Must-Try $10 Lunches in San Diego

By Darlene Horn  |  October 2, 2014
Credit: Flickr/Robert S Donovan

If you're tight on funds, your taste buds shouldn't suffer. To that end, here are some of San Diego's best cheap lunches, organized by cuisine. All of these meals will fill you up for $10 or less. 

Japanese Food


If you can deal with the parking situation at Nijiya shopping center on Convoy, you'll be rewarded with Wa Dining Okan's 14 traditional Japanese home-cooked lunch entrees, each for $10 or less. The price includes rice, two made-to-order sides, pickles and miso soup. What to try: The fried chicken covered in tartar sauce. Other options include tofu steak, grilled salmon, simmered pork cutlet, fried oysters and vegetable curry. Hours are 11:30 AM - 2 PM daily. Cash only. Hot tip: Go during off hours to minimize parking challenges. 3860 Convoy St., 858-279-0941



Pizza Studio joins the team of San Diego custom pizza places like Pieology, Project Pie and Social Life Pizza by offering personal 11-inch pies, made-to-order within just a few minutes. What makes Pizza Studio different?  The price. For just $7.99 you get a custom pizza with your choice of dough (traditional, whole grain, rosemary herb, spicy firecracker) cheese (feta, goat, mozzarella, parmesan), sauce (basil pesto, BBQ, tomato and olive oil) and unlimited toppings like bacon, salami, turkey sausage, onion, peppers, roasted corn, zucchini, olives, mushrooms, pineapple, artichokes and green peppers. Hot tip: don't overdo it with the toppings.  13483 Poway Rd. Suite 603; 119 Broadway



Rubicon Deli's "Dapper Dipper" on garlic cheese bread never disappoints. Stuffed with thin slices of slowly roasted prime rib and Swiss cheese, the creation is slathered with horseradish spread, giving some tang to each bite. But the flavorful jus served on the side for dipping is what really makes this sandwich soar. If you’re looking to avoid an afternoon food coma and stay a few bucks under budget at $7.99, stick with a half sandwich. A complimentary chocolate chip cookie awaits you after the final bite. 3819 Mission Blvd.; 858-488-33543715 Washington St.; 858-488-3354



We're thrilled by the seemingly endless variations of Bridges Bar & Grill's $8 lunch burger: things like The Mission a spicy take with jalapeno jack cheese, poblano peppers and pimentos or Kona Gold, topped with Swiss cheese, grilled pineapple, honey glazed ham and ginger teriyaki sauce. The deal even tacks on Parmesan dusted fries and a soda. What to pick? For a spicy sweet take, we love the Western Bacon (pictured above) with provolone, bacon, onion rings and mango habeñero BBQ sauce. Considering all burger creations use 1/3 lb. of certified angus ground beef cooked to your liking and sitting on a Sadie Rose bun, you can't really go wrong. Lunch time deals are Monday-Friday from 11 AM until 3 PM. 4800 Art St.; 619-501-9448

Fish 'N Chips


Spike Africa’s budget-friendly lunch-time meals include sandwiches, tacos and salads that are right-priced at $10. The deal on fish 'n chips is the most significant discount, down from the dinner price of $15.75. Two generous planks of mahi-mahi are dipped in Anchor Steam beer batter, deep-fried to golden-brown and served with freshly cut potato French fries. The tender, flaky fish is served with the restaurant’s housemade tartar sauce and a spicy cocktail sauce that your taste buds will remember long after the last bite. Order it anytime before 3:30 PM. 411 Broadway; 619-795-3800