August 15, 2022

30 of the Best Cincinnati Restaurants to Get A Meal For Under $15

Feelin' hungry for a bite that won't break the bank? We've got you covered. There are plenty of tasty local eateries to explore that can fill up your belly when you're balling on a budget. From burgers and barbecue to tacos and sushi, here's where to find a delicious meal for $15 or less.
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Ollie's Trolley
1607 Central Ave., Over-the-Rhine/West End
Located in a bright yellow and red trolley car, Ollie’s Trolley is a soul food staple in the Cincinnati area. Ollie's serves a variety of smoked pork, including ribs, turkey tips and pulled pork, plus plenty of sides, like collard greens, buttered corn and potato salad. For $9 you can get a 'buffet' where you can choose one entree and two sides.

Ollie's Trolley

1607 Central Ave., Over-the-Rhine/West End
Located in a bright yellow and red trolley car, Ollie’s Trolley is a soul food staple in the Cincinnati area. Ollie's serves a variety of smoked pork, including ribs, turkey tips and pulled pork, plus plenty of sides, like collard greens, buttered corn and potato salad. For $9 you can get a 'buffet' where you can choose one entree and two sides.
Quatman Cafe
2434 Quatman Ave., Norwood; 224 West Main St., Mason
Since 1966, Quatman has provided Cincinnatians with cheap burgers, soup and "the coldest beer in town." There are canned beers as well as a draft selection and rotating seasonal brews. They've also got daily specials where you can get a main dish plus fries and a drink for $8.50.

Quatman Cafe

2434 Quatman Ave., Norwood; 224 West Main St., Mason
Since 1966, Quatman has provided Cincinnatians with cheap burgers, soup and "the coldest beer in town." There are canned beers as well as a draft selection and rotating seasonal brews. They've also got daily specials where you can get a main dish plus fries and a drink for $8.50.
Unataza Coffee
603 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Kentucky
With a mission to bring Honduran coffee and food to the Cincinnati area, Unataza Coffee in Dayton, Kentucky serves a piece of culture to every customer. Order a wrap, taco, salad or bowl for under $10.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Unataza Coffee

603 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Kentucky
With a mission to bring Honduran coffee and food to the Cincinnati area, Unataza Coffee in Dayton, Kentucky serves a piece of culture to every customer. Order a wrap, taco, salad or bowl for under $10.
Camp Washington Chili
3005 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington
Named one of the “10 Best Restaurants in Cincinnati” by USA Today, there’s no question as to why Camp Washington Chili has been operating since 1940. It is good eats! And cheap eats with everything on their menu priced under $10. Despite having ‘chili’ in the name, this establishment also offers many chili-free options, including burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, fries, coleslaw and salad.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Camp Washington Chili

3005 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington
Named one of the “10 Best Restaurants in Cincinnati” by USA Today, there’s no question as to why Camp Washington Chili has been operating since 1940. It is good eats! And cheap eats with everything on their menu priced under $10. Despite having ‘chili’ in the name, this establishment also offers many chili-free options, including burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, fries, coleslaw and salad.
Comal Restaurant
18 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas
This new Fort Thomas spot is both cheap and delicious. The tacos and house-made tortillas are all topped with fresh ingredients. Each are $5, and you’ve got to try El Zapata (Barbacoa style beef topped with pickled onions and jicama) and an order of their unbelievable $3 elote that is always piled high.

Comal Restaurant

18 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas
This new Fort Thomas spot is both cheap and delicious. The tacos and house-made tortillas are all topped with fresh ingredients. Each are $5, and you’ve got to try El Zapata (Barbacoa style beef topped with pickled onions and jicama) and an order of their unbelievable $3 elote that is always piled high.
Wunderbar
1132 Lee St., Covington
Wunderbar is truly one of those restaurants that's considered a "hidden gem." The authentic German-inspired menu features housemade wursts with locally sourced meats, like the restaurant's super popular $8 currywurst, a peculiar invention of post-World War II Germany. It's a spiced sausage served with a ketchup-Worcestershire-curry sauce. The rotating sausage menu is written on a blackboard behind the bar, but a must-try is the $6 giant pretzel, a gigantic, plate-sized pretzel that easily complements any of the bar's refreshing beers.

