So you and your significant other, or you and bestie, are looking for some place to eat. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, your requirements are simple: good, but cheap. And that’s not just because the holiday shopping season is in full effect.
This kind of leaves you with a short list, considering the most talked about (and delicious) restaurants in town can break your shoestring budget. But have no fear. We’ve looked far and wide (across Palm Beach County) to find you taste-worthy meals for two for under for $40.
Warning: We are not including you drinking the night away on champagne, indulging in a three-course meal or calorie-splurging on dessert. This is for the savvy foodie who wants good food, but knows it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
For Breakfast / Brunch / Lunch:
Talk about a sweet little cafe packed with joy. One step into the French cafe is one step away from the bustling worlds of West Palm and Delray Beach. Whether you’re treating yourself to the incredible macaroons (try the pistachio for an orgasmic experience) or are there for a complete breakfast or lunch meal, you’ll love the freshly baked bread and croissant.
- Must try: Breakfast Sandwich with crispy bacon for $8.50 and Caprese panini $9.50 with a hot drink like a cappucino or Nespresso for $3.50. And don’t you dare leave the macaroons, which run $2 each. (Doesn’t the picture above convince you?)
- Total Cost: About $35, (including tax/tip)
Address: 205 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach; 16950 N. Jog Road, Delray Beach | Hours: Monday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (West Palm location); Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Delray location) | More: www.paneterie.com
This casual sandwich shop and juice bar serves inventive flavor combos at breakfast and lunch. On the menu: breakfast items such as home-baked blueberry-molasses muffins, chocolate-glazed scones, frittatas and quiches and lunch offerings like grilled three-cheese panini, roast pear and gorgonzola salad, and roasted beet and potato salad.
- Must try: Bacon, egg & cheddar on a buttermilk biscuit for $5 and the ham, roasted red pepper, cheddar & Sriracha wrap for $5 with an iced lavender latte for $3
- Total Cost: About $14 (including tax)
Address: 7434 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach | Hours: Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. | More: www.facebook.com/AioliWPB
Sara’s Kitchen is a hole in the wall of a very “business-looking” plaza. This place resembles your favorite neighborhood diner where they serve breakfast all day with a smile. You will need Sara’s Kitchen most when you and your BFF had a little too much fun the night before and are looking to solve your problems with comfort food.
- Must try: Panhandle Benedict with hash browns or grits for $9.49 and Bananas Foster French Toast for $9.99 with a coffee for $2.99
- Total Cost: Around $27 (including tax/tip)
Address: 2000 PGA Blvd., Building A, Suite #3140, Palm Beach Gardens | Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 am – 2:45 pm | Saturday-Sunday 7:00 am – 1:45 (yes, that is the exact time) | More: saraskitchenpalmbeachgardens.com
Most people aren’t familiar with this new-ish, downtown Swedish spot. Or they’ve seen it but are too afraid to try something as different as Swedish cuisine. But hey, Swedes are known for their meatballs, but you may leave loving their pastries. At Johan’s Joe, the décor is modern and clean, there’s free wifi (score!) and a helpful staff.
- Must try: Savory Crepes for $10.50 and the Classic Swedish Meatball Plate $10.95 and throw in a Frappe Iced Latte for $3.95.
- Total Cost: Roughly $30 (including tax/tip)
Address: 401. S Dixie Hwy. West Palm Beach | Hours: Sunday – Monday 7 am – 4 pm | More: www.johansjoe.com/food
Alaina’s Bake Shoppe & Café
If you can make it through the lunchtime rush on Northlake Blvd., reward yourself with a sandwich at Alaina’s. Get a fully-packed Panini or cold sammie, filled with fancy meats and delectable cheeses or for a quick (and sweet) bite, try the specialty cupcakes.
- Must try: Two Pigs & a Birdie Panini and Peary Good Panini for $10.95 each
- Total Cost: $26.68 (including tip/tax)
Address: 4377 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens | Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am to – 5:00 pm | More: www.alainasbakeshoppe.com
KeKe’s Breakfast Cafe
If you’re in the mood for a classic, American breakfast, but also want some elbow room for digging in and some colorful art to gaze into after each bite, KeKe’s is the place for you. No, it is not an IHOP or a Denny’s, and yes, the portions are huge. The specialty is pancakes (and this time of year, the pumpkin ones are everything), but the French toast is bomb too.
