How to Eat in Los Angeles on the Cheap

So, you are about to take a trip to Los Angeles. You are excited about seeing the sites and hanging out in the city, but you're worried about your budget. You want to be able to enjoy all that Los Angeles has to offer, including all the hottest restaurants, but you don't want to over spend in the process. Going to a hot spot like Los Angeles can be hard on the wallet; and if you don't plan your trip carefully, your relaxing California vacation may get stressful. The following steps will advise you on how to eat in Los Angeles on the cheap and enjoy your trip to the West coast.


  1. Image titled Eat in Los Angeles on the Cheap Step 1
    Research the area.
    • Check out what spots offer reasonable prices for eating at their establishment. You'd be surprised at the number of restaurants that offer discounts on food on certain days of the week or at certain times of the day. Early bird specials aren't just for senior citizens any more; a meal that regularly cost $30.00 after 8 o'clock might be half price before 8. The same can be said for other restaurants that may serve their most expensive meals for half price to the late night dinner crowd.
  2. Image titled Eat in Los Angeles on the Cheap Step 2
    Go for lunch rather than dinner.
    • Skip the dinner, do lunch. If you watch any of the food channel's travel shows, most of the hosts try to advise viewers on how to eat an expensive meal and pay less; one inexpensive way to do that is to do lunch instead of dinner. A lot of times the same food that is served at dinner is offered at a lesser price at lunch time. Sometimes the portions are smaller, but at least you get to try that fancy dish.
  3. Image titled Eat in Los Angeles on the Cheap Step 3
    Order an appetizer instead of a main course.
    • Ordering an appetizer is one of the cheapest ways to eat and save money at the same time. Many restaurants that offer appetizers make them just as big -- or even bigger -- than a meal itself.
  4. Image titled Eat in Los Angeles on the Cheap Step 4
    Ask natives of the city for advice.
    • Ask friends or relatives who live out in Los Angeles where they go to eat that has good food at reasonable prices. If you don't have anybody you know who lives out there, ask the cab driver who drives you from the airport, the people who work at the front desk at the hotel, or even the hotel cleaning staff. They all probably have some idea where you can find good food for less.


  • Go to happy hour. A lot of restaurants offer happy hour food menu items if you order a drink special. Be aware that the bar menu normally will not feature everything that is offered on the regular dinner menu, but sometimes it may offer 1 or 2 meals that appear on the dinner menu. But don't expect to get a Ribeye steak at happy hour.


  • Be aware that when you go to a big city like Los Angeles, the prices will probably be much higher than you expect. Be prepared to spend more because that $10 burger and fries you get back at home may be double that amount in Los Angeles.

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Categories: Eating Out on a Budget