10 cities, 10 restaurants, dinners under $10

  • Cheap dinner in America

Part of the 'Americana' experience will undoubtedly be the food. Whether it is juicy grease-dripping burgers, lip-smacking ribs, or merely something to get you over that pounding hangover, the city food scenes are to die for here.

Explore the bustling Chinatown of New York. Feel Cuban vibes on Miami Beach. Indulge in a Philly cheesesteak after partying the night away in a city that boasts the second highest number of liquor licenses in the whole of the USA. Whatever you do, make sure that the food you try is a focal point of this life-changing trip, and you don't even need to break the bank to do it. Here are our top recommended eateries for ten cities, where you can tantalise your tastebuds for under $10.


1. Chicago

Located in Lincoln Park, Lito's Empanadas fry up crusty empanadas in ten different ways, such as the beef, stuffed with olives, raisins, onions, potatoes and tomatoes, while the spice chori-cheese boasts chorizo, cheese and potatoes. And if you have a sweet tooth, why not nab the Nutella and banana empanada? Owned by Colombian-born Lito and Eve Escalante, this place pretty much sums up the multicultural cosmopolis that is Chicago.

Chicago food

source: flickr / Mumumío


2. Boston

On Hanover Street, you will find this great pizza eatery. Galleria Umberto serves its famous Sicilian Squares for under $2, cheese browned, layered with tomato sauce and burnt all around the edges. Grab a few of them for under $10 and top them up with ground beef or fried risotto balls. The restaurant shuts at 3pm, while individual menu items are sold on a first come first served basis.

Boston food

source: flickr/ Jason Lam


New York

Manhattan can often be a pricey place to eat, but Asian food fests come cheap in Chinatown. There are tonnes of places here that aren't expensive but Xi'an Famous Foods is a particular highlight. Munch into some handmade noodles, such as a bowl of liang pi (cold skin), slippery wheat noodles in a cool and spicy vinegar sauce, or try the spicy beef hand-pulled noodles if you dare. Either way, this is somewhere you may come back to, again and again.

New York food

source: flickr / Jason Lam



You can't go to Philly and not try the cheesesteak. Shreds of steak topped with layers of cheese, onions and peppers, all in a warm baguette; it may be a heart attack on a plate, but it's bloody tasty. Your best bet is the original home of the dish, Pat's King of Steaks, which is still owned by its founding Olivieri family. It is believed that the original Pat Olivieri invented the sandwich in 1930 and the rest, well, is history as they say.

Philly cheese steak

source: flickr / jeffreyw


Washington DC

DC's growing hipster scene is something to marvel at, so why not head to this cheap burger joint in Capitol Hill? Good Stuff Eatery is filled with quirky shirts, impressive beards and, let's not forget, tasty burgers. Try Colletti's Smokehouse, topped with applewood-smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar cheese and fried Vidalia onion rings, or the Uncle D – topped with chili, cheddar, green onions and sour cream. They will melt in your mouth.

Washington DC food

source: flickr / Ben Stanfield



Our last stop on the East Coast, Miami has a rich and expansive Cuban community, so it is hardly a surprise that the sandwich cubano will be on your list of must-trys. If you want to have a go at the frita, a paprika-spiced burger with chorizo, onions and french fries, head to El Mago de las Fritas. Owner Ortelio Cardenas, known locally as 'the magician', has been serving these up for over 30 years, and for under $5 you could be having less tasty, pricier lunches elsewhere. Add a dollar for an egg on top, just like Obama did when he came here!

Miami food

source: flickr / jeffreyw



With a thriving food trucks scene, Austin is a haven for foodies. No place highlights this better than Three Little Pigs. There are just three things on the menu, all cooked by owner Raymond Tatum and costing $7 each. The most popular one is the Cracklin' Meatloaf, with ground beef dotted with carrot and celery, all topped with a thick brown gravy.

Austin food truck

source: flickr / leyla.a


New Orleans

The land of food and drink, New Orleans will blow your mind. Head to Cochon Butcher, owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Donald Link, which serves up porky Cajun specialities. Want to try the hot boudin? What about the head cheese with chow-chow? And with the swine bar selling craft beer and tasty cocktails, you know you're in New Orleans where the party never stops.

New Orleans food

source: flickr / Krista


San Francisco

Fancy Thai in San Francisco? You're in luck as it also happens to be the cheapest food available in this urban explosion. Lers Ros Thai near the Civic Centre has a huge menu with over 150 items to pick from – these include pad Thai, prawn-fried noodles, papaya salad, and kao ka moo – that's stewed pork with cinnamon and cloves to you and me.

San Francisco food

source: flickr / stu_spivack


Los Angeles

LA may be the home for the rich and famous, but that doesn't mean you have to burn a hole in your wallet eating out here. Pink's Hot Dogs in the centre of Hollywood has 15 different varieties of hot dog, such as the bacon chili cheese dog and a NYC dog with red onions. Serving since 1939, this cart is a favourite among stars such as Betty White and Jay Leno, and with it staying open after midnight, it's the perfect snack after a heavy night out.

Pinks Hot Dogs

source: flickr / Sam Howzit


There are so many different tour types with Trek, and for the people who truly live for the ulitmate foodie experience, a visit to the States is sure to please your tastebuds! Our Plus tours include some local meals and time to find your own eats!



See our Plus tours



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