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Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

Blame it on the economy. Blame it on sky-high fuel costs, droughts, and that locally grown, organic craze. Really, blame it on whatever you like. No matter which way you slice it, food just isn't getting any cheaper. Especially in Palm Beach County, where only a small percentage of the populace has pockets deep enough to dine at five-star restaurants seven days a week.

For the rest of us, however, the last thing we want to do is eat cheap -- but it's also the first place we cut corners. So Clean Plate Charlie proposes a compromise. Rather than resort to a diet of instant ramen, hardboiled eggs, frozen lasagna, and fast food, keep an open mind. There are still plenty of amazing places across Palm Beach County where you can walk out with a full meal -- a drink, sides, and even dessert -- for less than $10.

Here, we've compiled a list of our top picks for super-cheap eats from West Palm Beach south to Deerfield Beach, places recommended by some of the area's top restaurateurs, local chefs, and bartenders who know where you can snag an inexpensive meal that will rival those at some of the area's finest establishments.

Right now, we're all about pheasant sausage, spicy pork tacos al pastor style, conch ceviche, fried chicken 'n' waffles, and triple-decker burgers. Hungry for a good deal yet?

See also:

- Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Broward County

- Ten Best Irish Pubs and Restaurants in South Florida

- Ten Best Gay Bars in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

10. HiWay Burger

One part fast food, one part burger shack, this little slice of burger heaven opened a year ago a few miles west of the beach and a few steps away from Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach. Where Doc's All American off Swinton would typically get the vote for cheap burger and shake shack in Delray, we like HiWay for its simple menu and ridiculously low prices. It gets our vote because nothing on the menu costs more than $5.50. Yes, you read that right. Even the "Triple Hi Cheeseburger" -- with three patties, a divine melted cheese sauce, and all the fixings -- is only $5.45. Pair it with a milkshake ($2.95) and an order of hand-cut French fries ($2.75), and you're out the door for right around $11.

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

9. Agave Mexican Fusion

We know it's technically just over the Broward County border, but with a beachside location, expansive covered patio, and a good selection of food and drink, Agave Mexican Fusion in Deerfield Beach is one of the area's best examples of really good food at a really good price. From the owner of Canyon Southwest Café in Fort Lauderdale, Chris Wilber, comes this new casual take on Mexican fusion. The menu offers plenty of Mexican-American fare with the usual nachos, burritos, quesadillas, and tostadas. While nothing on the menu costs more than $10, the catch is that it's Canyon-quality food for half the price. If you want to snag a real deal, order a single taco (fish, fried fish, grilled chicken, ground beef, seared steak, or the signatur pulled pork) for just $3.25. Pair it with Wilber's potent secret-recipe prickly pear margaritas at happy hour -- when they are served for just $5 from 4 to 7 p.m. -- and you have a meal worth bragging about for less than $10.

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Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

8. Havana

Since 1993, travelers have taken note of the signs along I-95 pointing them to some of the best Cuban food in the area -- and you'd be hard-pressed to find better fare at a better price this far from Miami. The walk-up outdoor order windows on the corner of Old Dixie Highway and Forest Hill Boulevard in West Palm Beach are open 24 hours, offering an array of quick, inexpensive, and ready-to-go eats. It's Cuban-style street food for take-out, if you will, for just a few dollars. Hungry for a quick meal? Grab a bag of fresh-fried mariquitas (crisp plantain chips), empanadas, and papas rellenas (meat-stuffed potato balls), ranging from $1.39 to $1.69 each. Put them all together for an easy meal -- paired perfectly with a Cuban coffee -- for just a little more than $6.

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

7. The Little House

Owner Chrissy Benoit set the standard for good, cheap eats with her Lake Worth establishment, Havana Hideout, which she left last year to open the Little House in Boynton Beach. The place is known for its affordable, homestyle comfort food with dishes like mac 'n' cheese of the day and Benoit's own family chicken and dumplings recipe. The bargains are best during happy hour, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., when $1 sliders are offered alongside $4 hard-to-find specialty craft draft beers and $5 sangrias and wine by the glass. Though everything on the menu is priced right -- nothing is over $12 -- Tuesday through Friday happy hour is the time to go, when the sliders and beer won't break the bank. Arrive on an odd-numbered day, and the $4 steal on the beer is offered only on the odd-numbered taps (there are 13), and vice versa for even-numbered days. Makes for an exciting -- and ever-changing -- specials list.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

6. Thai-Sushi Express

Deerfield Beach has a hidden gem with Thai-Sushi Express in the Cove shopping center, located just west of the Intracoastal. The sushi is easily some of the cheapest (and most creative) around, with sashimi starting at just 95 cents, ten hand rolls priced at $3.50, and most à la carte rolls under $10, including the unique kimchee roll that features conch, spinach, asparagus, and cucumber for $8.50. Also, stop by for lunch specials, available daily and priced from $6.75 to $7.50

