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12 Deliciously Affordable Restaurants Around Phoenix

Get your money’s worth with these Mexican, Thai, Indian and Italian restaurant mainstays

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Love trying different cuisines, but don’t necessarily have an unlimited budget? That doesn’t matter in Phoenix. From barbecue to pizza to enchiladas, it’s all yours for the taking at reasonable prices. These restaurants don’t expect you to empty your wallets, and leave you feeling full. Check out these 12 restaurants with affordable eats in metro Phoenix.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. First Watch

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3780 W Happy Valley Rd Ste. 110
Glendale, AZ 85310
(623) 516-7727
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The Southern charm is hard to ignore at First Watch. The space is open and welcoming. Vintage trinkets and checkered tablecloths give the restaurant a comfy atmosphere. The cold brew coffee is a must — strong flavor, but not bitter. If you’re feeling hungry, the avocado toast is plenty for not only one, but two people. And for those craving sweets, the Belgian waffle is light an airy accompanied by warm maple syrup. Don’t wait to pay your check at the table. Customers can go old-school and walk to the cashier to settle the tab.

2. Molly's Thai Ban

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3510 E Bell Rd UNIT 3
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 765-8424
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Located in a small strip mall, Molly’s Thai Ban is a mom-and-pop joint carry several different entrees with generous portions. Don’t pass up the papaya salad — made with plenty of veggies and a spicy and sweet dressing that has the right amount of bite. Tom Yum soup, pad Thai, and lo mein can be split between large families for under $30. For those who like their food spicy, be careful about the spice designation. Medium spicy can actually be hot — tread carefully. To-go orders are ready for pick-up within 15 to 20 minutes of calling.

3. The Sicilian Butcher

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15530 N Tatum Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 775-5140
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Want a regular neighborhood spot to gather at with friends and family? The Sicilian Butcher is bound to become a favorite. Festive lights, an open patio, and a gorgeous bar make it an ideal place for people watching. Happy hour options are featured every day at affordable prices, including the bruschetta trio for $9 or spaghetti and meatballs for $8. For a date-night, couples can spend $19 and get a board with large meatballs on top of polenta, plus a bottle of wine. Reservations are encouraged.

4. Stumpy's Pizza & Subs

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1331 E Northern Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85020
(602) 997-2727
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Family-owned restaurant Stumpy’s Pizza and Subs routinely earns rave reviews. Known for its affordable pizza — a 16-inch pie costs $16.50 and can feed a family of four. The pizzeria carries an extensive menu of subs and wings, if pies aren’t your jam. Insider tip: Order the garlic sticks glazed with butter and minced garlic. On the first Tuesday of the month, kids can enjoy chocolate Rice Krispie treats.

5. Fry Bread House

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4545 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 351-2345

One of Arizona’s essential affordable dishes is served at Native American cuisine staple Fry Bread House. The fry bread is light, airy, fluffy and complements the filling. The green chili beef taco is a fan favorite. Be aware that one taco can be more than enough and you may want save room for a honey or chocolate drizzled on sweet fry bread. Currently, Fry Bread House has suspended its dine-in service, but is continuing to accept takeout orders.

6. Cornish Pasty Co.

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3800 N Goldwater Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 945-1220
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Can you find English comfort food in Phoenix? At Cornish Pasty, patrons have the chance to try a folded pastry with a choice of filling — usually meats, veggies, and cheeses — that’s fit for a miner’s appetite. One particular favorite is the Oggie, a pasty filled with steak, potatoes, onions and served with ketchup or gravy. There are 15 options for vegetarians and vegans. Try the veggie chicken tikka masala pasty with marinated vegetarian chicken, curry sauce, and yogurt. A pasty and a soda cost less than $14.

7. Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup

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3313 N 7th St
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 279-5080
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Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soups offers customized gourmet enchiladas in a skillet. Made-to-order enchiladas feature freshly pressed corn or flour tortillas, mix and match fillings, a choice of green or red sauce, and cheese. The skillet is then placed in a wood-fired oven. Patrons have the chance to top the meal off with cold condiments including slaw, pickled onions, hot sauce, and guacamole. Priced at under $10, this is a great option for lunch or dinner. The expansive patio will accommodate larger families.