Wunderbar

1132 Lee St., Covington
Wunderbar is truly one of those restaurants that's considered a "hidden gem." The authentic German-inspired menu features housemade wursts with locally sourced meats, like the restaurant's super popular $8 currywurst, a peculiar invention of post-World War II Germany. It's a spiced sausage served with a ketchup-Worcestershire-curry sauce. The rotating sausage menu is written on a blackboard behind the bar, but a must-try is the $6 giant pretzel, a gigantic, plate-sized pretzel that easily complements any of the bar's refreshing beers.
Kung Food Chu's AmerAsia
521 Madison Ave., Covington, Kentucky
Quaint and comfortable with a huge beer list, AmerAsia offers all the usual Chinese dishes and chef specialties, but the food is anything but the usual. Chef Chu makes it all from scratch. His motto: "Do not take short cuts and do everything with passion and love." Everything on their menu is delicious and under $15.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Kung Food Chu's AmerAsia

521 Madison Ave., Covington, Kentucky
Quaint and comfortable with a huge beer list, AmerAsia offers all the usual Chinese dishes and chef specialties, but the food is anything but the usual. Chef Chu makes it all from scratch. His motto: "Do not take short cuts and do everything with passion and love." Everything on their menu is delicious and under $15.
Eli’s BBQ
3313 Riverside Drive, East End; 133 W Elder St., Findlay Market
Eli's BBQ is well known for hickory-smoked barbecue and signature barbecue sauce. While the inside of the original East End location is definitely considered tiny, there is plenty of outdoor seating and Southern hospitality. The no-frills affair specializes in meats, pulled and smoked and served in a red plastic basket. Sandwiches topped with their smoked meats range from $7-8 and sides are all priced at $3.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Eli’s BBQ

3313 Riverside Drive, East End; 133 W Elder St., Findlay Market
Eli's BBQ is well known for hickory-smoked barbecue and signature barbecue sauce. While the inside of the original East End location is definitely considered tiny, there is plenty of outdoor seating and Southern hospitality. The no-frills affair specializes in meats, pulled and smoked and served in a red plastic basket. Sandwiches topped with their smoked meats range from $7-8 and sides are all priced at $3.
Carl's Deli
2836 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park
Carl's Deli is the closest thing you're going to get to a New York deli. Open seven days a week since 1938, they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything on their menu is under $11. A hidden neighborhood gem, the striped awning and bistro chairs beckon sandwich seekers in for favorites like hot crab and artichoke salad on a croissant, a hot pastrami and cheese or a damn good egg salad. There are daily housemade soup offerings, quiche, casseroles and a nice selection of wine and beer.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Carl's Deli

2836 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park
Carl's Deli is the closest thing you're going to get to a New York deli. Open seven days a week since 1938, they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything on their menu is under $11. A hidden neighborhood gem, the striped awning and bistro chairs beckon sandwich seekers in for favorites like hot crab and artichoke salad on a croissant, a hot pastrami and cheese or a damn good egg salad. There are daily housemade soup offerings, quiche, casseroles and a nice selection of wine and beer.
Mighty Good: Meat N' Three
1819 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
Mighty Good: Meat N' Three offers "Simple, delicious, fresh, Southern food at an approachable price." As the "Meat N' Three" title implies, customers choose one meat and three sides (family-style and vegetarian options are also available). Everything on their menu is under $15, but we suggest grabbing a burger for $9, a fried chicken sandwich for $11 or a $10 pot roast.
Photo: Catie Viox

Mighty Good: Meat N' Three

1819 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine
Mighty Good: Meat N' Three offers "Simple, delicious, fresh, Southern food at an approachable price." As the "Meat N' Three" title implies, customers choose one meat and three sides (family-style and vegetarian options are also available). Everything on their menu is under $15, but we suggest grabbing a burger for $9, a fried chicken sandwich for $11 or a $10 pot roast.