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

5. Bay Bay's Chicken and Waffles

West Palm Beach has so many dining options it's hard to determine what ethnic fare you'll be choosing next. Lucky for us, newly opened Bay Bay's offers some Southern-style soul food at a bargain price. Since opening in mid-September, the 2,000-square-foot red stucco building a mile west of I-95 has garnered a unique and devoted crowd, people crammed into the tiny space for some of owner Israel Johnson's incredibly good -- and incredibly inexpensive -- dishes. Bay Bay's signature dish is chicken 'n' waffles, yet the menu also features a variety of comfort foods and ethnic-focused fare all priced under $10, as well as unique pasta dishes including lobster fettuccine and roasted pepper shrimp pasta.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

4. HotDog-Opolis

Harvey Loewenstein, Jay Wertheim, and Judy Zimmer are the frank-loving owners behind HotDog-Opolis, which serves some of the most unique food for a bargain in Boca Raton, a city already full of inexpensive eateries such as diners, delis, and bagel shops. Here, however, you'll get more than a basic, boring hot dog. The daily chalkboard specials cover a range of specialty dogs priced from $3 to $6, such as the Korean, with kimchee, red onion, and Asian mustard, and the gyro, with a lamb hot dog topped with tzatziki, feta cheese, onion, oregano, and garlic. There's also a well-stocked variety of specialty sausages, from duck and pheasant to wild boar, venison, elk, and buffalo -- all for less than $6 each. We like the classic Chi-town dog, pictured here with a Vienna footlong and "dragged through the garden" for $4.39. Hot-diggity-dog, what a steal.

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

3. Seaside Deli

For the past 20 years Seaside Deli in Boynton Beach has been serving up some of the best sandwiches around. Located off A1A near Briny Breezes, directly next to Nomad Surf Shop, the tiny convenience store-deli is stocked to the brim with an amazing selection of food, with more than 35 deli subs and sandwiches, to a good number of sides like the house special pasta salad made with a creamy balsamic dressing that can't be rivaled. As for drinks: the place offers more than 150 import beers by the bottle, and over five cases of specialty sodas and drinks, like the Sprecher fire-brewed root beer (pictured here) we were stoked to stumble across. There's also a well-provisioned prepared foods case, where many of the deli's sides and specialties are housed in aluminum tins for take-home enjoyment. But it's second-generation owner Richie Podvesker's specialty sandwiches that shine, all 38 of them. Priced beyond fair, many -- including the regulars' favorite #13 -- have enough ingredients to make a four-course meal, but are still less than $10 each. We had Podvesker make us his top seller, which features thick-sliced turkey, thin-sliced roast beef, American cheese, chopped bacon and housemade potato salad and coleslaw. A mouthful, to say the least, and one of the best bargains around for just $8.95.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

2. Taco's Al Carbon

Since 1998, this food-truck-turned-late-night-eats-spot in Lake Worth has been the very definition of cheap eats done right. The owners, a Mexican family hailing from Texas, serve up some of the most authentic tacos, burritos, tortas and tamales around. And all for about $5 a meal. Tortas ring in at $6.99, burritos at $4.99 and soft or crunchy tacos are just $1.99 each. In the past 10 years, prices have only gone up slightly -- a three taco lunch deal featuring rice and beans up one dollar from $5.99 to $6.99. Still a pretty darn good deal in our books. Viva Al Carbon!

Ten Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Palm Beach County

1. Sheila's Famous BBQ, Conch & More

In Guam, people eat conch "findened," soaked in soy sauce, vinegar, lemon and hot peppers. On the island of Grenada, it's served curried, and referred to as "lambi." But at Sheila's in Lake Worth, you'll find this seafood delicacy served the way Bahamian locals eat it: fried, frittered and unbelievably fresh and tender. Look for Sheila behind the walk-up counter where you order everything from barbecue to seafood classics, and you won't find her, however. The name Sheila actually belongs to Florida native and owner Sam Johnson's mother. He and his wife, Dania, decided on it when they began their family-run restaurant several years ago in downtown West Palm Beach. Since then, Dania has no problem answering to "Sheila." A Florida transplant, there's no mistaking the island in her, Nassau her birthplace, and also the source of traditional conch recipes and preparation methods that make her less-than-$5 orders of fritters, crack conch and ceviche truly incredible. While most restaurants will claim to have the "best" island fare around, at Sheila's you'll get authentic preparation, no fuss. Although she won't give away her family secret for tenderizing the conch in the ceviche, Dania's prices are so affordable we could eat her cooking every day and not even notice the spare change missing from our pockets.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.




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