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Best Cheap Eats in San Francisco

From artisan cheese bars to unfussy taco joints and everything in between, these places serve some of the best under-$15 meals in San Francisco.

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Photo: Wes Rowe

The Hot Wes at WesBurger ‘n More

There are many good burgers in town, but you can grab a truly great one for 12 bucks at this hip retro spot. Inspired by a favorite fast-food burger, owner Wes Rowe created The Hot Wes by stacking a magical combination of crisp onion rings and spicy pickled jalapeños on a six-ounce patty smothered in gooey queso. Order it at lunchtime for this golden bonus: a heaping portion of potato tots served on the side.

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Photo: © Kassie Borreson |

Half Rotisserie Chicken at RT Rotisserie

Right around the corner from Michelin-starred Rich Table is RT Rotisserie. It’s a casual spot offering rotisserie chicken and ribs with a variety of sauces, perfect for dining family-style. A half-chicken ($10) is plenty to share, so add on a side dish or two, like their shredded cabbage and almond salad for $5 or Brussels sprout Caesar ($6). If you’re not in a sharing mood, the rotisserie chicken sandwich ($12) or pork belly sandwich ($14), both served on ciabatta rolls, with garlic aioli and pickled onions, transcend standard deli fare.

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Breakfast Board at Le Marais

French bakery and cafe Le Marais is the perfect place for the indecisive, since it offers both sweet and savory options. The breakfast board in particular allows you to mix and match, choosing five items for $15. Go sweet with homemade granola, steel-cut oatmeal or a muffin or scone and choose savory items like smoked salmon or trout, eggs, prosciutto or goat cheese. You could also make a bowl with five choices for $12, like yogurt, oatmeal, granola or quinoa layered with your choice of seasonal fruit, a variety of nuts, maple syrup and more.

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Souffle Pancakes at Derm

The gravity-defying soufflé pancakes served for breakfast and brunch at Thai restaurant Derm require patience. They may take about 30 minutes to arrive at your table, but rest assured, they will be Instagram-ready when they do. For $13 you can personally partake in the Japanese-style pancake phenomenon currently dominating social media. The pancakes are served with homemade strawberry sauce and mixed berries or with bananas, walnuts and vanilla-caramel sauce.

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