Dining on a Dime: Boston’s Best Budget Lunch Spots

Who said breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Lunch can’t come early enough for those of us in the front office. And there’s no reason to break the bank (or settle for peanut butter and jelly) with these tasty-but-affordable lunch spots beckoning.

Takeout: Five Under $10

  • Food trucks: There are new ones popping up on every block, but you can’t go wrong with Roxy’s gourmet grilled cheese or the savory-sweet offerings of Mei Mei Street Kitchen. (Everywhere)
  • Farmers markets: With so many offerings in the summer months and a year-round indoor market slated to open soon, you have no excuse not to eat fresh. (Everywhere)
  • Flour Bakery: Enjoy a savory sandwich like the herbed tuna or panko-encrusted flank steak, or try the pico di gallo stuffed bread. (Back Bay)
  • Boloco: Go for the buffalo burrito or New England harvest wrap. (Financial District)
  • Cosi: Salads and sandwiches are made super fresh, and made before your eyes. Our favorites? Cosi’s signature salad and the tomato-basil-mozzarella on their signature flatbread. (Downtown Crossing)

Sit-down service: Five Under $15

  • Les Zygomates: Try the croque monsieur, crispy goat cheese salad or lobster bisque. (South Station/Financial District)
  • Petit Robert: Check out the mussels steamed in Stella, romaine and Roquefort, or the Central burger. (Downtown Crossing)
  • Good Life: Trusted friends recommend the Cubano, fish tacos or marinated tuna. (Financial District)
  • Kingston Station: The marinated chicken sandwich is a huge crowd pleaser, with the deliciously crisp kale Caesar salad not far behind. (Downtown Crossing)
  • Gourmet Dumpling House: Too hip to have a website, this restaurant generates plenty of business by word of mouth, especially with regard to the Szechuan beef and pork dumplings. (Chinatown)

These gems are hardly hidden, since they’re all within drooling distance of the Kensington. They do draw a crowd — but they’re used to keeping customers happy with speedy, smooth, satisfying service. Bon appétit.