If you are looking to splurge and treat yourself to a decadent dinner, Little Italy is the place to be. India Street is lined with establishments that serve everything from artfully crafted fresh sushi to succulent sirloin. It is impossible to leave this area without a full stomach and a more sophisticated pallet.
However, it is also impossible to leave this area without a significantly lighter wallet.
Our office is located in Little Italy and it is not the most ideal place to forget your packed lunch. Now don’t get me wrong, this area’s diversity and beauty make it the perfect place for a lifestyle company to get inspiration. It is something that my simple ham and cheese sandwich could never compete with. But you see, it is my budget that aches every time I leave my lackluster creation at home because, that means I will have to find something to eat with $10 in a $25 lunch town.
Through trial and error, I have discovered five restaurants in a two block radius of the office that provide a scrumptious lunch under $10.
The first place is called Pokirrito. It resides at 2254 India St. My favorite thing to order here is their small pokie bowl. You have the option to pick out two raw proteins. Along with your choice of seafood you get to choose from an array of toppings and sauces (make sure to try out the spicy mayo). In a part of town know for carbs this is a healthy and tasty switch up. These bowls are $10.
The second place is called Mona Lisa’s which is located on 2061 India Street. This Italian deli has some of the best fresh pasta and homemade marinara sauce in the city! However, if you don’t have time to cook up a big pasta feast, their made to order subs are to die for! They have everything from ham and Swiss to turkey pastrami. These subs are $9 at most.
Some days are busier than others here at So Diego Tours and the Kebab Shop in Little Italy (303 W Beech St.) is the perfect place to swing by when I’m on the move. Chow down on a flavorful wrap for only $8! Pick out your favorite type of marinated meat and then fill the pita with a vast array of fixings.
Now it would not be little Italy without an incredible pizza place on every corner. All these amazing options make going out for a quick slice rather difficult. However, even with all the pizza competition NaPizza (1702 India street) stands out. The dough is laid out on large metal sheets, baked in a brick oven until cheese drips off the edge of their buttery crust and then is sliced into squares to be served. This technique makes the pizza thick throughout and satisfies my hunger is a way that no other pizza in the neighborhood can. One delicious slice from NaPizza ranges from $3.50 to $5.75.
Finally, just a block down from the office is Herb & Wood ( 2210 Kettner Blvd). Just glancing at the menu it is easy to assume that a lunch here is way above $10, and you’d be correct. However, if you walk to the back of their deli you will come across a rare gem. Their grab and go section has lunch boxes that contain a wrap and a side of couscous for only $6! My favorite wrap they have available is the turkey, bacon, lettuce and jalapeno aioli. So flavorful!
I don’t always forget my lunch but, when I do I have some amazing back up options. Just one of the many perks of living in such a diverse and beautifully unique city.