8. America's Taco Shop

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2041 N 7th St
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 682-5627
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Bright colorful signs, photographs, and vintage memorabilia greet America’s Taco Shop customers. America Corrales, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Terry Bortin, created the menu with the aim of providing customers with more health-conscious Mexican eatery. Vegetarians will be happy to hear there is no lard in the beans, and because the prices are reasonable, guests can indulge in multiple dishes like tacos, nachos, and burritos. The patio is cheerful and large, and kids can run around with abandon.

9. Carolina's Mexican Food

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1202 E Mohave St
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 252-1503
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Carolinas Mexican Food has been a mainstay for several decades. Fresh, homemade, fluffy and hot, be prepared to eat more than one tortilla. Don’t be fooled by the simple ambiance. Flautas, enchiladas, burritos and nachos are all favorites on the menu. Most families can eat here without worrying about the bottom line.

10. Pita Jungle - Tempe

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4 E University Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 804-0234
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A huge menu makes Pita Jungle a great place for large families and special celebrations. Those who love appetizers must try the cilantro jalapeno hummus. A blend of creamy and spicy, the large serving costs less than $7 and can feed up to four people. The pita is usually warm and fluffy. Entrees that are a hit are the chicken shawarma and the Mahi Mahi with pita chips. Kids may not be into a sophisticated palate, but Pita Jungle has them covered. A children’s menu (with crayons so kids can color) offers mac and cheese, chicken tenders and burritos.

Square white plates featuring various dips and caprese salad on a table.
Pita Jungle has plenty of options for small and large families.
Pita Jungle

11. Little Miss BBQ-University

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4301 E University Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 437-1177
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There is nothing small about the barbecue options at Little Miss BBQ. Sandwiches start at $10 and come with a selection of sides. Most love the combo of jalapeno and grits, and, if you’re into Texas-style barbecue, don’t skip the brisket either. Guests have the option to eat at picnic tables and enjoy the outdoors.

12. Curry Corner

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1212 E Apache Blvd
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 894-1276
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Arizona State University students flock to Curry Corner precisely because of its reasonable prices. The paneer tikka, masala fries, and biryani carry a curry flavor that is just right without overwhelming the senses. Most appetizers and entrees are priced under $8. Takeout orders are also a popular option for those who students who have to hit the books.

Two chicken thighs topped with red sauce and cilantro on a white plate.
Curry Corner’s tandoori chicken is fave among patrons.
Curry Corner

1. First Watch

3780 W Happy Valley Rd Ste. 110, Glendale, AZ 85310

The Southern charm is hard to ignore at First Watch. The space is open and welcoming. Vintage trinkets and checkered tablecloths give the restaurant a comfy atmosphere. The cold brew coffee is a must — strong flavor, but not bitter. If you’re feeling hungry, the avocado toast is plenty for not only one, but two people. And for those craving sweets, the Belgian waffle is light an airy accompanied by warm maple syrup. Don’t wait to pay your check at the table. Customers can go old-school and walk to the cashier to settle the tab.

3780 W Happy Valley Rd Ste. 110
Glendale, AZ 85310

2. Molly's Thai Ban

3510 E Bell Rd UNIT 3, Phoenix, AZ 85032

Located in a small strip mall, Molly’s Thai Ban is a mom-and-pop joint carry several different entrees with generous portions. Don’t pass up the papaya salad — made with plenty of veggies and a spicy and sweet dressing that has the right amount of bite. Tom Yum soup, pad Thai, and lo mein can be split between large families for under $30. For those who like their food spicy, be careful about the spice designation. Medium spicy can actually be hot — tread carefully. To-go orders are ready for pick-up within 15 to 20 minutes of calling.

3510 E Bell Rd UNIT 3
Phoenix, AZ 85032

3. The Sicilian Butcher

15530 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85032

Want a regular neighborhood spot to gather at with friends and family? The Sicilian Butcher is bound to become a favorite. Festive lights, an open patio, and a gorgeous bar make it an ideal place for people watching. Happy hour options are featured every day at affordable prices, including the bruschetta trio for $9 or spaghetti and meatballs for $8. For a date-night, couples can spend $19 and get a board with large meatballs on top of polenta, plus a bottle of wine. Reservations are encouraged.

