Some days, the check is delivered to your table after a delicious lunch, your bill is $20, and you really question your decision making skills. Today is not one of those days. Here’s a solid line-up of awesome dishes from some Charleston restaurants that will allow you to skip the dining hall for lunch without draining your bank account.

1. The Park Cafe: Veggie Mess


Photo by Abby Schwing

If you’re a fan of scrambled eggs done right, this is a viable option for your next lunch. This place is a couple miles above the Crosstown on Rutledge, but definitely worth the trek. Ditch the Uber and use your bike to get there to save even more money.

Price: $9

2. Spring Roll: Kung Pao Chicken


Photo by Emma Collins

Spring Roll is super affordable, super good, and super close to campus. You could grab this delicious meal between classes, or even get it delivered to you (whether you’re trapped in Addlestone with no hope of escaping or just too lazy to walk there).

Price: $6.95 (lunch special)

3. Lost Dog Cafe: Quiche of the Day


Photo by Kristen Kornbluth

This hidden gem is on the way to Folly Beach, so you’ll have to hop in your car to get there. The drive is more than worth it though, because on top of a solid slice of quiche, you get a heap of some outstanding grits and some fresh fruit for good measure.

Price: $8.95

4. Taco Boy: Carne Asada and Tempura Shrimp tacos


Photo by Hannah-Marie Wayne

I just recently went to Taco Boy for the first time and only regret not going sooner. All 4 tacos we tried were delicious, boasting interesting flavor combinations and ingredients, but the carne asada was the real winner for me. The tempura shrimp was a strong contender as well.

Price: $3.95 per taco

5. Persimmon Cafe: Asparagus Special


Photo by Kristen Kornbluth

This baby boasts fig and red wine jam, brie, red onions, and of course, a generous amount of asparagus. Only available on some days, this special is definitely worth looking out for (#SpoonTip: follow Persimmon Cafe on Instagram so you know exactly what the special of the day is. Highly recommended decision). You should also probably add the side of orzo pasta salad just because you deserve it.

Price: $6.75 (add a side of orzo pasta salad for $1.50)

6. La Hacienda: Special #16 (or any lunch special)


Photo by Kristen Kornbluth

La Hacienda is welcoming, cheap, and conveniently located on King super close to campus. If you go at the right time, you can get a bomb lunch special and score a solid amount of food (and free bottomless chips and salsa as a bonus).

Price: $6.75 (all the specials are between $5-8)

7. East Bay Deli: Chicken & Cranberry


Photo courtesy of East Bay Deli

Whether you’re from the North, where you can find good delis on every corner, or the South, where we pretty much only have Subway and Jimmy John’s, you can appreciate a well executed sub. East Bay Deli is the Lowcountry’s very own NYC-style deli, and it fits right into a college student’s budget. All of their sandwiches are under $9 and come with chips (this sandwich has greens on it, though, so it all balances out, right?) and a pickle (arguably the best part).

Price: $8.69

8. Bull Street Gourmet & Market: Build Your Own Breakfast Sandwich


Photo courtesy of Bull Street Gourmet & Market

Sometimes you just have to get a bagel for lunch. Bull Street Gourmet is quite a few blocks down King from campus, but it’s worth the walk to get one of the best bagel sandwiches downtown. #SpoonTip: Stay inside the restaurant for a while after you eat — it has a comfy atmosphere perfect for studying or reading.

Price: $6