There are a lot of things to love about Asian Ghetto — it’s cheap, it’s right next to the dorms and you can get double your daily recommended amount of sodium from two bites of pretty much anything you buy there. But when you eat there every time you’re stumbling home from a frat party you probably shouldn’t have gone to, it can get old fast.
Here’s a guide to 10 places where you can eat for under $10 that aren’t in Asian Ghetto.
The Cheese Board Collective
This is the kind of place where men with strange facial hair come in from San Francisco to dine, so you know it’s good. The Cheese Board Collective sells one unique type of vegetarian pizza and salad each day, which usually are made with bougie cheeses that have fun names like “Dunbarton Blue” — so it’s surprising that a slice is just $2.75.
House of Curries
If you’re trying to get away from eating at Asian Ghetto, you can walk just across the street eat at the Indian and Pakistani restaurant House of Curries. They always burn their naan, but they have giant windows at the front that will allow you to stare at Asian Ghetto and lament during your meal.
Abe is the best man we’ve ever met. Period. Also it’s usually less than $10, but kind of only if you get bagels. It feels worth the money though because you know you’re supporting someone as great as Abe, and you’ll want him to thrive.
Little Gem Belgian Waffles
Why eat real meals when you can subsist only off waffles topped with ice cream and nutella? You’ll hate yourself a little bit afterwards, but it won’t matter because you’ll be filled with sugar and carbs.
D’Yar Mediterranean Cuisine
You might be thinking, “But D’Yar is in Asian Ghetto.” You’re in luck. There’s another D’Yar on Northside. Walk 15 minutes to the other side of campus. Shake things up. Still get the Falafel Plate.
Hey, we never said that all cheap restaurants outside of Asian Ghetto were good. McDonald’s, however, is the best value near campus if you’re looking to emotionally eat as much as you possibly can on a budget. Did we mention you can buy 5.9 snack-size McFlurrys with $10?
Wow, a trendy Downtown Berkeley bar that costs under $10? Well, it does if you order just one beer and then watch longingly as your friends guzzle IPAs and scarf down delicious wood-fired pizzas.
Hummingbird Cafe sells cheap, amazing sandwiches, smoothies and Middle Eastern food. But they’ve also set up their restaurant in the smallest, most claustrophobic space possible. If you go around noon, you may have to get into hand-to-hand combat with another customer to secure your spot. Only the strong will get their sandwich, but knowing how hard you worked for it will make the meal that much more fulfilling.
The Italian food is great, and if you’re new to Berkeley and don’t have any friends yet, the owner is more than willing to have an hourlong conversation about where all his kids went to college and will remind you of your kind uncle back in your hometown.
There’s no better way to show everyone that they should be concerned about you than just buying a pre-packaged soggy sandwich from Walgreens. The sandwiches are in the same price range as pretty much everything else in the surrounding area that might actually taste good, but they’re actually a better value because they double as a cry for help.