15530 N Tatum Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85032

4. Stumpy's Pizza & Subs

1331 E Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

Family-owned restaurant Stumpy’s Pizza and Subs routinely earns rave reviews. Known for its affordable pizza — a 16-inch pie costs $16.50 and can feed a family of four. The pizzeria carries an extensive menu of subs and wings, if pies aren’t your jam. Insider tip: Order the garlic sticks glazed with butter and minced garlic. On the first Tuesday of the month, kids can enjoy chocolate Rice Krispie treats.

1331 E Northern Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85020

5. Fry Bread House

4545 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

One of Arizona’s essential affordable dishes is served at Native American cuisine staple Fry Bread House. The fry bread is light, airy, fluffy and complements the filling. The green chili beef taco is a fan favorite. Be aware that one taco can be more than enough and you may want save room for a honey or chocolate drizzled on sweet fry bread. Currently, Fry Bread House has suspended its dine-in service, but is continuing to accept takeout orders.

4545 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013

6. Cornish Pasty Co.

3800 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Can you find English comfort food in Phoenix? At Cornish Pasty, patrons have the chance to try a folded pastry with a choice of filling — usually meats, veggies, and cheeses — that’s fit for a miner’s appetite. One particular favorite is the Oggie, a pasty filled with steak, potatoes, onions and served with ketchup or gravy. There are 15 options for vegetarians and vegans. Try the veggie chicken tikka masala pasty with marinated vegetarian chicken, curry sauce, and yogurt. A pasty and a soda cost less than $14.

3800 N Goldwater Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

7. Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup

3313 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soups offers customized gourmet enchiladas in a skillet. Made-to-order enchiladas feature freshly pressed corn or flour tortillas, mix and match fillings, a choice of green or red sauce, and cheese. The skillet is then placed in a wood-fired oven. Patrons have the chance to top the meal off with cold condiments including slaw, pickled onions, hot sauce, and guacamole. Priced at under $10, this is a great option for lunch or dinner. The expansive patio will accommodate larger families.

3313 N 7th St
Phoenix, AZ 85014

8. America's Taco Shop

2041 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Bright colorful signs, photographs, and vintage memorabilia greet America’s Taco Shop customers. America Corrales, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Terry Bortin, created the menu with the aim of providing customers with more health-conscious Mexican eatery. Vegetarians will be happy to hear there is no lard in the beans, and because the prices are reasonable, guests can indulge in multiple dishes like tacos, nachos, and burritos. The patio is cheerful and large, and kids can run around with abandon.

2041 N 7th St
Phoenix, AZ 85006

9. Carolina's Mexican Food

1202 E Mohave St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Carolinas Mexican Food has been a mainstay for several decades. Fresh, homemade, fluffy and hot, be prepared to eat more than one tortilla. Don’t be fooled by the simple ambiance. Flautas, enchiladas, burritos and nachos are all favorites on the menu. Most families can eat here without worrying about the bottom line.

1202 E Mohave St
Phoenix, AZ 85034

10. Pita Jungle - Tempe

4 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
Square white plates featuring various dips and caprese salad on a table.
Pita Jungle has plenty of options for small and large families.
Pita Jungle

A huge menu makes Pita Jungle a great place for large families and special celebrations. Those who love appetizers must try the cilantro jalapeno hummus. A blend of creamy and spicy, the large serving costs less than $7 and can feed up to four people. The pita is usually warm and fluffy. Entrees that are a hit are the chicken shawarma and the Mahi Mahi with pita chips. Kids may not be into a sophisticated palate, but Pita Jungle has them covered. A children’s menu (with crayons so kids can color) offers mac and cheese, chicken tenders and burritos.

4 E University Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281

11. Little Miss BBQ-University

4301 E University Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85034

There is nothing small about the barbecue options at Little Miss BBQ. Sandwiches start at $10 and come with a selection of sides. Most love the combo of jalapeno and grits, and, if you’re into Texas-style barbecue, don’t skip the brisket either. Guests have the option to eat at picnic tables and enjoy the outdoors.

4301 E University Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85034

12. Curry Corner

1212 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281
Two chicken thighs topped with red sauce and cilantro on a white plate.
Curry Corner’s tandoori chicken is fave among patrons.
Curry Corner

Arizona State University students flock to Curry Corner precisely because of its reasonable prices. The paneer tikka, masala fries, and biryani carry a curry flavor that is just right without overwhelming the senses. Most appetizers and entrees are priced under $8. Takeout orders are also a popular option for those who students who have to hit the books.

1212 E Apache Blvd
Tempe, AZ 85281

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