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Orange chicken with Sichuan pepper
Orange chicken at Royal China
Royal China [Official Photo]

13 Excellent Dallas Lunches Under $13

Skip the chains and hit one of these local eateries for burgers, pho, and more

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Orange chicken at Royal China
| Royal China [Official Photo]

Sometimes, “what’s for lunch” can be a seriously complicated question. For folks who are trying to save cash, brown-bagging it is the most financially sound choice, but there’s only so many times that you can eat the same boring sandwich or leftovers before getting completely burnt out.

Looking for a solid lunch option that won’t break the bank? These 13 eateries are among the city’s best, and boast a seriously strong selection of lunch options — from pizza and pasta to vegetarian buffets and juicy burgers — all priced at $13 or less.

Is your favorite well-priced lunch option missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Zoli's NY Pizza

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Ok, it’s a little bit more than $10, but the lunch special at Zoli’s absolutely cannot be beat. Score a 10-inch pie topped with pepperoni or sausage and a half a Caesar salad for just $13, or keep it under a tenner with an order of the restaurant’s decadent “Return of the Mac” pasta ($9).

Royal China Restaurant

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This beloved Preston Royal Chinese eatery is a buzzy lunch destination, and it’s definitely worth the drive thanks to entrees like stir-fried Sichuan beef ($12) and pork in garlic sauce ($11). Perhaps most importantly, the portions are pretty generous which means that light lunchers will probably have enough for two meals.

Resident Taqueria

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At this wildly popular taqueria, budget-friendly diners can seriously feast on tacos stuffed with fillings like pecan-smoked chicken ($3), caramelized cauliflower ($3), and chorizo that’s freshly made at the restaurant. Sides, like garlicky pinto beans and street-style esquites, are equally affordable.

Keller's

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This longtime staple of Dallas’s burger scene boasts some of the best burgers — and prices — in town. Score a cheeseburger, tots, and drink for less than $10, and eat it all in the comfort of your own car.

Snuffers

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In what may be one of the best budget-friendly lunch deals in town, Snuffer’s serves its famed classic cheeseburger for just $5 on Tuesdays.

Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

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Gluten-free bowls of veggie goodness await at this health-obsessed spot, where pretty much everything on the menu is completely customizable. Consider the Deep South wrap ($9.75), filled with bourbon-glazed pulled pork, kale, horseradish pickles, and ranch, or go for a classic avocado toast ($6) topped with cucumber, hard-boiled egg, and everything bagel spice.

Kalachandji's

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Enjoy a veritable vegetarian feast at this East Dallas eatery operated by Dallas’s Hare Krishna temple. The menu for the lunch buffet, which will set diners back $13, changes daily, but always boasts a massive salad bar, crispy pakoras, homemade cinnamon-raisin bread, and entrees that range from curries to enchiladas. Right now, Kalachandji’s staffers are packing takeout boxes full of the buffet options, available for to-go or dining in the restaurant’s lovely outdoor courtyard.

AllGood Cafe

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At this all-day Deep Ellum favorite, breakfast for lunch just makes total sense. Score a 3-egg omelet loaded with cheese and veggies for $10, or get decadent with the borracho biscuit, a homemade biscuit that’s topped with sausage, over-easy eggs, queso, jalapenos, and bacon.

TEN Ramen

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A project of vaunted Dallas chef Teiichi Sakurai, Ten boasts bowls of ramen that punch well above their price point. Order the classic tonkotsu, or go with the pork mazemen, a broth-less bowl of noodles that’s a Ten specialty.

Sandwich Hag

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The banh mi at this Cedars spot is a bit more expensive than some of the city’s Vietnamese sandwiches, but they’re definitely the best. Proteins like lemongrass chicken, meatballs, pork sausage, and ginger-laced tofu are served on crusty French bread alongside crunchy pickled veggies, cilantro, and garlic aioli — all priced at under $10, which means that you can order a fruity tea or Vietnamese iced coffee.

Bubba's Cooks Country - Dallas

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It might be located in one of the city’s ritziest neighborhoods, but Bubba’s Cooks Country’s prices are perfectly reasonable. Score a two piece chicken dinner with a roll and side for $10, or load up a veggie plate full of mashed potatoes, green beans, candied yams, and cabbage, for $9.

