Eat great; eat cheap. Sometimes it seems like the two can't go together, but we found a few plates around town that pair top quality with a nice price. From a local brand's take on fast food to sophisticated charcuterie, here are 10 choice dishes for under $10.
Morcilla at BISq
The Cambridge newcomer, a sibling to Bergamot, has a few charcuterie items that are dense enough to be a small meal on their own. Case in point: the housemade blood sausage, served with chimichurri sauce, tostones (fried plantains) and a fried egg. It's super flavorful — and protein-packed.
1071 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-714-3693
Pigs in a Blanket at Bukowski Tavern
Chef Brian Poe has slightly tweaked the game dog trio that greeted guests when he reopened Bukowski Tavern back in January with a new look and elevated menu. At the time, they were served in mini-buns (as originally pictured). Now they're encased in puff pastry (even better!), but inside you'll find the same three unique franks: alligator smoked sausage with cilantro creamed corn sauce, bison with a Sriracha ketchup and jalapeño Dijon, and venison with a relish of chervil, basil, cucumber and tomato.
1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-497-7077
Super Burrito at Anna's Taqueria
If you've spent any time in Boston, particularly as a broke college student, you've come to know Anna's very well. But don't get it twisted: the small local chain of Mexican eats still satisfies even those of us who have graduated to more expensive tastes. The 12-inch Super Burrito, filled with meat or veggies, rice, beans, cheese, salsa and hot sauce, is a hearty lunch or dinner if you're caught with a light wallet. And you can stay under $10 even if you add guacamole, sour cream and avocado too.
O.G. Burger Meal at Griddler's Burger & Dogs
There are plenty of places to grab a burger for under 10 bucks, but this recently relaunched duo — it amped up its ingredients — gets you a higher-quality spin on a full fast-food meal for a happy price. The quarter-pound O.G. Burger, topped with special sauce, is just $4.25; double that to add fries, onion strings or tater tots. That still leaves room to toss a couple add-ons to your burger (like sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers or tomato-jalapeño marmalade) for 50 cents each.
Price: About $8.50
Double Awesome at Mei Mei
It's a new icon of the Boston food scene, and for good reason. We first discovered Mei Mei's Double Awesome at its mobile kitchen; now the dine-in restaurant means there's always a fixed place to find the scrumptuous scallion pancakes with slow-poached eggs, pesto, cheddar and spicy ketchup.
506 Park Dr.; 857-250-4959
Street-Style Hot Dog at The Painted Burro
The Davis Square Mexican restaurant offers up this all-beef hot dog covered in cabbage and jalapeño slaw, chicharrónes, chipotle ketchup and agave mustard on a grilled roll. If that wasn't enough, it's accompanied by a pork charro and pickled veggie salad.
219 Elm St., Somerville; 617-776-0005
Mighty Rib Melt at Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Score one from the food truck or just swing by Roxy's Allston brick-and-mortar. However you get your mitts around one of these gooey treats, do it fast. The BBQ-braised beef, caramelized onions and fontina cheese conspire to make this the street-food outfit's signature sandwich. Bonus: add a side of Cambridge cult fave Grillo's pickles for two bucks, and you'll still come in at under $10.
485 Cambridge St., Allston; 617-202-5864
Poutine at Saus
The Faneuil Hall–side frites dispensary is a must-try for many reasons, but foremost the curd cheese– and housemade gravy–topped poutine, a hunger-pain cure-all. For $3, add bacon 'n' stout-braised beef; it's a bona fide meal.
Price: $6.25 ($9.25 with braised beef)
33 Union St.; 617-248-8835
Suckling Pig Bao at Shojo
Chef Mark O'Leary's creative kitchen in Chinatown gets pretty much everything right, but we're perpetually smitten by the suckling pig bao with smoked BBQ sauce, kimchi and jalapeño.
9A Tyler St.; 617-423-7888
Chicken Basil Burger at Thelonious Monkfish
For a break from sushi at this Asian-fusion joint, gorge on the half-pound chicken patty burger topped with Vidalia onions, fresh basil and caramelized onions with a spicy basil mayo. Still hungry? It comes with sweet potato tempura "fries" and Asian pickles. Praise you, Monkfish.
542 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 617-441-2116