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Where to find lunch for $10 or less in Columbia

Ready for your lunch break? Check out these 17 lunches from subs to fries and a shake.


All this for $10? Eat your heart out. | Photo by COLAtoday team

Table of Contents

Looking for a tasty, local lunch spot that doesn’t break the bank? We’re here for you, Cola. Check out this list of 15+ places where a lunch for one costs $10ish or less.

We know cravings are key when it comes to a midday meal, so we’ve broken up these spots into their respective food groups. Think delis and pizza.

Sweet Potato Burger.jpeg

Try the sweet potato burger and fries from Good Life Cafe. | Photo by City Social Co

Fast and casual

Carolina Cafe and Catering Co., 925 Sumter St. | Try one of its signature sandwiches for ~$8. We’re biased and think The Columbia Sandwich is the best, made with turkey, cranberry sauce, and leaf lettuce.

Crêpes & Croissants, 1465 Sumter St. | Enjoy counter-serve, sweet or savory crêpes and croissant sandwiches. Pro tip: Order a fresh French pastry to go or on the side.

Curiosity Coffee Bar, 2327 Main St. | Curiosity’s menu is vegan friendly and we recommend ordering the Vegan Pesto Pizza Bagel made with house-made romesco, diced tomatoes, and vegan mozzarella or any of its sandwiches. Pro tip: you can even order a fluffernutter sandwich or a PB&J for $3.

Drake’s Duck-In, 1840 Hampton St. | There isn’t one thing on this menu over $10, so we recommend ordering a la cart. Get the Wing Special for $7.95 + a hot dog or corndog, each for $3, on the side.

Good Life Cafe, 1216 Taylor St. | Not everything on the menu is $10, but if you are looking for a small plate bite, like the Mushroom Toast, Avocado Toast, Spring Rolls, Salmon Bites or Cauliflower Bites, Good Life Cafe has you covered.

Verde, 4840 Forest Dr. Suite 19 | Create your own bowl for $8.95 or grab n go a Bento Boxes + Meal Kits if you’re in a rush for $5-$6.

Zesto, 504 12th St., West Columbia | Order the Chicken Tender Meal that comes with two tenders over a bed of fries, and a roll for $6.50.

Late night bites around Columbia, SC

Beezer’s is a popular spot located across the street from UofSC campus.| Photo by COLAtoday

Sandwiches and delis

Beezer’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop, 919 Sumter St. | Beezer’s is a go-to spot for many USC students because it’s conveniently located beside campus and is open late. We recommend the Godfather sandwich made with double meat, Genoa salami, capicola ham, Virginia ham, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, oil and vinegar, and herbs for less than $7.

No Name Deli, 2042 Mairon St. | If you need a crowd pleaser place that won’t break the bank, this is for you. No Name Deli has a large selection of lunch specials and options, offering everything from burgers, to sandwiches, soups, souvlaki plates, salads, hot dogs, sides, and more.

Rosewood Market, 2803 Rosewood Dr. | Snag something from the grab-and-go section or order something from the deli, like the Crispy Chicken Shawarma — marinated in traditional Lebanese spices, lemon, onion, and garlic for $7.95.

Sandwhich Depot, 1211 Taylor St. | The whole menu, other than the platters, is under $10. We recommend ordering the Kitchen Sink breakfast wrap, made with ham, bacon, sausage, green pepper, tomato, onion, scrambled egg, American cheese + its signature hollandaise for $7.95.

Swanson’s Deli, 1332 Main st., #7B | Located just inside the Arcade Mall on Main Street, Swanson’s Deli offers sandwiches + salads. Order the Gamecock, made with turkey, ham, roast beef, cheddar, swiss, lettuce, and tomato, on a toasted hoagie with spicy mustard and mayo


Duke’s Pad Thai, 904 Knox Abbott Dr. | If you’re willing to sacrifice an extra $2-$3, Duke’s Noodles and Rice dishes are worth it. If not, and you’re trying to stay in the $10 range, order a Street Eat, a soup, or Duke’s Tacos.

Menkoi Ramen House, 1004 Gervais St. | If it’s your first time, we recommend ordering the Chicken Ramen, made with yellow noodles floating in a chicken based soup and a chicken breast for $9. Pro tip: Order an extra egg in your ramen bowl for $0.75.


By pizza by the slice at Village Idiot Pizza | Photo via @young_dumb_broke_and_hungry


Dano’s Pizza, 3008 Rosewood Dr. | So, you may have to split the cost of a pizza, but you can get any starter, calzone, sub, or salad for around $10.

Stoner’s Pizza Joint, 1216 Washington St. | Get your own Small 10-inch Pizza for around $10, or split a larger 14 or 18-inch with a friend and Venmo them your $10.

Village Idiot, various locations | Just looking for a bite for lunch, Village Idiot Pizza serves some of it’s za’s by the slice for $2-$3.

What did we miss? If you know a budget-friendly lunch that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.

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