Whether for business or pleasure, lunch in St. Louis doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are several options for less than $10.
Think the only way to cut down on the cost is to bring it in a brown bag, find a fast food value menu of regret or just skip it altogether? Think again St. Louisans. Our fair city has tons of midday grub options at affordable prices and they don’t involve a drive through. With a few simple tricks and a little research, the indulgence of restaurants doesn’t have to be a drain on your wallet. You can save money without sacrificing the experience by knowing where to go:
- Join the club. Many places have loyalty or punch card programs, and if you are eating out a lot, these can add up quickly and you could score three or four free lunches every month.
- Split the difference. With large portions, à la carte add-ons and combo specials all over the place, whether you’re dining with a co-worker or a date, look at the menu together and see if there are some menu items that you want to team up on, or even literally split down the middle.
- Make it special. Many places have weekly specials, some every day of the week. Some will even offer a two-for-one option, so keep an eye out and plan your lunch dates accordingly.
Check out this list of area favorites for an affordable lunch and see if your favorite spot made the cut.
Metro Java Coffee House
231 S. Bemiston Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63105
Dine in or carry out lunch for under $10 at Metro Java Coffee House in Clayton. Metro Java is inside a main building and is a true find for quick and tasty lunches. Metro Java has daily lunch specials under $7: Monday is BBQ pulled pork with chips and drink; Tuesday is toasted ravioli, salad and a drink; Wednesday is a cheeseburger, fries and a drink; Thursday is meatloaf with two sides and a drink; and Friday is a taco salad, beef or chicken, and a drink. Metro Java has a salad bar, pre-made salads and a selection of subs, pizzas and wraps, all under $10.
12315 Natural Bridge Road
Bridgeton, MO 63044
El Maguey is the place to eat when you crave authentic Mexican cuisine. The service is excellent and the Mexican cuisine will not disappoint you. Diners are greeted with courtesy and served complimentary chips and salsa, and the chips and salsa keep coming. The half order of chicken nachos is very satisfying. However, if you want more than nachos, check out the full lunch menu. El Maguey, a St. Louis family-owned restaurant, is so popular that the El Maguey family owners have opened 11 locations throughout the St. Louis area.
For good food at great prices, visit Sunshine Restaurant on North Lindbergh. Sunshine restaurant is clean, with ample seating and friendly service. Sunshine serves breakfast all day and has $5.95 lunch combos Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The selection for lunch combos include grilled chicken breast, bacon cheeseburger and a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich, all served with fries and a drink.
Goody Goody Diner
5900 Natural Bridge Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63120
Goody Goody Diner opened in 1954, and the diner has stayed true to its past. Although Goody Goody Diner has remodeled over the years, the décor retains an authentic diner feel. The prices are good and the service is excellent. You can get a patty melt for $5.29 or a terrific cheeseburger for $3.29. If you are in the mood for breakfast, Goody Goody Diner serves breakfast all day, featuring scrumptious chicken and waffles starting at $5.99.
9025 St. Charles Rock Road
St. John, MO 63114
Chuck-a-Burger in St. John is an authentic, traditional 50s-style park-and-eat restaurant. In business since 1957, Chuck-a-Burger serves classic 50s hamburgers, milkshakes and the famous Chuck-a-Burger chili. The inside dining area is cozy, featuring comfortable booths and tables. You can relax and enjoy a burger, fries and thick, creamy shake, or choose from other Chuck-a-Burger treats, like salads, grilled chicken and catfish. Chuck-a-Burger even has a kids menu that includes a little cruiser car.
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Pennee Struckman is an accounting professional in St Louis, MO. She currently writes for Examiner.com on topics related to parenting teenagers and living well on a budget in St. Louis. She is also a professional financial management writer with articles and white papers published by a well-known information firm. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.