Orlando abounds in fantastic cheap eats – welcome to our monthly roundup of places to get lunch for less than $10. If you’ve got a 10 Under $10 suggestion for us, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 S. Orange Ave., 407-801-5198
The former Whitewood Grill still serves Middle Eastern fare, with a few more hippie twists (natural sodas, some organic produce). The lamb gyro ($7.50) is the most popular choice, but whatever you order, get some of the house salad – simple with tomatoes and cucumbers but packing a lemony-garlicky homemade-dressing punch.
Chuan Lu Garden
1101 E. Colonial Drive, 407-896-8966, chuanlugardenorlando.com At the best Sichuan restaurant in the city, it's not so easy to find a cheap lunch off the regular (read: authentic) menu, though we very much enjoy the chili and sour potato with shredded pork ($8.95). But if you dig that retro Chinese-resto mid-day special, this dish makes it onto their lunch menu as well, sticking out among the moo goo gai pan and beef with broccoli ... but sure, you can scoop up a smaller portion along with soup, a spring roll and fried rice for $7.95.
The Flame Broiler 54 W. Church St., 407-601-2257, flamebroiler141.com Basic nutrition, great for clean eaters: grilled beef or chicken; steamed veg mix (cabbage, carrots, broccoli); brown or white rice. We go for the half-and-half, skip the carrots, and try not to add too much "magic sauce" (basically a sweet Korean barbecue sauce) so as not to destroy the healthy.
Jersey Mike's multiple locations, jerseymikes.com Classic subs done right. Get the grilled pastrami reuben with sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing – $6.75 – and find a desk to nap under for the afternoon.
710 N. Mills Ave., 407-237-0013, facebook.com/kingbaoorlando
Life – well, lunch – doesn't get better than a Glenn Rhee bao stuffed with marinated Korean short rib ($3.50) and an order of fire tots drizzled with sriracha aioli, dusted with togarashi and topped with jalapeños ($2.50). Three kinds of fire!
Red Mug Diner
63 E. Pine St., 407-734-5065, redmugdiner.com
A 24-hour diner is a necessity for civilized city life, and Red Mug came to the rescue earlier this year. We like Mayor Buddy's breakfast tacos (available any time): eggs, onions, tomatoes and bacon – or sausage – in a corn tortilla, served with grits and jalapeños, $8.95.
The Philly Connection
486 N. Orange Ave., 407-233-4801, phillyconnection.com
The Philly cheesesteak: No one needs to explain it to you; it's up to you to decide whether you can handle it in the middle of the day and keep working. Philly Connection offers them in grilled steak or chicken, in 5-inch, 7-inch and 10-inch iterations, at $5.49, $7.49 and $8.99. We're partial to extra grilled onions and mushrooms, but there are 10 toppings to choose from.
5689 Vineland Road, 407-930-3396, soupasaiyan.com
You don't have to be an anime fan to eat at this small space about 2 miles from Universal Studios, but you'll probably enjoy the perpetual loop of Dragon Ball cartoons more if you are. Choose your own adventure with various broths, noodles, proteins and extras: $9.50 for a bowl.
Swine & Sons
595 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-7601, swineandsons.com
The S&S version of a ham and cheese sandwich is only $8, but it's a luxe concoction of Benton's ham, pimento cheese, pepper jelly and romaine lettuce on white bread. Add house-made chips for $1.25.
7581 University Blvd., Winter Park, 407-636-6069, vietnomzfl.com