20 of the best cheap eats in Birmingham under $20

cheap eats in birmingham
Say no more—I’m there. Photo via Johnny’s Homewood

We all know the Birmingham food scene is in, but sometimes it can be a little pricey to go out. If you’re trying to pinch pennies for the holiday season, we gathered the top cheap eats in Birmingham for you. Best part? They’re all under $20, so keep reading!

1. Yo Mama’s

cheap eats in bham
Making ends meat. Photo via Yo Mama’s Facebook

We love chicken here in the ‘Ham and Yo Mama’s has some of the best a la cart deals. So, you def want to try their fried wings. You get 6 wings or 3 tenders for only 7.95!

Yo Mama is def the OG for cheap eats in Birmingham.

  • Price: $7.95
  • Location: 2328 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30AM-2:30PM | Friday-Saturday 9AM-1PM
  • Website | Instagram | Facebook

2.  SAW’s Soul Kitchen

Saw's BBQ
Saw’s BBQ never lets us down. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

If you haven’t had the award-winning sweet tea chicken sandwich, you’re missin’ out. This winning burger has all you need like their special sauce and pickles. Who doesn’t love pickles and great prices?

  • Price: $8
  • Location: 215 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 11AM-9PM, Friday-Saturday 11AM-10PM
  • Website | Instagram | Facebook

3. Green Acres

Looking for more cheap eats in Birmingham? Seriously dough, almost their entire menu is under $5.

  • Price: Less than $5 for most items
  • Address: They have multiple locations around Birmingham. Find them here.
  • Hours: Monday-Wednesday 9AM-9:45PM | Thursday-Saturday 9AM-10:45PM
  • Website

4. Los Juane’s Mexican Restaurant

My go-to at any Mexican restaurant is a chimichanga and Los Juane’s has—hands down—one of the best in Bham. Coming in at $12.05, you def want to try this deep-fried burrito that’s covered in queso.

It’s also served with Spanish rice, refried beans and tossed salad. I don’t know about you but that’s two meals for me!

  • Price: $12.05
  • Location: 401 19th St S, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30AM-9PM | Saturday 10AM-9PM

5. Jasmine’s

Jasmine's Cafe in Pratt City
You can’t go wrong with mac-n-cheese and greens. Photo via Jasmine Cafe’s Facebook.

Anybody else obsessed with meat + threes, ATM? Most of the food at Jasmine’s is under $5. It’s certainly soul food made easy!

PRO TIP: Their baked chicken pairs nicely with candied yams and collard greens—YUM.

  • Price: Meat $4.85 | Sides $1.85
  • Location: 134 Ave U, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11AM-6PM | Saturday-Sunday 11AM-5PM
  • Facebook

6. Maple Street Biscuit Company

maple street biscuit company apple butter | cheap eats in birmingham
It’s fall, so you might as well go for their fresh apple butter. Photo via Carmen Waldrop for Bham Now

I’m a breakfast all-day type of person, which means you’ll probably see me ordering the Bluegrass Grits Bowl. You get cheesy grits, topped with pecan wood smoked bacon, a sunny-side-up egg, and a splash of hot sauce all for $10.30. Carbe Diem!

  • Price: $10.30
  • Location: 2801 18th Street South, Homewood, AL 35209
  • Hours: Sunday-Saturday 7AM-2PM
  • Website | Facebook | Instagram

7. Ranelli’s Deli

Ranelli's Deli Cafe
The famous Richman Po’Boy at Ranelli’s. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

I’m not kidding when I say you can get “Alabama’s best sandwich” according to the Alabama Tourism Department. For $13.50, you can eat Ranelli’s Richman, a ham, corned beef, peppered beef, genoa salami, pastrami, swiss AND provolone sandwich.

These sandwiches are undeniably some of the best cheap eats in Birmingham.

  • Price: $13.50
  • Location: 1225 20th St S, Birmingham, AL 35205
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM
  • Website | Facebook

8. Farm Bowl + Juice Co.

farm bowl's prof acai bowl | cheap eats in birmingham
The Nutty Professor bowl at Farmbowl and Juice Co. is complete with strawberries, almonds, and a layer of peanut butter. Photo by Lauren Bedford

Farm Bowl has some of the best acai fruit smoothie bowls. For less than ten dollars you can get the Nutty Professor bowl with their acai blend, strawberry, blackberry, apples and granola (GF). My fave part is the local honey—a win for those with a sweet tooth.

  • Price: $9
  • Location: 1920 29th Avenue Homewood, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 7AM – 7PM | Saturday-Sunday 8AM-7PM
  • Website | Instagram

9. Over Easy

over easy restaurant
Over Easy. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

At Over Easy, they have food for everybody; they even have local grits and sausage. While you’re checking out cheap eats in Birmingham, you should get their biscuits and gravy for only $8 and you get a cup of fresh fruit—TASTY.

  • Price: $8
  • Location: 358 Hollywood Blvd, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 7AM-12PM | Saturday-Sunday 8AM-1PM
  • Website | Facebook

10. IKKO Japanese Fusion

ramen with a soft boiled egg | cheap eats in birmingham
There’s also vegetarian Ramen. Photo via Bham Now

If you’re looking for a cheap eat in Birmingham that features fancy ramen, then IKKO is it. At $12.50, you can get miso ramen—mm good soup.

