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Best Cheap Eats in Boston

You don’t have to shell out a whole lotta beans at these affordable spots in Beantown.

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Budget-Friendly Bites in Beantown

Just because you’re in Beantown doesn’t mean you’ve got to shell out a whole lotta beans when dining out on the town. Sure, Boston can be pretty steep when it comes to cost of living, but it turns out you don’t have to resort to a dollar menu at a fast food chain just to get a good deal on your meal. These old-school spots and new-school joints offer a bounty of bites that will make a dent in your appetite but not your wallet.

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KO Pies + Catering

Slice into a savory pie at this Aussie-style restaurant, where crisp puff pastry comes stuffed with piping-hot meat fillings. The $7-and-less selection includes classic beef, beef stew and lamb shank, along with curried vegetable as the sole vegetarian option. Shell out just a couple dollars more for sides like mushy peas or lamb gravy. Salads and sandwiches are also available, but the pies are by far the most-popular pick.

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Mike's City Diner

This Boston institution has been serving diner classics, including all-day breakfast dishes like omelets and pancakes, since 1995. But what really put Mike's on the map is a Thanksgiving-inspired sandwich dreamed up by owner Jay Hajj. Customers consistently rave about Mike's Famous Pilgrim, an enormous creation composed of freshly cooked turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce for $11.25. Featured on both Top 5 Restaurants and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this dish draws fans eager for a taste of Thanksgiving year-round.

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Lone Star Taco Bar

Lasso Tex-Mex tastes on the cheap at either locale of Lone Star Taco Bar. Both the original restaurant in Allston and its Cambridge outpost serve an array of affordable dishes, along with an impressive roster of tequilas and mezcals, in a super-casual yet sleek setting. Fresh ingredients abound: the corn chips are made to order and cocktail syrups are crafted in-house. Order a few small plates to create a customized meal: the chips and salsa ($3), beef Barbacoa tacos ($4) and refried bean tostada ($5) are one winning combo that clocks in at a total of $12. Prefer a larger plate? Opt for the huevos rancheros, with two tortillas, fried eggs, refried beans, ranchero sauce, avocado and queso fresco for a mere $8. The cocktails are a bit pricier, but splurge-worthy standouts include the El Diablo Margarita spiced up with jalapeño-and-habanero agave syrup.

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