- Must try: Create Your Own Combo with pancakes, French toast or waffles for about $10
- Total Cost: $26 (including tip/tax)
Address: 10120 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington | Hours: Monday-Sunday 7:00 am to – 2:30 pm | More: www.kekes.com/kekes-wellington.html
Bolay is the buzziest concept on the local build-your-own-meal landscape right now. Think Chipotle but the health-conscious. The concept is focused on clean, nutritious eating, offering a selection of grains, vegetables and meats for customizable bowls. Consider a base of nutty “forbidden” black rice, protein-packed Peruvian quinoa, aromatic basmati rice, cilantro noodles or simply marinated kale. Then, top that base with your choice of veggie and protein, and finally add some sauce.
- Must try: Choose your flavors, fill your small bowl for $9.95
- Total Cost: About $22 (including tax, no tip)
Address: 3333 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens | 5030 Champion Blvd., Boca | 250 S. State Road 7, Royal Palm | Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. | More: eatbolay.com
For a fast an authentic pizza that won’t hurt your wallet, Pizza DeRoma is the way to go. They even have fun favorites like mozzarella stick and jalepeno poppers. They also have sandwiches, calzones and pasta dishes. Find your favorite Italian dish here, with service fast enough to have during your lunch break.
- Must try: Lunch special of two pieces of pizza and a drink for $5.
- Total Cost: About $13 (including tax, no tip)
Address: 5615 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach | Hours: Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday -Saturday 11 p.m. - 12 a.m., Sunday 4 pm. - 11 p.m. | More: http://www.pizzaderoma.net/
Similar to Bolay, Fresh Kitchen is also a “create your own bowl” kind of place. With fresh ingredients unqiue twist, like sweet potatoes noodles, coconut nut rice, tuna, chia seed teriyaki tofu and more. Bowls come in sizes Four (small) and Six (large).
- Must try: Get a Four bowl for $8.29
- Total Cost: Aroung $22 (inlcuding tax, no tip)
Address: 5550 N. Military Trail Suite 214, Boca Raton | Hours: Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:35 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 9:05 p.m. | More: www.eatfreshkitchen.com
Grilled Cheese Gallery
What’s better than a homemade grilled cheese sandwich? A gooey, restaurant grilled cheese sandwich from the Grilled Cheese Gallery (less clean up, duh). You honestly can’t go wrong with grilled cheese, but this place takes it to a whole new level, stuffing it with things like pulled pork, brie and mac and cheese. Yes, I just said that: grilled cheese, mac and cheese.
- Must try: The Mac Daddy for $8.50 and The Artist for $10
- Total Cost: About $23 (including tax and 15% tip)
Address: 422 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33407 | Hours: Sunday - Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm | Friday – Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm | More: www.facebook.com/GrilledCheeseGallery/
This popular sushi haven now has three popular locations: downtown West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Racton. Sushi Yama serves up some seriously sized and seriously fresh sushi rolls. There are so many options to choose from; your only problem will be not going over budget by ordering too many.
- Must try: The Celebaration Roll for $14.95 and the JB Tempura Roll for $8.95
- Total Cost: About $25.00 (including tax, not including tip)
Address: 330-107 Clematis St., West Palm Beach | 7050 W Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton | 10921 N Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens | Hours: Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., Friday - Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. | More: sushiyamaonline.com
The name of the restaurant says it all: Joy Noodles & Asian Cuisine offers nine types of noodle dishes, accompanied by several options, including chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu, squid and scallops. Quiet and intimate, with a vibe that features pleasant music and Asian decor, this is a perfect date night spot. There’s a great hot tea selection and knowledgeable staff to help you choose the right one for your current mood. From the Thai green curry and the ramen to the Korean BBQ and the pad Thai, there’s plenty of tasty options for the vegetarian and meat lover alike.
- Must try: Pad Thai for $9.95 and Thai green curry tofu and veggies for $14.95
- Total Cost: About $34.00 (including tax and 18% tip)
Address: 2200 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach | Hours: Lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. | Dinner Monday through Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. | More: www.joynoodles.net
Join the likes of famous Irishmen (Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw) as you indulge in a traditional Irish meal at The Dubliner. Although the restaurant is in busy Mizner Park, inside feels like your favorite pub, complete with Guinness, Jameson and Baileys. And guess what? It’s open late.