  • Price: $12.50
  • Location: 1909 11th Ave S #2603, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday 11AM-10PM
  • Website | Facebook

11. Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant

Los Arcos tacos are only $3.75, including steak, chicken and beef tacos. Their nachos supremos appetizer is only $6.99, but it’s enough for two. Buen provecho!

  • Price: $6.99
  • Location: 7001 Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-10PM | Friday-Saturday 11-10:30
  • Website | Facebook

12. China Way

China Way is # 1 in our hearts when it comes to cheap eats in Birmingham. You should def try their shrimp-fried rice; it’s a fan fave. So you’re telling me a Shrimp fried this rice for only $8.50? Yes, it’s true. The medium is less than $9!

Did you know China Way also has a drive-thru? So not only is it cheap, but it’s also fast. Don’t sleep on this restaurant Bham.

  • Price: $8.50
  • Location: 5220 Oporto Madrid Blvd, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 11AM-10PM | Friday-Saturday 11AM-11PM | Sunday 11AM-9:30PM
  • Website

13. The Purple Onion

tasty turkey sandwich melt | cheap eats in birmingham
20 of the best cheap eats in Birmingham under $20 18

The iconic Purple Onion invented cheap eats in Birmingham. For only $4.95, you can get their chili burger. Their turkey melt wrap is $6.95 and the onion rings are $3.25. I mean, the list goes on and on. There really is something for everyone.

  • Price: Less than $10
  • Location: They have multiple locations. Check them out here.
  • Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 10:30AM-12AM | Thursday 10:30AM-2AM | Friday-Saturday 10:30AM-3AM
  • Website | Facebook

14. Taj India

Birmingham, Alabama, Taj Wraps, Indian Food, Eastwood Shell Food Mart
Taj Wraps Majaraha Chicken. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Taj India has all you can eat for only $9.99? Sounds like a great place for cheap eats in Birmingham. This deal is only offered during lunchtime and on weekdays.

  • Price: $9.99
  • Location: 2226 Highland Ave, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Sunday-Monday LUNCH 11AM-2PM
  • Website | Facebook | Instagram

15. EATS Highland

Wendy Cruse of EATS Highland
All their desserts are less than $5. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

EATS Highland is the ultimate Southern and Latin cheap eats. For Southern cheap eats in Birmingham, you’ll def want to try their grilled chicken.

  • Price: $10.50
  • Location: 2608 Highland Ave, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11AM-2PM | Friday-Saturday 11AM-9PM
  • Website | Instagram

16. Dos Hermanos

cheap eats in birmingham taco for $2
5-star tacos! Photo via Cecilia Wood for Bham Now

Did we mention that Dos Hermanos has $2 tacos? This Taco truck specializes in cheap—and tasty—eats.

  • Price: $8.50
  • Location: 1331 1st Ave N Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9AM-2PM
  • Facebook | Instagram

17. Golden Rule BBQ

cheap eats in bham bbq edition
BEEEAAANSSSS. Photo via Golden Rule BBQ’s Facebook

Listen: it’s only $6.29 for a jumbo pulled pork plate. Everything is homemade, so you know it’s gonna be good.

  • Price: $6.29
  • Location: 2506 Crestwood Blvd Irondale, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday + Saturday 10:30AM-9PM | Thursday 10:30AM-7PM | Sunday 11AM-8PM
  • Website | Facebook

18. Niki’s West

fried okra from niki's west
10/10 comfort food experts would recommend. Photo via Niki’s West Steak and Seafood Restaurant’s Facebook

This family-owned diner has some of the best cheap eats in Birmingham. For veggie lovers, they’ve mastered fried okra—a Southern staple food.

  • Price: Less than $10
  • Location: 233 Finley Ave W, Birmingham, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5PM
  • Website | Facebook | Instagram

19. Johnny’s

meat + three from johnny's
Say no more—let’s get this bread! Photo via Johnny’s Homewood

Craving a Southern classic meat + three? For three consecutive years, Johnny’s in Homewood has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation award, and for 12.99, you can get meat + three veggies.

PRO TIP: Try the sweet potato puree with cinnamon maple butter as one of your sides.

  • Price: $12.99
  • Location: 2902 18th Street South, Suite 200, Homewood, AL 
  • Hours: Sun.-Fri. 11AM-2:30PM
  • Website | Facebook | Instagram

20. Gilchrist’s

strawberry shake and turkey melt
A perfect American diner classic: a shake and sandwich combo. Photo via Gilchrist’s

Love an old-fashioned soda restaurant? Gilchrist is the place to go. While you’re there, try their honey-roasted turkey sandwich ($5.09) with a strawberry shake ($3.99). If the fancy milkshake glass doesn’t convince you to go, I don’t know what will.

  • Price: $9.08 (for the shake + sandwich)
  • Location: 2805 Cahaba Rd, Mountain Brook, AL
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-4:30PM | Saturday 8:30AM-4PM
  • Facebook

Did we miss your fave cheap eats in Birmingham? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know.

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Summer Guffey
Art enthusiast and expert on all things tea.
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