Hill St. Cafe - Oceanside
Yes, you can eat healthy for under $5, and it's especially tasty at the Hill St. Cafe in Oceanside. A cup of the Turkey Chili, a hearty, homemade turkey chili with kidney beans, vegetables and served with fresh toasted bread, is sure to alleviate the "I'm-so-broke-until-payday-blues." Broke and vegan? No problem, you don't have to starve, order the Homemade Vegan Chili with soyrizo, beans, fresh vegetables and tame the hunger pains!
Mess Royale - Hillcrest
Baseball season is here once again and hot dogs are a staple of the baseball fan's diet. Of course, at Mess Royale, you don't get some ordinary steamed hot dog, no, the MLT Toasty is an absolutely tasty affair that hits a home run with your taste buds and wallet. For under $5, you get a juicy hot dog topped with mustard, relish, onions, and Royale slaw all cozied up inside a toasty, buttery bun. This is one mess worth getting into.
In-N-Out - Various Locations
Look, if you absolutely have to have fast food, make it a good one. In-N-Out is a go-to favorite for mouth-watering burgers with that extra special spread that somehow makes being super poor for the week an alright feeling. For under $5, you can order the Double Double, a classic burger featuring two patties, two slices of American cheese and that spread that makes the burger truly stand out. Try it "animal style" and at no extra charge, you get pickles, extra spread, grilled onions, and mustard - one bite and your taste buds go wild!
Papa Luna's Empanada's - Pacific Beach and Downtown San Diego
With over 13 empanada's to choose from for under $5, you really can't go wrong no matter what you pick. The Caribbean features island flavors such as blackened Ahi, mango salsa and Napa cabbage, while the Empanada de Choclo, with sweet corn, cotija cheese, and fire-roasted peppers is a budget-minded vegetarian's delight.