Frugal Nom’s: Budget Friendly Restaurants Near Campus

When you’re balling on a budget, it can be a little limiting to explore all the cuisine that Buffalo has to offer. But have no fear! Where there’s a will, there’s a way…niagara cafe

1. Niagara Cafe
– The food is quite inexpensive; you can get a salad, entree and soup for less than $10
– The portions are quite generous
– It’s close to campus!

– I found the chicken to be very salty
– The pork chops were a bit dry

At the end of the day, I recommend getting their appetizers! Their potato meat ball was to die for.

2. Betty’s

My Order: Jibarito (it screams GET ME!) & Chamomile Tea

– Friendly & very commendable service; my waiter Jeff was very patient & always checked up on us. Very, very nice people!
– I absolutely LOVED MY DISH. The last time I was here, my friend ordered it and I fell in love with it ever since. Get it, get it, get it!! Instead of using buns, it uses plantains so there is a hint of sweetness to the savory sandwich. 
– It’s a great little spot for a quick bite, brunch (it was really packed on weekends) or a cute little day-date. It seems like a versatile spot which can be used as a venue for anything.

– they only have one washroom stall; on busy days, that could be an issue.

Check out the Betty’s website to learn more and see what else is on the menu!


3. Cantina Loco 

My Order: Koreatown Taco (so delish)

– My taco was so flavorful. It was a bit on the smaller size, but it was well worth it
– My friend got a burrito which was a lot bigger in size; it’ll definitely hit the spot if you’re a guy (I didn’t need the extra substance since it doesn’t take much to fill me up anyway-small stomach)

cantina locaCons:
– The soup (& they only have one) isn’t that great. it’s basically taco soup… watered down.

– Granted, my waitress was a lot more pleasant; checking up on us regularly and being all smiles.

Honestly, having visited Cantina a few more times, I think it is better as a bar than it is a restaurant. It feels like a slightly more upscale Moe’s/Jim’s Steak Out with the dim lighting and slightly more exclusive ingredients. Nonetheless, it doesn’t fare very well in terms of customer service.

Find out more on the Cantina Loco website!


4. Go Veggies
My order: Spicy mushroom burger, lentil burger, mango pudding (YUMMY), sticky rice (super yummy)

– Honestly, the owner, Ganga, fed me so much food. I can’t believe the portions that he was serving. It felt like I was at grandma’s house. It was very sweet of him.
– His food is all LOCALLY GROWN, VEGAN & ORGANIC. Honestly, most vegan establishments charge an arm and a leg; his prices are most definitely economical and student-friendly
– He sells his products at farmer’s markets and are very readily available (for mass purchase or buying in bulk!)

go veggiesCons:
– The decor can seem a bit run down; but who knows? Maybe that’s his style or personality shall we say
– It seems that Go Veggies is the underdog of Elmwood; located at Bryant & Elmwood, it is hidden behind Epic on Bryant street

I definitely believe that he stands behind a strong mission which is to feed a healthy and sustainable meal. Honestly, at the prices & tastes of what Go Veggies is offering, what you’re getting is a total steal.

Find out more about their mission and take a look at their menu on the Go Veggies website!


salsaritas5. Salsarita
– Inexpensive food and drinks
– Very helpful and friendly servers
– Free WiFi

Overall, I really liked it. You can customize and add vegetable toppings onto your food. I always get the cantizza (it’s like a pizza) and my order was good enough to fill two people (for $10!). It isn’t exactly fine dining but it’s a refreshing change to the cliche fast food chains. It adds that nice little twist. 🙂


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  • Omg you have to try Westside Bazaar on grant and w. ferry. 4 restaurants in one all from different countries. My favorite is perhaps the Ethiopian food. You can have a meat or veggie combo with big portions for 10$ all while your giving your palate a new taste

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