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The Griffon, Thursday, Noon
A Southwestern chicken salad at the Griffon.
Emma Humphries

Charleston's Top 10 Affordable Restaurants

Save some money

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A Southwestern chicken salad at the Griffon.
| Emma Humphries

Running low on cash or just want to save some money? Seek out one of these essential cheap eats spots around the Lowcountry. From pizza to to crab rice, there's a menu item under or around $10 for every sort of craving.

For all the complaints that Charleston restaurants have gotten too expensive, there are many places offering a deal. Continually check this guide when the bank account is running low.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Royal American

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While dive bar the Royal American may be known for its live music and 32-ounce bourbon punch, the kitchen also puts out a great menu. Most the meals will help soak up some of the booze consumed at the Morrison Drive establishment, like the disco fries or the patty melt (both $10). If money is really tight, try the staff meal, which is always $5 and varies during the week. Right now, it’s a bowl of pretzel bites with Miller High Life beer cheese.

Little Miss Ha Vietnamese Cuisine

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Inspired by her mother’s cooking, Janice Hudgins started a catering business focused on traditional Vietnamese dishes. Named after her mom, Little Miss Ha is now a brick-and-mortar eatery in Mount Pleasant. The restaurant serves banh mi, steam buns, pho, Saigon salad, and more. It’s all fresh and around $13.

Saigon salad
Little Miss Ha/Facebook

Hannibal's Kitchen

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Open since 1985, Hannibal’s Kitchen has perfected Gullah cuisine, like crab rice, lima beans with smoked neck bones, okra soup, and local shark. Most of the meals clock in around $10.

A plate of lima beans on a table
Lima bean supper with rice and smoked turkey necks at Hannibal’s Soul Kitchen.
Bill Addison/Eater

D'Allesandro's Pizza

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D'Allesandro's looks like the quintessential college town pizza parlor, but serves up some sophisticated pies like the Get Gnarly with balsamic chicken, blue cheese, and spinach. There's usually a special running, and you can typically find a coupon to make the pie even cheaper.

Mama Kim's

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The express bowl is the way to go at Korean place Mama Kim's. Choose from chicken, steak, or shrimp and the staff will fill a giant bowl of meat and rice for under $9. Fans of kimchi can fill up on the bulgogi bento box — it's enough for two people to share.

The Griffon

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Sitting on over 25 years of crumpled dollar bills and memories, the Griffon is a Charleston legend. Co-owners Dan Wenz and Scott London keep the Vendue Range bar casual with an emphasis on good beers and affordable food. The dining room at lunch is an egalitarian scene of craftsmen chatting with Broad Street lawyers and families on vacation. A bowl of hearty chili is just $5, while the massive burger with two quarter-pound patties will only set you back $11.99.

The Griffon, Thursday, Noon
The Griffon dog.

Queen Street Grocery

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There's nothing over $10 on the extensive menu at classic shop Queen Street Grocery. This storied Harleston Village corner shop offers pressed panini, crepes, and smoothies any time of the day.

Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French Inc.

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Gaulart & Maliclet, better known as Fast & French, transports patrons to a quaint town in Europe for less than $10 a plate. The shotgun space has pivoted to outdoor seating since the pandemic. Choose the special of the day to be treated to a sandwich or light entree with a soup, fresh fruit, and a glass of white or red. Fast & French has been a mainstay on Broad Street since 1984.

Erin Perkins/Eater

Baguette Magic

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Super cute spot Baguette Magic offers carbs on carbs on carbs. Patrons rave about the recovery baguette — a hangover-curing combination of scrambled eggs, bacon, prosciutto, white cheddar, tomato jam, and arugula. For those in search of something sweet, check out the homemade Pop-Tarts or the chocolate croissant. The best part? Most of the offerings are at $10 and under.

Tattooed Moose

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The Johns Island and Park Circle Tattooed Moose can satisfy all dive bar, high-class sandwich, yet family-friendly needs. The beloved restaurant can feed the craving for crisp fries, craft beer (or PBRs), and a double decker duck club sandwich that has its own fan club. Both locations have lots of outdoor seating for roaming children.

