Ah, lunch. That dreamy hour of the day you get to step away from your cubicle and enjoy a blissful hour of bitching and bites with your co-workers/best friends. And if you’re working in downtown Miami, where the options generally range from fast food to overpriced gourmet, not just any lunch will do: You need something that hits the three B’s — bueno, bonito, and barato, a place where you can eat so well you’ll forget its time to get back to the grind.
Whether you eat lunch in a power suit or a pair of ripped jeans, everybody likes a great meal at a good deal. We’ve rounded up our 10 favorite spots where you can grab lunch under $10 in Downtown Miami. So skip the bag lunch and treat yourself.
There aren’t many places where you can snag authentic Indonesian fare in Miami’s urban core. Head to Bali Café for a pick-me-up palette of fresh herbs, crunchy vegetables, and coconut curries, all under $10. We suggest the Soto Betawi, a beef stew in a coconut milk broth with ginger, green onion, and fried shallot, for $9.99.
Since no one should ever have to choose between Mexican or Sushi, Burrito San has blessed us with both. The pan-Asian fast casual restaurant serves handheld sushi rolls the size of a burrito, packed with flavorful ingredients and your choice of white or brown rice. Going for Meatless Monday? You’ll love the Buddha’s Belly, with roasted portabello mushroom, crunchy eggplant, avocado, and garlic miso sauce.
La Licuadora serves up Peruvian favorites in the heart of downtown Miami at blow-your-mind prices. You can afford to be choosy here – grab a jalea, a mixed seafood platter flash fried and splashed with citrus, or arroz chaufa, Peru’s take on fried rice, both for under $10. Or opt for the Peruvian chicken special – half a roasted bird with two side orders for $9.99. You’ll have plenty to take back for a mid-day snack.
Bryan doesn’t mess around when it comes to lunch, and neither should you. His food philosophy is simple: use quality ingredients that are as fresh and healthful as they are delicious. Order any of Bryan’s signature grilled Panini, oozing with melted cheese and homemade spreads of fig and aioli, for around $8.75.
Sparky’s has gained a bit of a lunchtime cult following thanks to its downtown location and exceptionally good barbecue of the southern and saucy variety. While their BBQ platters do put you over the $10 limit, their under-$10 pulled pork sandwich is just the ticket, served on a toasted, buttery bun with fries and coleslaw.
If it’s hard to find a quality lunch at a great price in the heart of downtown, you’re even worse off in Brickell, where the two don’t always make a perfect match. But you’re in luck with Lolita, offering a $10 lunch of salad, a sandwich or an entrée, and a soda, to be enjoyed on Lolita’s lovely terrace.
Sometimes all you really need is Abuela’s cooking to get you through a Monday. El Cacique is a necessary stop for power-hungry lawyers looking for their cafécito fix on the way to the courthouse, but their lunchtime specials are the real prize. With daily offerings of Cuban favorites like ropa vieja and pan con bistec for just $8.75, it’s a pretty cheap way to get through the week. The post-lunch colada doesn’t hurt with the afternoon slump, either.
Because we all know what it’s like to take it a little too far on the weekend pizza binge, there’s Ten Fruits, a juice bar meets clean-eating enclave serving acai bowls, quinoa salads, and (you guessed it) cold-pressed juice. While this kind of lunch usually tends to be on the pricier side, Ten Fruits has got your back — they offer a variety of ultra-healthy salads for just $7.50 each, so you can reset your diet sans guilt.
Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you can’t get a little fancy. Treat yourself to three-course fare at Ceviche Piano, which offers soup or salad, an entrée, and a dessert for just under $10. Options include papaya salad, tangy mango chicken, and tart lemon pastries.
Perched on Flagler on the edge of a non-descript downtown shopping mall, Pega Grill’s health-conscious Mediterranean cuisine is as delicious as it is good for you. Their pita wraps are stuffed with freshly grilled meats, feta cheese, and tzatziki for around $8, and you can add crispy shoestring fries for a grand total of 10 bucks.