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A giant burger stuffed with bacon, avocado, peppers, onion, shredded lettuce, with ketchup and mustard on a sesame seed bun. The burger is so stuffed with toppings it looks like it’s in danger of everything spilled out of it
A massive burger for your face
Hamburguesas El Gordo/Facebook

10 Fantastic Choices for Budget-Friendly Dining in St. Paul

Feast for $10 or less

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A massive burger for your face
| Hamburguesas El Gordo/Facebook

Money is tight all around right now. Plus, the pandemic has solidified in all of us the desire to help local restaurants along with the hankering for a good meal created and served by someone else. Thus we present, a few spots offering terrific meals and a break from our kitchens for $10 or less.

Restaurants are listed geographically from west to east.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mim's Cafe

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1435 Cleveland Ave N
St Paul, MN 55108
(651) 646-0456
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Mim’s location at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus means large portions for very reasonable prices. A shawarma sandwich is only $8, add hand cut fries for $1.50. Do not skip the baba ghanouj, it really is the best in town. 

The exterior of Mim’s Cafe, a maroon building with a large, hand painted sign touting Mim’s Cafe, and Lori’s Coffee House Mim’s Cafe/Facebook

2. The Naughty Greek

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181 Snelling Ave N
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 219-4438
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Fresh, never frozen, grilled beef tenderloin slices tucked into a warm pita with fresh veggies and tangy tzatziki would be satisfying enough, but the Naughty Greek does one better, stuffing French fries into the sandwich for less than $10. 

A slab of mousakka with a bottom layer of eggplant topped by a thick oozy layer of creamy sauce and pasta with a golden crust on top
The Naughty Greek has mousakka available for baking at home
The Naughty Greek/Facebook

3. Nelson Cheese & Deli

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1562 Como Ave
St Paul, MN 55108
(651) 647-1288
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The beloved deli’s menu is gigantic, with hot or cold sandwiches for around seven dollars. Pick up an old timey soda and a hunk of cheese for the perfect car picnic. 

4. Tommie's Pizza

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1556 Selby Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 432-4743
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Pizza by the slice is not as much of a thing as it used to be, but at Tommie’s a cheese slice is enough for a nice little lunch for three bucks. Add a Caesar for another $4.

5. Bap and Chicken

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1328 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 333-0929
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Plates like cheese curds with a kimchi crema or Korean fried chicken sandwich topped with American cheese represent a lovely marriage of Korean street food and hearty Minnesota comfort. 

A person holding a basket of Korean fried drumsticks
Chicken legs double fried and dressed up in spicy sauce
Bap and Chicken/Facebook

6. Hamburguesas El Gordo #3

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161 N Victoria St
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 528-7956
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With a box of 30 tacos for just $30, hot dogs for under five bucks and the signature Del Gordo burger hovering around the $10 mark, the burger/tacos/dog joint is a sure thing for a cheap eat. There are two St. Paul locations, one near Victoria and Selby Avenues and another in West St. Paul.

7. Trieu Chau Restaurant

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500 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103
(651) 222-6148

The unassuming spot on University Avenue serves hot bowls of flavorful pho and overstuffed Banh Mi to get us through the long, long, long Minnesota winter. 

A large, white bowl with beefy, clear broth with thin slices of beef and onions floating on the top
A fat bowl of pho from Trieu Chau
Trieu Chau/Facebook

8. Cheng Heng Restaurant

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448 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103
(651) 222-5577
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University Avenue is peppered with Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, but for something a little different, try Cheng Heng, one of the cities few Cambodian restaurants. Start with chive cakes, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and follow up with one of anything — everything here is good (and affordable.)

9. Mama's Pizza

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961 Rice St
St Paul, MN 55117
(651) 489-2005
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The beloved neighborhood pizza joint is known for its adorable heart shaped pizza on Valentine’s Day, but when is it not a good time for pizza?

