6 Places to Eat for $7 or Less

Strapped on cash? Starving student? Don’t want to blow the budget on dinner? No worries. We’ve found six places around town that make eating out pocketbook-friendly.


Pita Pit

2913 Howard Street

Tucked inside the Campus Pointe strip mall, Pita Pit offers a great vegan selection. Everything is build your own, so you can craft your lunch according to your tastes. Try the Falafel, Hummus, or Spicy Black Bean on a white or wheat pita. Yes, those wraps are vegan! For thorough information on sauces and other goodies, the website offers a detailed listing of vegan options (click here).


Chipotle Mexican Grill

Multiple Locations

Whether choosing a burrito, soft or crunchy taco, or a bowl, just add white or brown rice, black or pinto beans, fajita veggies, and guacamole. Don't forget the chips and salsa!

And, one word, Sofritas! Shredded organic tofu braised in a blend of poblano peppers, chipotle chilis, and spices. Ah-maz-ing!


Panera Bread

Multiple Locations

The following are all great vegan choices at this fast casual restaurant:

  • Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
  • Garden Pesto Soup –order without the pesto
  • Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad –order without the chicken
  • Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa –order without feta
  • Seasonal Greens Salad 
  • Plain, Blueberry, Sesame, and Everything Bagels

Panera offers almond milk as a dairy alternative. 


Big Burrito

5036 West KL Avenue

The beans are lard-free, the rice does not contain chicken broth, and the staff is open to substituting beans for meat. Located near campus and offering tacos, tostadas, and taco salads all within budget, give Big Burrito a try.



Multiple Locations

Try the Japanese Pan Noodles or the Whole Grain Tuscan Fresca ordered without cheese. If it’s salad you’re in the mood for, go with the Chinese Chop minus the wontons or the Cucumber Tomato. Asian Vinaigrette and Balsamic Vinaigrette dressings are both vegan. If you feel like splurging, throw some tofu on that dish.


Just Good Food

303 N. Rose Street #1

We spoke with Olinda, the owner of Just Good Food. This little spot, in the heart of downtown, offers a multitude of vegan options and, as the name suggests, serves up fresh, locally sourced, good food. We went with the CousCous and the Caribbean Cucumber Salad and were plenty pleased. Some other vegan options consistently on the menu include: 

  • Edamame Bean Salad
  • Casa Miento (black beans and rice) 
  • Ratatouille
  • Mexican Rice
  • Health Salad (a cabbage slaw with carrots, bell peppers, and a special herb dressing) 

Or try a Tempeh or Falafel sandwich ordered on the vegan sourdough. The menu here rotates daily, so always something new and different to try. 

We’re aware this is a piece on how to eat on the cheap, but bring a little extra cash and splurge on dessert. Olinda slipped us a Nutty Maple Cookie. You’re going to want to get a few of those!