balls, and other assorted desserts, their sandwiches and salads make for a delightful lunch. Local favorite Empire Baking Co. provides the bread. Try the Turkey Pesto Ciabatta with Goat Cheese & Prosciutto with a side of orzo and wild rice salad ($9) and pair it with an Oak Cliff Coffee cold brew. Stop by for lunch between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays.

Hypnotic Donuts

Hypnotic Doughnuts’ fried chicken biscuit sandwiches make a filling (and admittedly rather indulgent) lunch. Even the fully-loaded “Amy,” piled high with bacon, pickles, cheddar cheese, honey, and spicy mustard clocks in at just $7. At that price, go ahead and pick yourself out a doughnut. Open weekdays 6:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Jimmy's Food Store

This East Dallas institution has been serving up giant sandwiches in the back of their small store for decades. Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., you can grab a variety of six- or 12-inch sandwiches for $4.99-$9.99. Meat eaters have plenty of options, including the classic Muffuletta or Italian Beef, and their Caprese Panino and Tuna Panino are solid too — and you'll probably have enough leftover for dinner. Don’t forget to grab a $1 shot of espresso on your way out.

Kalachandji's

Load up on tasty vegetarian fare at the buffet inside this gorgeous Hare Krishna temple for a "suggested donation" of merely $8.95 at lunch. The selection rotates but expect daal (lentil soup), homemade breads, crispy pappadam and rice pudding for dessert. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Keller's Drive-In

Drive-in mainstay Keller's feels like a little slice of old-school Americana -- plus it's dirt-cheap. Get a double-meat burger loaded up with cheese and your favorite toppings (don't skip the grilled onions) on a perfect poppy-seed bun, tots and a thick shake and you'll still come in well under $10. Open at 11 a.m. daily.

Latin Deli