10. El Burrito Mercado

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175 Cesar Chavez St
St Paul, MN 55107
(651) 227-2192
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This place has it all: a colorful market, a lovely restaurant, a grab-and-go café and a panderia. The El Café to go is an especially great deal, with classics like burritos and tostadas hovering around the $10 mark.

A Fiestaware plate full of beans, rice, and stewed meat
A fabulous spot for Mexican comforts
El Burrito Mercado/Website

1. Mim's Cafe

1435 Cleveland Ave N, St Paul, MN 55108
The exterior of Mim’s Cafe, a maroon building with a large, hand painted sign touting Mim’s Cafe, and Lori’s Coffee House Mim’s Cafe/Facebook

Mim’s location at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus means large portions for very reasonable prices. A shawarma sandwich is only $8, add hand cut fries for $1.50. Do not skip the baba ghanouj, it really is the best in town. 

1435 Cleveland Ave N
St Paul, MN 55108

2. The Naughty Greek

181 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104
A slab of mousakka with a bottom layer of eggplant topped by a thick oozy layer of creamy sauce and pasta with a golden crust on top
The Naughty Greek has mousakka available for baking at home
The Naughty Greek/Facebook

Fresh, never frozen, grilled beef tenderloin slices tucked into a warm pita with fresh veggies and tangy tzatziki would be satisfying enough, but the Naughty Greek does one better, stuffing French fries into the sandwich for less than $10. 

181 Snelling Ave N
St Paul, MN 55104

3. Nelson Cheese & Deli

1562 Como Ave, St Paul, MN 55108

The beloved deli’s menu is gigantic, with hot or cold sandwiches for around seven dollars. Pick up an old timey soda and a hunk of cheese for the perfect car picnic. 

1562 Como Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

4. Tommie's Pizza

1556 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104

Pizza by the slice is not as much of a thing as it used to be, but at Tommie’s a cheese slice is enough for a nice little lunch for three bucks. Add a Caesar for another $4.

1556 Selby Ave
St Paul, MN 55104

5. Bap and Chicken

1328 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
A person holding a basket of Korean fried drumsticks
Chicken legs double fried and dressed up in spicy sauce
Bap and Chicken/Facebook

Plates like cheese curds with a kimchi crema or Korean fried chicken sandwich topped with American cheese represent a lovely marriage of Korean street food and hearty Minnesota comfort. 

1328 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105

6. Hamburguesas El Gordo #3

161 N Victoria St, St Paul, MN 55104

With a box of 30 tacos for just $30, hot dogs for under five bucks and the signature Del Gordo burger hovering around the $10 mark, the burger/tacos/dog joint is a sure thing for a cheap eat. There are two St. Paul locations, one near Victoria and Selby Avenues and another in West St. Paul.

161 N Victoria St
St Paul, MN 55104

7. Trieu Chau Restaurant

500 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
A large, white bowl with beefy, clear broth with thin slices of beef and onions floating on the top
A fat bowl of pho from Trieu Chau
Trieu Chau/Facebook

The unassuming spot on University Avenue serves hot bowls of flavorful pho and overstuffed Banh Mi to get us through the long, long, long Minnesota winter. 

500 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103

8. Cheng Heng Restaurant

448 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103

University Avenue is peppered with Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, but for something a little different, try Cheng Heng, one of the cities few Cambodian restaurants. Start with chive cakes, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and follow up with one of anything — everything here is good (and affordable.)

448 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103

9. Mama's Pizza

961 Rice St, St Paul, MN 55117

The beloved neighborhood pizza joint is known for its adorable heart shaped pizza on Valentine’s Day, but when is it not a good time for pizza?

961 Rice St
St Paul, MN 55117

10. El Burrito Mercado

175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107
A Fiestaware plate full of beans, rice, and stewed meat
A fabulous spot for Mexican comforts
El Burrito Mercado/Website

This place has it all: a colorful market, a lovely restaurant, a grab-and-go café and a panderia. The El Café to go is an especially great deal, with classics like burritos and tostadas hovering around the $10 mark.

175 Cesar Chavez St
St Paul, MN 55107

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