The 25 best Tampa Bay restaurants when you're broke AF

Great food doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are a few of our favorite Tampa Bay restaurants where you can get a lot for a little.

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Acapulco Mexican Grocery  
1001 N Macdill Ave, Tampa, 813-873-3665
All tacos are $2 each. Not only does this place have cheap eats, but its a hidden gem. Best of both worlds. Some of the tacos include lengua(beef tongue), chorizo, al pastor, carnitas and pollo.
Photo via Google Maps

Acapulco Mexican Grocery

1001 N Macdill Ave, Tampa, 813-873-3665
All tacos are $2 each. Not only does this place have cheap eats, but its a hidden gem. Best of both worlds. Some of the tacos include lengua(beef tongue), chorizo, al pastor, carnitas and pollo.

Photo via Google Maps
Better Byrd  
4447 4th St N #1, St. Petersburg, 727-325-2973
Located right next door to Fresh Kitchen, Better Byrd serves up low priced eats with live music and a foosball table; this may be your cheapest date destination yet. Most of the menu is gluten free, and you can even get five chicken tenders for $6. 
Photo via Better Byrd/Facebook

Better Byrd

4447 4th St N #1, St. Petersburg, 727-325-2973
Located right next door to Fresh Kitchen, Better Byrd serves up low priced eats with live music and a foosball table; this may be your cheapest date destination yet. Most of the menu is gluten free, and you can even get five chicken tenders for $6.

Photo via Better Byrd/Facebook
Brocato’s Sandwich Shop  
5021 E Columbus Dr, Tampa, 813-248-9977
Deviled crabs are a must, make sure to try a double order on payday. You’re in good hands when you’re low on budget, so be wise, and pick the sandwich that’ll keep you full until you have a packet of ramen. 
Photo via Brocato’s Sandwich Shop/Facebook

Brocato’s Sandwich Shop

5021 E Columbus Dr, Tampa, 813-248-9977
Deviled crabs are a must, make sure to try a double order on payday. You’re in good hands when you’re low on budget, so be wise, and pick the sandwich that’ll keep you full until you have a packet of ramen.

Photo via Brocato’s Sandwich Shop/Facebook
Chicago Paulie’s  
1301 N Howard Ave, Tampa, 813-494-4275
Hot dogs, sandwiches, and chili fries all for under $10. It’s located within a gas station parking lot with about three stools near the order window. Have a seat and make a new buddy, or snag a dog and hit the road.
Photo via Chicago Paulie’s/Facebook

Chicago Paulie’s

1301 N Howard Ave, Tampa, 813-494-4275
Hot dogs, sandwiches, and chili fries all for under $10. It’s located within a gas station parking lot with about three stools near the order window. Have a seat and make a new buddy, or snag a dog and hit the road.

Photo via Chicago Paulie’s/Facebook
Chili Verde  
2801 22nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, 727-800-2679
This place doubles as a market. The restaurant side serves up generous portions, so if you want to stretch those dollar bills, you can box half and take it home for round two. 
Photo via Chili Verde/Facebook

Chili Verde

2801 22nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, 727-800-2679
This place doubles as a market. The restaurant side serves up generous portions, so if you want to stretch those dollar bills, you can box half and take it home for round two.

Photo via Chili Verde/Facebook
Coney Island Sandwich Shop  
250 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N, St. Petersburg, 727-822-4493
An old-school diner that closes at 4 p.m. may not suit everyone’s needs, but if you’re broke as hell, an early bird special might be your thing. The chili dog comes highly recommended but every dish hovers around $5 so you’re in good hands. 
Photo via Coney Island Sandwich Shop/Facebook

Coney Island Sandwich Shop

250 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N, St. Petersburg, 727-822-4493
An old-school diner that closes at 4 p.m. may not suit everyone’s needs, but if you’re broke as hell, an early bird special might be your thing. The chili dog comes highly recommended but every dish hovers around $5 so you’re in good hands.