- Must try: The Famous Shepherd’s Pie for $16.50 and the McMac and Cheese for $11
- Total Cost: For just $34 (tax/tip included) you have a foodie trip to Ireland in Boca Raton
Address: 435 Plaza Real (Mizner Park) Boca Raton | Hours: Monday-Saturday 4:00 pm – 2:00 am | Sunday: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am | More: sub-culture.org/dubliner
Kapow Noodle Bar
Also hidden in the large scope of Mizner Park, Kapow gives a new twist to noodles. Take a seat at the indoor-outdoor bar and enjoy a wide variety of small plates, dumplings and ramen. Share the plates to get the most out of your meal or treat yourself to the happy hour menu.
- Must try: Pan-Seared Pork Gyoza for $7.50, Short Rib Steamed Buns for $9 and Pork Ramen for $16
- Total Cost: Hits close to $40 (with tax/tip included), so maybe save this for a fun date night before drinks and a movie
Address: 431 Plaza Real (Mizner Park) Boca Raton | 519 Clematis St., West Palm Beach | Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:30 am – 12:00 am | Friday-Satuday 11:30 am – 2:00 am | More: kapownoodlebar.com
Whether you’re looking for a big sit down meal or are having the late night munchies, Havana has you covered. The authentic Cuban food is unbeatable, and the celebs agree. Stars such as Martha Stewart and Sofia Vergara are frequent visitors to the spot on the corner of Dixie and Forest Hill.
- Must try: Sandwich Cubano for $8.69 and Chicharrones de Pollo for $13.99 or eat your weight in empanadas at the walk-up window
- Total Cost: About $28 (including tax/tip)
Address: 6801 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach | Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm | Friday-Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm | 24-hour walk-up window | More: www.havanacubanfood.com
Carmine’s Coal Fired Pizza
Split at pizza pie (or two) at Carmine’s Coal Fired Pizza. Carmine’s has many different kinds of locations (a market, an upscale restaurant, a burger place and a seafood place), but this location will make you feel warm and cozy, thanks to the intimate interior and wall of brick oven pizzas. Stick to the pizzas, but ask for extra toppings.
- Must try: Pizza Pesto (medium) for $15.95 and the White Pizza (medium) $15.95
- Total Cost: Coming to a close $39 (including tip/tax), but come on, you’re getting two pizzas with the works
Address: 4575 Military Trail, Jupiter | Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:00 am – 10 pm | Friday-Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm | More: carminescfp.com/
You will never find a faster meal than at Rancho Chico. Take a seat in the eclectic dining room that looks like it belongs in a theme park and munch on endless (warm) chips and (spicy) salsa until your meal arrives. The beans and rice, which in most Mexican restaurants are discarded to the side due to lack of flavor, are killer at Rancho Chico and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you finish them.
- Must try: Combination cheese enchilada and beef burrito with rice and beans for $10.25 and the Dos Spinach Enchiladas for $9.99.
- Total Cost: $24.61 (including tax/tip).
Address: 6390 Indiantown Rd., Jupiter | Hours: 7 days a week 11:00 am – 10:00 pm | More: www.ranchochico.net
One of the best things about Thai Lotus (other than the fact that it is delicious) is the big portions. It is the perfect place for you and your beau to share a dish or two. Try a curry! A noodle! A roll! A soup! Whatever your heart desires — just make sure you get two. And get ready for some heat. Thai Lotus ranks “spiciness” on a scale of 1-4 stars, 1 being easy to digest and 4 being fire dancing on your tongue. Believe it or not, 3 stars is perfect.
- Must try: Massamun Curry with tofu for $11.95, Pad Thai with beef for $10.95 and the Crunch Roll $9.95
- Total Cost: Just hits the $40 (including tax/tip), but if you share it all, it’s one heck of a meal
Address: 201 North U.S. Hwy., Jupiter | 137 N US 1, Tequesta | Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Saturday 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Sunday 5:00pm – 9:00 pm (no sushi today) More: www.thailotusflorida.com
What meals did we miss? Comment below with your favorite cheap (but tasty) eats in Palm Beach County!