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10 tasty Orlando lunches under $10 

It’s another edition of our monthly cheap-eats roundup. A tasty lunch shouldn’t cost more than $10, so every month we give you 10 suggestions. Got one for us? Send nom-nominations to

Bento Café
multiple locations,
Choose a presentation (bento box, noodle bowl or over rice), choose a preparation (there are dozens) and choose a protein. With so many choices, you could eat here for months without repeating, but we find ourselves alternating between the surprisingly spicy red curry over rice ($7.75 with chicken or tofu) and the Korean beef with peppers and scallions over noodles ($8.75).

Blaze Pizza
4100 N. Alafaya Trail, 407-282-9453,
Blaze Pizza blazed into UCF students' consciousness when they opened earlier this month by giving away free pizza all day. While not free, the 11-inch pies are still startlingly inexpensive – $7.95 for any pie, whatever toppings you choose. Flat broke? The simple pie (red sauce, mozzarella, parm) is just $5.

multiple locations,
One of the area's first "better burger" joints, BurgerFi elevates the classic cheeseburger, fries and milkshake into something much swankier. With American cheese, bacon, maple syrup, grilled onions, a hashbrown patty, ketchup and a fried egg, the monster-size Breakfast All Day burger ($7.49) turns tomorrow into (You Better) Fast All Day.

Chicken Salad Chick
12101 University Blvd., 407-867-4900,
The Alabama-based chain serves up (almost) nothing but chicken salad, with a hefty down-home sprinkling of y'alls and sugars. The Original Chick special gets you a scoop or a sandwich made with one of 15 different varieties of chicken salad (we're partial to Fruity Fran, with apples and grapes) plus a side, pickle and cookie for $7.69.

Hawkers Asian Street Fare
1103 N. Mills Ave., 407-237-0606,
Almost every small plate on the menu is under $10, but it's not easy to get two and still stay under, so the trick is to know which are satisfying solo. Soup is always a good bet for filling up, and Hawkers' roast duck noodle soup ($8.50) is among the best: fat, chewy udon noodles bathed in savory broth and swimming with crunchy yow choy and lush slices of roast fowl.

Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop
3405 Edgewater Drive, 407-985-5841,
The meats are delicious and their falafel is justifiably famous, but the sneak star of the menu is Georgie's Lentils ($6.99). The lentil bowl is a perfectly seasoned protein bomb that you can top with various fresh and pickled vegetables (seriously do not pass up the hot-pink pickled turnips) plus a swipe of hummus. Add a bit of pita and you hit the cheap lunch trifecta: delicious, filling and healthy.

Hummus House
862 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-9722,
A Middle Eastern assembly-line type place, with six different types of hummus. Choose pita sandwich or rice bowl, choose a protein (we think the grilled chicken is the best option, and it's also the cheapest at $7.39), choose your toppings. Unfortunately tabouli and fried cauliflower, two of the menu must-haves, are an extra 99 cents each. Our advice: Add the cauli to a rice bowl or the tabouli to a sandwich.

Latin Square
250 S. Orange Ave., 407-608-4181,
Smack in the middle of downtown's Central Business District is this café serving warm, homey Latin cuisine. The menu is mostly Cuban, but there's a South American twist here and there – like the roasted chicken served with garden-green chimichurri sauce. A quarter-chicken with a side of roasted potatoes ($4.99) is garlicky comfort on a plate.

This N That Eats
1811 N. Orange Ave., 407-757-0810,
Chef Jason Schofield serves as a chef-consultant to a roster of high-profile restaurants throughout Central Florida, which may account for the gourmandise in the anything-but-simple sandwiches he serves from behind the This N That counter. We can't get enough of the Mexican torta ($7): a sesame seed-paved roll spread with refried beans and piled with chorizo, queso fresco, avocado, tomato and leafy greens.

Zona Fresca
1035 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-4840,
We're flirting with breaking the no-fast-food rule with this one, but since there are fewer than a dozen locations and Zona Fresca's SoCal-style Mexican is genuinely choice, we're including it. Stack a two-taco combo plate (with beans, cilantro rice and chips, plus your choice of salsas from the bar) with one char-broiled shrimp on a soft corn tortilla and one machaca beef in a crunchy shell for $7.99.

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