Photo via Coney Island Sandwich Shop/Facebook
Dead Bob’s  
6717 Central Ave N, St. Petersburg, 727-317-2627
Daily specials are where it's at. Each come in at $5.67, like the chicken parm on Thursday, or the fish fry with fries on Friday. Just a heads up, no to go on specials. And it you share a plate, it’ll cost you $3. 
Photo via Dead Bob’s/Facebook

Dead Bob’s

6717 Central Ave N, St. Petersburg, 727-317-2627
Daily specials are where it's at. Each come in at $5.67, like the chicken parm on Thursday, or the fish fry with fries on Friday. Just a heads up, no to go on specials. And it you share a plate, it’ll cost you $3.

Photo via Dead Bob’s/Facebook
Detroit Coney Island  
32922 US Hwy 19, Palm Harbor, 727-401-3342
Just about every dish at this OG spot is under $10, plus there’s killer daily deals like $2 hot dogs every Tuesday. 
Photo via Detroit Coney Island/Facebook

Detroit Coney Island

32922 US Hwy 19, Palm Harbor, 727-401-3342
Just about every dish at this OG spot is under $10, plus there’s killer daily deals like $2 hot dogs every Tuesday.

Photo via Detroit Coney Island/Facebook
El Cap  
3500 4th St N, St. Petersburg, 727-521-1314
A classic St. Pete spot to go for a good burger, El Cap offers up daily specials which are all mostly under $7. Be warned though, they can get weird about splitting checks, so get your bargain eats solo or Venmo your last few coins to the person you dine with. 
Photo via El Cap/Facebook

El Cap

3500 4th St N, St. Petersburg, 727-521-1314
A classic St. Pete spot to go for a good burger, El Cap offers up daily specials which are all mostly under $7. Be warned though, they can get weird about splitting checks, so get your bargain eats solo or Venmo your last few coins to the person you dine with.

Photo via El Cap/Facebook
Elmer’s Sports Café  
2003 E 7th Ave, Tampa, 813-248-5855
Time for some bargain bar food. If you’re broke and want to hang with friends while watching the game you can spring for the $1.75 large basket of popcorn. Not that broke? You can grab an order of nachos for $6.95 and other dishes that’ll be under $10.
Photo via Google Maps

Elmer’s Sports Café

2003 E 7th Ave, Tampa, 813-248-5855
Time for some bargain bar food. If you’re broke and want to hang with friends while watching the game you can spring for the $1.75 large basket of popcorn. Not that broke? You can grab an order of nachos for $6.95 and other dishes that’ll be under $10.

Photo via Google Maps
Goody Goody Burgers  
1601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, 813-308-1925
Broke and in need of some famous POX sauce? Goody Goody has an order window if you don’t want to sweat a tip.
Photo by Jenna Rimensnyder

Goody Goody Burgers

1601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, 813-308-1925
Broke and in need of some famous POX sauce? Goody Goody has an order window if you don’t want to sweat a tip.

Photo by Jenna Rimensnyder
Grumpy Gringo  
2510 22nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, 727-851-9800
Grab two tacos, beans and rice for $7.99 or work your math with whatever you have left in your wallet on tacos for $2.75 each. Want something loaded? Go for the Cali burrito which packs your choice of meat, pico de gallo, potatoes,cheese, sour cream and guacamole. You can make it wet for .99 cents.
Photo via Grumpy Gringo/Facebook

Grumpy Gringo

2510 22nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, 727-851-9800
Grab two tacos, beans and rice for $7.99 or work your math with whatever you have left in your wallet on tacos for $2.75 each. Want something loaded? Go for the Cali burrito which packs your choice of meat, pico de gallo, potatoes,cheese, sour cream and guacamole. You can make it wet for .99 cents.

Photo via Grumpy Gringo/Facebook
Kooky Coconut  
760 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, 727-517-1300
Cheeseburgers with chips for $5? Not too bad. Make it a lowbrow date night with a stroll across the beach after. That’ll be kind to your wallet.
Photo via Google Maps

Kooky Coconut

760 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, 727-517-1300
Cheeseburgers with chips for $5? Not too bad. Make it a lowbrow date night with a stroll across the beach after. That’ll be kind to your wallet.

