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26 Best Cheap Eats in L.A.

Dive into the best tacos, burgers and affordable bites in Los Angeles.

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Cheap Eats in Southern California

Los Angeles is one of the best cities in the world for eating well on a budget. It’s a city of immigrants from every corner of the globe who have brought the flavors of their cultures with them to sunny Southern California. Pair the international array of cuisines with the region’s incredible produce, and exceptional flavors ensue. Though there are plenty of fine-dining treasures in town, top-notch cheap eats make feasting in Los Angeles accessible, fun and, of course, delicious. Here are 26 favorite finds for $10 or less in the City of Angels.

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Noodle Bowls at LASA

Chinatown’s Far East Plaza’s food game is strong, with plenty of tempting options to choose from. If it’s Filipino food you’re after, look no further than LASA, a pop-up that spawned a brick-and-mortar restaurant that’s making waves in the LA food scene. At lunch, the hearty bowls deliver comforting Filipino flavors for $10, like the Drunken Pancit, an egg noodle dish with Chinese sausage, XO sauce, greens, pickled Fresno chiles and crispy shallots.

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Photo: Jared Cowan

Crispy Taco at Tito’s Tacos

Tito’s Tacos has been serving the unique LA-style crispy taco since 1959. Its reputation keeps the lines forming at its Culver City location year after year. Tacos start at just $2.30 without cheese, but it’d be insane to get just one. Don’t miss a small, medium or large side of Tito’s guacamole, delicately spiced with a propriety blend of herbs and spices.

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Quarter Bird at Howlin' Ray's

It’s not the easiest task to get a meal at Howlin’ Rays. The ever-present line is a formidable foe, and can deter casual visitors from the Far East Plaza staple. But the chicken is well worth the wait. Between the sweet and fiery flavors and the perfect, densely crunchy texture, it could be the best fried chicken outside of Nashville. At $9, the Quarter Bird presents a massive hunk of golden-skinned chicken (either a breast and wing, or a leg and thigh) on a slice of white bread to soak up the spicy juices. The pickles on the side add refreshing, briny freshness between bites.

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