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The Best Cheap Eats in Boston

Leading the country in the fight for independence against Great Britain, Boston has become home to some of the country's most notable neighborhoods. Today, Boston attracts millions to its educational institutions, historical sites, top-rated hotels and world-renowned restaurants. Located near the Atlantic Ocean, this New England city is often associated with fresh seafood. But Boston hosts a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, offering some of the best restaurants on the coastline. Plus, many of Beantown's best quality dishes come at a great price. Whether diners seek a casual dinner with family or a quick bite and drink with friends, the best cheap eats in Boston span across the city. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out on a budget? Welcome to the Tastemaker Lists. We've pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. For foodies looking to experience all that Boston has to offer, here’s where diners from near and far are eating out. Score a table and enjoy a wicked good meal without breaking the bank.

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The OpenTable Team
19 Restaurants
Updated October 01, 2021
Restaurants:Emmet's Irish Pub and Restaurant, West End Johnnie's, Abby Lane
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Irish, Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall, Theater District
A photo of Emmet's Irish Pub and Restaurant restaurant

Emmet's Irish Pub and Restaurant

$$$$
Irish
Beacon Hill
4.5
324 reviews
When diners are in the mood for a casual, classic Irish meal, Emmet's is the place-to-be. This alehouse serves pub fare, wine, and pints, offering an authentic Irish experience. Located within walking distance to The State House, here, beer lovers can expect a perfectly poured pint of Guinness and some of the best cheap eats in Boston. A great meeting spot, Emmet's offers a wide range of quality, yet reasonably priced menu items, including dishes such as Chicken Curry, Bangers & Mash, as well as traditional Shepherd's Pie. Brunch items range from a full Irish breakfast complete with black and white pudding to their corned beef hash.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of West End Johnnie's restaurant

West End Johnnie's

$$$$
Contemporary American
Faneuil Hall
4.6
505 reviews
The perfect spot for those wanting to enjoy an evening out on a budget, West End Johnnie's is a lively bi-level local hangout, decorated with a large collection of vintage sports memorabilia. Located on the cornerstone of the West End, West End Johnnie's offers "great food, great drinks, and great people." Kickstart dinner with a $10 appetizer or $4 side salad, followed by one of their burgers made in-house, or one of many entrees. All sides are $5, featuring everything from smoked truffle fries to asparagus, roasted potatoes to sautéed spinach.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Abby Lane restaurant

Abby Lane

$$$$
Contemporary American
Theater District
4.2
1700 reviews
Offering guests two dining areas, Abby Lane serves some of the best cheap eat in Boston in their downstairs lounge and upstairs dining room. Named Boston's Best Pre and Post Theater Dining by the Improper Bostonian, a local lifestyle magazine, Abby Lane is the perfect spot for delicious eats, creative cocktails, and an exciting atmosphere. While their menu is fairly priced, diners do not need to sacrifice quality. Appetizers include ahi tuna tartare, coconut and red curry mussels, Kobe sliders, and burrata over prosciutto. Mains include crispy duck confit, shrimp scampi, a beer-battered fish sandwich, and more. Don't miss out on their warm cinnamon doughnuts, complete with three dipping sauces for just $10.

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A photo of Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurant - Boston restaurant

Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurant - Boston

$$$$
American
Theater District
3.9
852 reviews
This beloved brewpub chain offers a lively environment, house beers, and upscale American fare at a great price. Ideal for beer lovers and foodies, Rock Bottom Brewery serves nine small-batch beers, as well as an extensive menu. Offering classic favorites, including burgers, pasta, and pizza, there's something for everyone. Using their own beer, the chefs create some beer-inspired dishes, including a beer-infused giant pretzel and beer-battered cod and chips. After all, as they like to say, they're a "tank to table" restaurant.

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A photo of The Stones Common House & Kitchen restaurant

The Stones Common House & Kitchen

$$$$
American
Boston/New England
4.5
437 reviews
This casual American bar and restaurant offers a local meeting place, as well as some of the best cheap eats in Boston. The atmosphere is modern, yet relaxed, offering both a bar and dining area. The bar is home to high-top tables, 16 bar stools, and a relaxing lounge area; whereas their dining room showcases their ever-changing menu. The rustic dishes at The Stone Common House & Kitchen highlight classic ingredients, which are then plated with artistic flair and finesse. For those in the mood for a light snack, their deviled eggs and housemade chips and dip are both just $6. Enjoy fresh quality salads and sandwiches for as little $9, and housemade pasta for as low as $15.

