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Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Cheap Eats (2012)
1988 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, 899-2622
1244 Munras Ave., Monterey, 372-2622
Chopstix’s Vietnamese cuisine takes it for most affordable, but that doesn’t mean they sacrifice taste—these dishes are still delicious, fresh, and often healthy, in addition to landing lightly on your bottom line. The menu ranges from traditional entrees such as pho ga noodle soup and lemongrass beef to a selection of bahn mi sandwiches including barbecue chicken and char-grilled meatball for just $3.50. An extensive variety of delicious boba drinks, teas and slushies are available as well. Sit family style at a table, or seat yourself at the bar at one of two strategically located outposts, including the Monterey spot which debuted to rave reviews in 2011.