What Would You Pay for Lunch?

November, 07, 2008, by Jedidiah

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$5? $7? $9? What about $15? It’s a sticky subject.

There has been a lot of discussion over how much is reasonable to pay for a lunch in downtown Raleigh. The Oxford has lunch prices that range from $6-$14, depending on if you get wings or an entreé. The Mint has placed a sign outside of their front door recently that proudly displays $9 lunch. You can get in and out of El Rodeo, 101 Lounge, Sosta, and many more places in the area for around $6 by drinking water.

There are various tiers and, depending upon your budget, a certain tier may be suitable for you. You can eat at Roast Grill, Coopers and formerly the Sandwich Shop for under $5. A hot dog stand is your quickest and cheapest option, but why aren’t there any other quick and cheap options? Take larger cities like NYC, London and Chicago; kabob shops, fish and chips, pizza by the slice, and sandwich shops litter the corners. Dash Dogs in NYC... oh my. I’m sure the reason Raleigh doesn’t have any of these is because of rent and lack of space, but, looking at all the empty storefronts in downtown, maybe some will pop up in the near future now that downtown is actually spinning.

The cheap places are disappearing. Sandwiches at Teeter are even going up. Too bad downtown is becoming more about the expensive lunch than a lunch with character that’s easy on the watch and the pocket.

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  • Acree
    11/07 04:04 PM

    SNOOPY’S! Okay, not exactly downtown but close. And delicious. And heart attacky. And cheap!

    There are a lot of cheap places as you spread out from downtown—Village Deli in Cameron Village, Snoopy’s & CharGrill (at Glenwood and Hillsborough), tons of places by State and even a few at North Hills, but you’re right—I can’t think of any actually downtown. Does Glenwood South count?

    I would never pay more than six bucks for lunch unless it was on the weekend and I was eating at my leisure. It’s not worth it to me when I’m having to run back to work after 45 minutes.

  • Micah
    11/07 04:31 PM

    We ate at Dos Taquitos today for lunch.  It was 18 bucks for two entrees and a chips and salsa appetizer.  I don’t think that is bad at all…And it was REALLY good!

  • c.leigh
    11/07 05:34 PM

    Where are all the falafel carts! It’s a shame. Also, more people might brown bag it if there was a common area of sorts downtown. There’s no place to socialize or read unless you’re inside an establishment. Raleigh still has a long ways to go!

    I do occasionally go to the buffet inside Progress Energy for a cheap salad, Sosta for their Dude sandwich, or Morning Times for an iced Chai and bagel with hummus.

    Thanks for the post.

  • David
    11/07 06:19 PM

    Vic’s for a slice and a salad isnt bad at all.  Duck ‘N Dumpling is solid for lunch, and I think both are around $8.

  • _Dana_
    11/07 08:15 PM

    Clyde Cooper’s - BBQ sandwich with a side of hush puppies and can of soda was only $5.

    And you can find some reasonable stuff at Square Rabbit.  No where to sit as they are mainly caterers but the food is really good.

  • salley
    11/08 01:28 AM

    off the top of my head:
    roast grill
    legislature bldg cafeteria
    morning times
    square rabbit
    dos taquitos
    big ed’s
    pizza place on salisbury st
    rolly poly

    i like to grab a sandwich and sit on a bench at either the state capitol or on fayetteville st. i’ve worked downtown for about 5.5 years and i think the number of affordable quick reasonably fresh lunch options has actually expanded.

  • roi
    11/10 09:57 AM

    Don’t forget to check out the following:
    The Red Dragon, High Park Grill (Old Profile), Coopers, Irregardless, Neomande, the PR, and Mitch’s Tavern, etc.  Very good and reasonable priced.

  • stefanie
    11/10 10:52 PM

    The black bean burger from Square Rabbit is the most substantial, healthy lunch in downtown for under $4 (if you add cheese, it’s a tiny bit more $).  Warning: it is a wee bit different each time you order it, so don’t expect consistency…

  • Dina
    11/18 09:23 AM

    one of the most affordable places around is 101 Lounge + Cafe. on the corner of davie and blount streets in downtown raleigh, stands a quaint cafe that offers a specialty and simple sandwich menu, along with breakfast and lite evening fare… daytime cafe, nightime lounge… what more could a growing city want?! prices range from $5 and up

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