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A photo of Scoozi restaurant

Scoozi

$$$$
American
Kenmore Square / Fenway
3.9
112 reviews
For those looking to fill up on thin-crust pizza and sangria, Scoozi's is the place. Popular among students this relaxing local hotspot, offers wholesome gourmet food for a great price. With over 90 seats inside and 50 seats outside, Scoozi has a cool ambiance and lively atmosphere. Specials are available throughout the week, ranging from $5 individual pizzas to $8.95 fish and chips. Serving a wide range of pizzas, flatbreads, paninis, pastas, burgers, and more, there's something for everyone.

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A photo of Back Deck restaurant

Back Deck

$$$$
American
Downtown Crossing
4.1
1579 reviews
Back Deck is a funky, retro spot, serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Dishing up professional backyard grilling within a lad-back dining environment, grilled meat lovers can also enjoy a "porch-perfect" cocktail or beer. Order a classic burger and fries for just $12, a Cobb salad for just $10, or grilled lamb kefta with couscous salad for just $19. Whether diners are in the mood for grilled curried meatloaf or Mexican grilled corn, Back Deck will satisfy any grilled meat or vegetable craving. Gluten-free and kids menus are also available for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Bebop restaurant

The Bebop

$$$$
American
Back Bay
4.4
164 reviews
For those looking for the best cheap eats in Boston, as well as a lively music scene, The Behop will not disappoint. This Irish pub offers a high-quality menu, serving up lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and cocktails. Owned by the same owners as The Burren, a unique, thriving local music venue, The Behop is a popular destination for both musicians and their fans alike. With options such as their spicy steamed mussels, baked gnocchi, prosciutto and brie panini, or Guinness lab stew, all ranging from $10 to $16, The Behop offers excellent value — and the entertainment is an added bonus! Don’t miss out on Monday’s open mic night.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cambridge Brewing Company restaurant

Cambridge Brewing Company

$$$$
Contemporary American
Kendall Square
4.4
561 reviews
At Cambridge Brewing Company, beer lovers can take advantage of their gastropub menu. The brewery itself is warm and airy, featuring exposed brick, wood posts and beams, and unique artwork. First established in 1989, this brewery and restaurant has solidified its place in the local community. Known for their beer, quality food, and events, their menu is fairly extensive and reasonably priced. Try their fried chicken sandwich, black bean and brown rice bowl, or grilled peace pizza, all for $14 or less. Their brunch is a must-try, dishing up their beloved hangover wrap, banana and hefeweizen donut holes, ratatouille frittata, and many other options, each option is more creative than the last.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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A photo of Moonshine 152 restaurant

Moonshine 152

$$$$
American
South Boston
4.8
1226 reviews
Moonshine 152 is an award-winning restaurant in Southie, located just three miles from the downtown core. Serving brunch and dinner, Moonshine 152 offers dishes that highlight both Asian and East Coast flavors. Serving $1.50 oysters, dinner up until 1:30 am, this is the spot to score $1.50 oysters, as well as a wide selection of starters and entrees. Desserts range in price from $8 to $12, featuring their peanut butter jelly ice cream sundae, warm sticky toffee bread pudding, and their blueberry jamboree with toasted almond shortbread. Brunch is available on weekends from 11 am to 3 pm, offering a selection of unique, high-quality dishes at an average of $16 per head. Be sure to try a side of their homemade beer bread for just $3 or their green chili cheese grits for $5.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Trident Booksellers & Cafe restaurant

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

$$$$
American
Back Bay
4.4
71 reviews
Awarded the “Best of Boston 2019” by Boston Magazine, Trident Booksellers and Cafe first opened its doors in 1984, becoming a local landmark ever since. Offering those in the Back Bay area the perfect place to meet up with friends and family, this cafe is not only a full-service restaurant, but also a place to find unique books, gifts, and cards. When it comes to the best cheap eats, you can’t go wrong with the value for money at this local favorite cafe. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, whether diners feel like Challah French toast, butternut squash tacos, or a spicy turkey club, all dishes utilize fresh ingredients, offered at a great price. Finish the meal off with a chai latte or hot mulled cider.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cafe Landwer - Beacon Street restaurant

Cafe Landwer - Beacon Street

$$$$
Mediterranean
Kenmore Square / Fenway
4.5
96 reviews
This Israeli-based cafe is known for their Mediterranean fare and speciality coffee. The cafe itself showcases artistic flair, featuring bright pops of color, paintings on brick walls, and a brightly lit bar. Cafe Landwer takes great pride in using only the best ingredients, offering dishes which include a quinoa and tabbouleh salad, chicken shawarma, and za’atar spiced salmon, the quality of food exceeds its price tag. For those on a budget, their brunch menu offers a range of items for $12 or less, including their eggs Benedict florentine, açaí bowl, farmer’s breakfast, and a variety of others. Be sure to try their freshly squeezed juices or smoothies, featuring their popular mint leaf lemonade granita or their apple, celery, and ginger juice.

