Affordable Restaurants in Downtown Boston

December 20, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Top spots to dine out on a dime in Downtown Boston.

Sam LaGrassa's
Downtown · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.3

“Dieters beware” : the corned beef, pastrami and other “outstanding” sandwiches are “enormous” “enough for two people” at this “cozy” Downtown takeout, maybe the “closest thing Boston has to a New York deli” ; open for weekday lunches only, it’s “always packed” , so consider ordering ahead for pickup.
Downtown · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 2.9 · Service 3.9

“Awesome” Chilean sandwiches – stuffed with meats or veggies, steamed green beans, tomatoes, Muenster cheese and avocado spread – are the draw at this weekdays-only Downtown Crossing joint; it’s counter-serve and looks “like any fast-food, quick-lunch place” , but crowds can “get totally jammed up” during peak midday hours, despite the efforts of the “efficient staff.”
Saus Boston
European · Downtown · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.9

“Tasty” dishes “you can't get anywhere else” , mainly of the “unique” street-eat variety (like “excellent” pommes frites with diverse dipping sauces), inspire “lines” at this Belgian-focused “quick-bite” stop in Downtown Crossing’s Faneuil Hall; “cool, modern” surrounds, a team that “seems to really enjoy” working there, oft-changing craft-beer picks available by request and late-night hours Thursday–Saturday also contribute to the “fun aesthetic.”
Milk Street Cafe
Breakfast · Downtown · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

Though “mostly known for its corporate catering” , this circa-1981 Financial District “staple” also lures desk jockeys with a kosher deli and cafe that “meets a high standard” when you need a bite during office hours (it serves breakfast and lunch only, and is closed weekends); fans tout its “cafeteria-style” array of sandwiches, pastries and soups, all for “reasonable prices.”
Burger · Downtown · $
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.7

Presenting a “healthy” “alternative” to the typical fast-food burger joint, this “casual” locally born chain “prides itself” on local sourcing of “wholesome” “farm-to-table” ingredients for “tasty” fare that’s “a few grades above your drive-thru favorites” and “worth the higher” (yet still “appropriate” ) prices; sure, the “generic” “cafeteria” decor “lacks” , but with “handy” locations around town, it’s a “workhorse” for “quick grab-and-go meals.”
Noon Mediterranean
Financial District · $

This Downtown branch of a fast-expanding Mediterranean chain takes the customizable route, offering build-your-own pitas, salads, and rice or quinoa bowls loaded with health-minded proteins (from lamb to falafel), toppings and sauces in a modern counter-serve space.
Villa Mexico Cafe
Mexican · Financial District · $

This Mexican eatery earned a cult following during its earlier operation out of a nearby gas station, and has now found a full-fledged (if still mostly frill-free) brick-and-mortar space Downtown, where homestyle recipes are employed to spicy effect for grilled burritos, tacos, quesadillas and other south-of-the-border standards.