Big Guys Chicken & Rice

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The massive platters of chicken and rice at this Deep Ellum favorite are easily big enough for two meals, making them an especially budget friendly deal at just $12. There’s also vegetarian aloo wraps, falafel platters, and more snacks, all priced under $14.

Inihaw Avenue Filipino Kitchen

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Filipino favorites like crispy lumpia and pancit palabok are all on offer at this hidden gem in Las Colinas. Diners will also have a couple bucks extra to score a calamansi limeade, a perfectly refreshing summer drink.

Zoli's NY Pizza

Ok, it’s a little bit more than $10, but the lunch special at Zoli’s absolutely cannot be beat. Score a 10-inch pie topped with pepperoni or sausage and a half a Caesar salad for just $13, or keep it under a tenner with an order of the restaurant’s decadent “Return of the Mac” pasta ($9).

Royal China Restaurant

This beloved Preston Royal Chinese eatery is a buzzy lunch destination, and it’s definitely worth the drive thanks to entrees like stir-fried Sichuan beef ($12) and pork in garlic sauce ($11). Perhaps most importantly, the portions are pretty generous which means that light lunchers will probably have enough for two meals.

Resident Taqueria

At this wildly popular taqueria, budget-friendly diners can seriously feast on tacos stuffed with fillings like pecan-smoked chicken ($3), caramelized cauliflower ($3), and chorizo that’s freshly made at the restaurant. Sides, like garlicky pinto beans and street-style esquites, are equally affordable.

Keller's

This longtime staple of Dallas’s burger scene boasts some of the best burgers — and prices — in town. Score a cheeseburger, tots, and drink for less than $10, and eat it all in the comfort of your own car.

Snuffers

In what may be one of the best budget-friendly lunch deals in town, Snuffer’s serves its famed classic cheeseburger for just $5 on Tuesdays.

Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

Gluten-free bowls of veggie goodness await at this health-obsessed spot, where pretty much everything on the menu is completely customizable. Consider the Deep South wrap ($9.75), filled with bourbon-glazed pulled pork, kale, horseradish pickles, and ranch, or go for a classic avocado toast ($6) topped with cucumber, hard-boiled egg, and everything bagel spice.

Kalachandji's

Enjoy a veritable vegetarian feast at this East Dallas eatery operated by Dallas’s Hare Krishna temple. The menu for the lunch buffet, which will set diners back $13, changes daily, but always boasts a massive salad bar, crispy pakoras, homemade cinnamon-raisin bread, and entrees that range from curries to enchiladas. Right now, Kalachandji’s staffers are packing takeout boxes full of the buffet options, available for to-go or dining in the restaurant’s lovely outdoor courtyard.

AllGood Cafe

At this all-day Deep Ellum favorite, breakfast for lunch just makes total sense. Score a 3-egg omelet loaded with cheese and veggies for $10, or get decadent with the borracho biscuit, a homemade biscuit that’s topped with sausage, over-easy eggs, queso, jalapenos, and bacon.

TEN Ramen

A project of vaunted Dallas chef Teiichi Sakurai, Ten boasts bowls of ramen that punch well above their price point. Order the classic tonkotsu, or go with the pork mazemen, a broth-less bowl of noodles that’s a Ten specialty.

Sandwich Hag

The banh mi at this Cedars spot is a bit more expensive than some of the city’s Vietnamese sandwiches, but they’re definitely the best. Proteins like lemongrass chicken, meatballs, pork sausage, and ginger-laced tofu are served on crusty French bread alongside crunchy pickled veggies, cilantro, and garlic aioli — all priced at under $10, which means that you can order a fruity tea or Vietnamese iced coffee.

Bubba's Cooks Country - Dallas

It might be located in one of the city’s ritziest neighborhoods, but Bubba’s Cooks Country’s prices are perfectly reasonable. Score a two piece chicken dinner with a roll and side for $10, or load up a veggie plate full of mashed potatoes, green beans, candied yams, and cabbage, for $9.

Big Guys Chicken & Rice

The massive platters of chicken and rice at this Deep Ellum favorite are easily big enough for two meals, making them an especially budget friendly deal at just $12. There’s also vegetarian aloo wraps, falafel platters, and more snacks, all priced under $14.

Inihaw Avenue Filipino Kitchen

Filipino favorites like crispy lumpia and pancit palabok are all on offer at this hidden gem in Las Colinas. Diners will also have a couple bucks extra to score a calamansi limeade, a perfectly refreshing summer drink.

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