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A photo of Lorettas Last Call restaurant

Lorettas Last Call

$$$$
Southern
Kenmore Square / Fenway
4.6
308 reviews
Dishing up Southern classics, at Loretta’s Last Call, whether diners fancy fried chicken or catfish, they’re guaranteed to be satisfied. Known for their cold beer, affordable menu, live country music, and southern hospitality, guests from near and far love the unique dishes served at this upbeat country-inspired establishment. Appetizers include everything from steak biscuits to cider glazed pork belly, followed by a range of sandwiches and entrees. Tables of four can order family-style meals, including their fried chicken and sausage meal or their fried chicken sampler. With sides such as cornbread, collard greens, and sweet potato hash, there’s a dish for every southern craving.

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A photo of Tavern In The Square - North Station restaurant

Tavern In The Square - North Station

$$$$
American
West End
4.8
299 reviews
Located in the heart of downtown, Tavern in the Square offers diners a selection of draft beers, American fare, and patio. One of the best spots to get cheap eats in Boston, it is also one of the best places to catch a game. Surrounded by TVs, their bar area is lively; whereas their outdoor seating areas is a touch cosier, featuring a comfy lounge. For those looking to have a drink and small bite, sample their truffle tots, buffalo cauliflower, or New England clam chowder, all for $8 or less. For those a little hungrier, but still on a budget, their quinoa bowl, mac and cheese, turkey burger, eggplant stack, and many other dishes, are all just $15. Be sure to join their loyalty program to earn points towards free drinks and non-alcoholic beverages.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Glenville Stops restaurant

The Glenville Stops

$$$$
American
Allston
4.5
350 reviews
The Glenville Stops is a laid-back establishment, featuring exposed wood beams, brightly lit chandeliers, and a long wood bar. The vibe is casual, airy, and clean, offering diners a 90-bottle wine list, 31 beers on tap, and a wide selection of quality dishes — including $1 oysters (served 5-7 pm every day). First built in 1922, this restaurant offers historic character, as well as a small-plate-centric menu. Serving some of the best cheap eats in Boston, guests can choose from small plates that include housemade gnocchi with confit duck or charred octopus; or large plates which include a Jamaican kofta curry and roasted half-chicken. For just $8, be sure to try their pistachio and walnut baklava, served with ginger ice cream and basil whipped cream.

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A photo of Local 149 restaurant

Local 149

$$$$
American
South Boston
4.5
329 reviews
Local 149 is as funky and lively as they come, featuring a bright, fun, communal atmosphere. Located in the heart of South Boston, they are known for their unique cuisine and quality drinks. They are known to serve dishes that are "exceptionally local," sourcing ingredients from local producers and purveyors. Outside of their dinner and brunch menus, dinners can also take advantage of their daily specials, all of which offer great value for money.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Lucy's American Tavern restaurant

Lucy's American Tavern

$$$$
Comfort Food
Dorchester
4.7
710 reviews
Rustic and inviting, Lucy's American Tavern is known for their high-end pub menu, unique cocktails, and hospitality. A well-known local hangout within Adam's Village, guests can enjoy a wide selection of comfort food items, 50+ beer selection, and sangria on tap. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, each dish is made with the highest quality ingredients, offered at a great price. For example, diners can start with their beloved seafood chowder for $8, followed by a housemade burger for as little as $14 or a large serving of their kale, roasted pear, and quinoa salad for just $13.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Amrheins restaurant

Amrheins

$$$$
American
South Boston
4.6
562 reviews
Being the oldest bar and restaurant in South Boston, Amrheins is known as the spot to watch sports while enjoying their brunch, lunch, dinner, or late night menu. Historic buffs will appreciate the oldest hand-carved bar in America and the first draught beer pump in Boston, both located in this timeless establishment. Their extensive menu features everything from sandwiches to pizza, meatloaf to pan-seared salmon, all of which range from $11 to $18.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Wagamama - Prudential Center restaurant

Wagamama - Prudential Center

$$$$
Asian
Back Bay
4.4
202 reviews
This Japanese chain offers steamed rice and noodle dishes, served on long communal tables. Located in the Prudential Center, Wagamama is situated amid a range of shops and restaurants. Offering flavorful dishes at a great price, here's where you'll find a variety of curry and ramen dishes, as well as traditional Japanese creations.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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