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Column: Indulge in these cheap eats around Boston

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Column: Indulge in these cheap eats around Boston

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By Allie Kuo, lifestyle columnist

By Allie Kuo, lifestyle columnist

As tempting as it may be to pop into Amelia’s every time a dining hall meal doesn’t sound too ideal, there are so many other places around Boston to try that are just as delicious and reasonably priced. Eating well doesn’t have to mean spending the last of your savings if you know where to go. From Chinatown to the South End, here are a few cheap eats to try out that won’t cost you more than $10.

 

Blunch

This cozy sandwich shop in the South End has one of the best paninis I’ve ever eaten. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been there, but I still think about The Bird quite often — a caprese-like combo with chicken breast, mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, greens and a creamy artichoke aioli, all nestled between a fresh baguette. Not to mention it’s been initiated into Flavortown by the one and only Guy Fieri, who featured the restaurant on a 2014 episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.”

Though not as conveniently located as our good friend Rebecca’s Cafe, the sandwiches at Blunch are well worth the walk down Massachusetts Avenue, with both classic flavors and more imaginative combinations like smoked salmon, green apples, cucumber and a lemon aioli, which can be found in The Upstream. They also have a variety of soups and salads, but you should definitely save some room for dessert. Their chocolate chip cookie hits all the right notes: Crunchy edges, chewy center and melty chocolate chunks. 59 E Springfield St., $4-$10

 

Blaze Pizza

Right across the way in Fenway, Blaze is the ultimate college student’s dream of a cheap meal. You can get a personal pizza with unlimited toppings for around $9, which can even last two meals with the amount of food you get. I loaded my pizza up with sausage, spinach, tomatoes, basil, a few kinds of cheeses and pesto on top of their red sauce and original crust. I’m usually not a crust gal unless it’s the right balance of crispy and doughy, and I ate up every bit of this pizza. You can order ahead for pickup as well, but the pies coming out of their pizza oven with bubbly cheese, piled high with toppings, might be enough to convince you to sit and enjoy it right away. 1282 Boylston St., $6-$10

 

Dumpling King

First and foremost — bring cash. Tucked away in an unassuming food court on the corner of Beech Street and Harrison Avenue in Chinatown, the cash-only Dumpling King is the definition of a no-frills eatery. There is only a small table that barely seats three in front of the ordering counter where you can watch your dumplings being boiled or pan-fried. At $5.50 for 10 dumplings, it’s probably the most affordable and filling order on this list — 20 dumplings would only put you a little over $10. I would recommend the pork and leek variety, boiled if you’re looking to be a bit more health conscious, but fried if you’re feeling indulgent. They’re almost as good as the ones my mom makes, and the price is a good indication that these dumplings are authentic and probably made with love. 42 Beach St., $4-$7

 

Saloniki

Another Fenway spot, I think Saloniki is best described as a Greek Chipotle. With the assembly-line style ordering and glass counter where you follow your pita or plate being put together, the vibe is very similar to Chipotle. However, the flavors are worlds apart. You can get a main protein or vegetable, like spicy lamb meatballs or pomegranate-glazed eggplant, in a freshly made pita or on top of brown rice. This comes topped with creamy, tangy sauces and a few other accompaniments. It’s a good idea to throw on an order of Greek fries too, with oregano and mizithra cheese. A pro tip: if you’re not committed to getting a whole order of fries, ask for the fries that come in your gyro on the side. 4 Kilmarnock St., $3-$11

 

Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Cafe

I am a big fan of hole-in-the-wall spots, and this is yet another gem in Chinatown. Though the name might suggest otherwise, go for their hand-pulled noodles. They are thick and chewy, which could take a little getting used to for someone who might only be familiar with ramen-style noodles, and can carry the strong flavors of the lamb and spices that garnish them. There’s nothing glamorous about the shop, with its minimalistic menu and few tables, but a bowl of their cumin lamb noodles or hot and sour noodle soup really hits the spot on a chilly Boston day. It’s the kind of meal that warms you up from the inside. 86 Bedford St., $5-$11

 

 

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Column: Indulge in these cheap eats around Boston