We look forward to safely welcoming you back to Bloomington.

Read More

Head Backstage to be in the know. 

We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bloomington's Best Cheap Lunches

Categories: Wine & Culinary

Bloomington is a foodie's dream destination. From "International Row" on the famous 4th Street to award-winning establishments like BuffaLouie's, there's a seemingly never-ending list of restaurants to choose from. The best part? There's something for every budget. If you want to grab a quality meal at a great price, follow this helpful guide to cheap* lunches around B-Town. If we forgot one of your favorites, we'd love to hear from you in the comments! 

*For the purpose of this article, we've defined "cheap" as $10.00 or less.
 

International Cuisine

Dumplings from Little Tibet

Anyetsang's Little Tibet Restaurant
Head to picture-perfect 4th Street for lunch at a local-favorite Tibetan eatery, Anyestsang's Little Tibet. In addition to Tibetan food, the restaurant also offers Indian and Thai dishes. Lunch is served from 11:00 am-3:00 pm, and the entire menu is priced under $9.00.

Juannita's
This authentic Mexican restaurant located on West Kirkwood Avenue offers a variety of daily specials, all $7.50 and under, as well as a generous a la carte menu of items priced no higher than $6.99. Juannita's also serves complimentary chips & salsa for dine-in patrons, which means you get even more bang for your buck! 

My Thai
Serving lunch Tuesday through Sunday, My Thai is a local favorite when it comes to Thai food. They offer 17 different lunch specials, all of which are priced at $8.99. After you've tried one dish, you'll keep coming back to try the rest! During non-COVID times, My Thai also offers a lunch buffet that locals rave about — only $9.99 for all the Thai food you'd like to eat.

Restaurant Ami
Ami is a popular spot in town when it comes to sushi and Japanese fare. All but one of their Maki rolls are less than $8.00, and if you aren't in the mood for sushi, they have a variety of hot entrees, such as bulgogi, bibimbap, and beef udon, priced under $10.00.

Rush Hour Station
On weekdays from 11:30 am-3:00 pm, Rush Hour Station serves Vietnamese-inspired soups and sandwiches. All varieties of their banh-mi and specialty wraps are priced under $9.00, and select bowls of pho are priced under $10.00.

 

American Grub

Visitors enjoy a burger and wings from Bloomington's famous BuffaLouie's restaurant.

Bub's Burgers
Bub's is another delicious burger joint in town, but they also offer out-of-this-world hotdogs and chili, both loaded up with all of your favorite toppings. Enjoy a 10-inch Angus dog or a bowl of beef chili in a bread bowl for under $8.00.

BuffaLouie's
Voted one of America's top 10 wing joints by USA Today, BuffaLouie's is a must for wing fanatics. Head to the B-Town staple on Tuesdays for $0.89 traditional wings or Wednesdays for $0.89 boneless wings. Although they're famous for their wings, you can also get an incredible burger, hot sandwich, sub, fish & chips, chicken tenders, and buffalo mac 'n' cheese for under $10.00 any day of the week.

Hinkle's Hamburgers
Hinkle's one of those classic burger joints you might see on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives one day. The family-owned restaurant has been a Bloomington trademark since the 1930s, and their menu hasn't changed much since. They offer pressed hamburgers & cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, tenderloin sandwiches, and a number of sides. Nothing on the menu costs more than $6, making it the perfect lunchtime stop. 

Kilroy's 
Although it's a student-favorite bar on the weekends, Kilroys looks like any other casual dining restaurant during lunch on a weekday. Grab a table on the patio during the warmer months and enjoy literally anything on their menu for $10.00 or less. We recommend their famous breadsticks, pork tenderloin sandwich, or KOK-style BLT.

Lennie's
This local-favorite spot for pizza, stromboli, sandwiches, and beer offers a great lunch special: soup & slice, salad & slice, or soup & salad for $10.00. While you are limited to the soup & slice of the day, the options are always incredibly flavorful & delicious.

 

Healthier Options

laughing planet

inBloom Juicery
inBloom is Bloomington's first juice & smoothie bowl spot. On Tuesday through Sunday, they offer five different superfood smoothie bowls that are perfect for a light, healthy and fresh lunch under $10.00. Each bowl is very unique, and you can customize them even further with toppings including kiwi, cocoa nibs, chia seeds, and more for just $.50 per addition. 

Soul Juice
Soul Juice is the newest health-focused eatery in town. Although their smoothie bowls are pricier than inBloom's, they offer a variety of organic & vegan smoothies, waffles, gourmet toasts, yogurt parfaits, chia puddings, and Kamut cereals for $9.50 or less. You'll definitely feel at one with your health after lunching here!

Sunny Poke
If you're looking for a protein-and-veggie-packed meal, head over to Sunny Poke. The restaurant serves a small-sized customizable poke bowl for $8.95, along with a variety of noodle soups for $10.00.


Looking for more local food favorites? Check out these blogs:
Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa is the Digital Content Coordinator at Visit Bloomington. She's a proud Indiana University alumna, mom to four cats, and Formula 1 enthusiast. When she isn't at work, you can find Alyssa checking out the newest restaurants in the area with her husband, curled up at home with a great book, or planning her next trip to a destination near or far.

Comments