Photo via Google Maps
Kristina’s Cafe  
3590 34th St N, St. Petersburg, 727-526-6673
Hey, another place open 24 hours. Their menu is high in quantity, serving breakfast at all times. If you go in there after hours, be prepared to see drunk college kids and inebriated locals. 
Photo via Google Maps

Kristina’s Cafe

3590 34th St N, St. Petersburg, 727-526-6673
Hey, another place open 24 hours. Their menu is high in quantity, serving breakfast at all times. If you go in there after hours, be prepared to see drunk college kids and inebriated locals.

Photo via Google Maps
La Fiesta Mexican Store  
1202 S 22nd St, Tampa, 813-241-2477
Limited parking, but worth the drive around the block for a spot. Grab a seat in the booths and wait for the server to grace your table before you load up on the $2 tacos. Feeling a little froggy? Grab a beer from the store that can be added onto your tab.
Photo by Meaghan Habuda

La Fiesta Mexican Store

1202 S 22nd St, Tampa, 813-241-2477
Limited parking, but worth the drive around the block for a spot. Grab a seat in the booths and wait for the server to grace your table before you load up on the $2 tacos. Feeling a little froggy? Grab a beer from the store that can be added onto your tab.

Photo by Meaghan Habuda
La Teresita  
3248 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, 813-879-9704
Open 24 hours with an extensive menu, La Teresita might be a good late-night spot for when you’ve been partying a little too hard in Ybor and lost a chunk of your bank account to buying those round of shots for strangers. 
Photo via Google Maps

La Teresita

3248 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, 813-879-9704
Open 24 hours with an extensive menu, La Teresita might be a good late-night spot for when you’ve been partying a little too hard in Ybor and lost a chunk of your bank account to buying those round of shots for strangers.

Photo via Google Maps
Train Station at Morean Arts  
420 22nd St S, St. Petersburg, 727-823-4500
Subs served on Cuban bread at the Morean Arts gallery, the CA Cafe features dogs, sandwiches, wraps, and melts. Beware, they’re closed on weekends.
Photo via moreanartscenter.org

Train Station at Morean Arts

420 22nd St S, St. Petersburg, 727-823-4500
Subs served on Cuban bread at the Morean Arts gallery, the CA Cafe features dogs, sandwiches, wraps, and melts. Beware, they’re closed on weekends.

Photo via moreanartscenter.org
New York New York  
1512 E 7th Ave, Tampa, 813-248-1845
There are 7 locations throughout the Tampa Bay area, and they serve more than just pizza, although their Ybor location serves a pretty solid lunch special. Slide by for your broke af lunch to grab two slices of pepperoni and a soda for $6. Not in the mood for ‘za? Moderately priced sandos and wings are also on the menu. 
Photo via New York New York/Facebook

New York New York

1512 E 7th Ave, Tampa, 813-248-1845
There are 7 locations throughout the Tampa Bay area, and they serve more than just pizza, although their Ybor location serves a pretty solid lunch special. Slide by for your broke af lunch to grab two slices of pepperoni and a soda for $6. Not in the mood for ‘za? Moderately priced sandos and wings are also on the menu.

Photo via New York New York/Facebook
Saigon Deli  
3858 W Waters Ave, Tampa, 813-887-3888
Nothing on the menu break double digits with a hefty selection of Vietnamese dishes. Beware, they close at 5 p.m., so slide in to grab your bargain meal to go or hang for lunch if you’re wanting to savor every bite that cost you your last pennies. 
Photo via Saigon Deli/Facebook

Saigon Deli

3858 W Waters Ave, Tampa, 813-887-3888
Nothing on the menu break double digits with a hefty selection of Vietnamese dishes. Beware, they close at 5 p.m., so slide in to grab your bargain meal to go or hang for lunch if you’re wanting to savor every bite that cost you your last pennies.

Photo via Saigon Deli/Facebook
Skyway Jack’s  
2795 34th St S, St. Petersburg, 727-867-1907
Another banger that serves all-day breakfast with nearly every dish under $10. You can’t miss the gigantic chicken outside the door. Photo ops are free, which is just in your budget.
Photo via Google Maps

Skyway Jack’s

2795 34th St S, St. Petersburg, 727-867-1907
Another banger that serves all-day breakfast with nearly every dish under $10. You can’t miss the gigantic chicken outside the door. Photo ops are free, which is just in your budget.

Photo via Google Maps
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