The Royal American

While dive bar the Royal American may be known for its live music and 32-ounce bourbon punch, the kitchen also puts out a great menu. Most the meals will help soak up some of the booze consumed at the Morrison Drive establishment, like the disco fries or the patty melt (both $10). If money is really tight, try the staff meal, which is always $5 and varies during the week. Right now, it’s a bowl of pretzel bites with Miller High Life beer cheese.

Little Miss Ha Vietnamese Cuisine

Saigon salad
Little Miss Ha/Facebook

Inspired by her mother’s cooking, Janice Hudgins started a catering business focused on traditional Vietnamese dishes. Named after her mom, Little Miss Ha is now a brick-and-mortar eatery in Mount Pleasant. The restaurant serves banh mi, steam buns, pho, Saigon salad, and more. It’s all fresh and around $13.

Saigon salad
Little Miss Ha/Facebook

Hannibal's Kitchen

A plate of lima beans on a table
Lima bean supper with rice and smoked turkey necks at Hannibal’s Soul Kitchen.
Bill Addison/Eater

Open since 1985, Hannibal’s Kitchen has perfected Gullah cuisine, like crab rice, lima beans with smoked neck bones, okra soup, and local shark. Most of the meals clock in around $10.

A plate of lima beans on a table
Lima bean supper with rice and smoked turkey necks at Hannibal’s Soul Kitchen.
Bill Addison/Eater

D'Allesandro's Pizza

D'Allesandro's looks like the quintessential college town pizza parlor, but serves up some sophisticated pies like the Get Gnarly with balsamic chicken, blue cheese, and spinach. There's usually a special running, and you can typically find a coupon to make the pie even cheaper.

Mama Kim's

The express bowl is the way to go at Korean place Mama Kim's. Choose from chicken, steak, or shrimp and the staff will fill a giant bowl of meat and rice for under $9. Fans of kimchi can fill up on the bulgogi bento box — it's enough for two people to share.

The Griffon

The Griffon, Thursday, Noon
The Griffon dog.

Sitting on over 25 years of crumpled dollar bills and memories, the Griffon is a Charleston legend. Co-owners Dan Wenz and Scott London keep the Vendue Range bar casual with an emphasis on good beers and affordable food. The dining room at lunch is an egalitarian scene of craftsmen chatting with Broad Street lawyers and families on vacation. A bowl of hearty chili is just $5, while the massive burger with two quarter-pound patties will only set you back $11.99.

The Griffon, Thursday, Noon
The Griffon dog.

Queen Street Grocery

There's nothing over $10 on the extensive menu at classic shop Queen Street Grocery. This storied Harleston Village corner shop offers pressed panini, crepes, and smoothies any time of the day.

Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French Inc.

Erin Perkins/Eater

Gaulart & Maliclet, better known as Fast & French, transports patrons to a quaint town in Europe for less than $10 a plate. The shotgun space has pivoted to outdoor seating since the pandemic. Choose the special of the day to be treated to a sandwich or light entree with a soup, fresh fruit, and a glass of white or red. Fast & French has been a mainstay on Broad Street since 1984.

Erin Perkins/Eater

Baguette Magic

Super cute spot Baguette Magic offers carbs on carbs on carbs. Patrons rave about the recovery baguette — a hangover-curing combination of scrambled eggs, bacon, prosciutto, white cheddar, tomato jam, and arugula. For those in search of something sweet, check out the homemade Pop-Tarts or the chocolate croissant. The best part? Most of the offerings are at $10 and under.

Tattooed Moose

The Johns Island and Park Circle Tattooed Moose can satisfy all dive bar, high-class sandwich, yet family-friendly needs. The beloved restaurant can feed the craving for crisp fries, craft beer (or PBRs), and a double decker duck club sandwich that has its own fan club. Both locations have lots of outdoor seating for roaming children.

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