I am cheap. Frugal. Especially lunch. I am not looking for fine dining and I am not checking the consistency of size in my diced onions. I am looking for some protein and carbs to get me through the afternoon. Even the cheap Chinese buffets are $11 or more for lunch. Inflation is testing restaurant owners and wallet conscious diners alike.
10 years ago you could find a $10 lunch pretty easily. In this post-COVID new Downtown Dayton era the $10 lunch is hard to come by while simultaneously avoiding the chain fast food joints.
Taco Garcia Mobil food truck at Huffman and East 3rd has been my go to downtown since 2019. Their prices have gone up but you can still snag two or three tacos and a Coke for around $10 or less. My usual order is one carne and two chicken and chorizo mixed. The chorizo gives some life to the chicken and the chicken gives some structure to the soft chorizo. It’s the perfect street taco in my opinion.
If I am not feeling tacos I make a run to Falb’s. Located on the corner of Chapel Street and Kiser for almost one hundred years you can’t spend more than $10 if you try. Pork Tenderloin and a salad and a Coke, $10. Burger, chili and a Coke. $10. Sloppy Joe and onion rings with a Coke, about $10. Tell Joe and Dwayne we sent you.
Closer to downtown, near the Arcade’s 3rd Street entrance you can stop by Olive Mediterranean Grill and get a Gyro and a drink for $10. I get it to go with a side of hummus and pita, you guessed it $10. The falafel platter, $10. It’s a plate sized for lunch and sized for my wallet. This menu is super accessible for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
I am most excited about what the new owners at Kramer’s are doing. Located behind UD on Irving the new owners made some changes that have put them on my map for lunch. Wings, fries, soda $10. Burger, fries, soda, $10. 7″ pizza and soda, $10. Every day they have a special highlighting the menu. A hot Italian sub, chips and cold drink, $10 on Wednesday’s always has my attention. Don’t get me started on the happy hour specials during the week. It feels like college again.
So tell me, when the budget is tight and you need lunch, where can I find you getting a bite for $10?