A number of restaurants in Portland Oregon have decent menu offerings for at or under $5.
This is a mix of independent and chain restaurants. Important to note is that none of these $5 options come with a soda, so we recommend sticking with free water. Many of these places accept tips, so we encourage you to leave one if it’s an option. Also to note, Oregon does not have a sales tax so prices are as listed with no additional fees.
1. Elephant’s Deli
(6 locations in Portand)
$3.50 – Cup of soup
$0.60 – Piece of baguette
$0.41 – 10% tip
$0.00 – complimentary butter for the bread and soup
$4.51 – Total
Elephants is one of the most satisfying eateries to spring out of socially conciousness Portland. Their website clearly states that their work to feed Portland is driven by strong environmental and ethical principals. They’re a b-corp for instance.
The soup is all made from scratch, and they typically have six vats of soup at the ready. Our favorite is Elephant’s Cure, a light yet filling chicken soup.
Rewards – if you have a smart phone, you can get your first $5 free by using the Thanx app. Then you’ll get a $10 reward for every $100 spent. Note that in order to get this award, you’ll need to add your credit card to Thanx. All purchases thereafter on that card will automatically be tracked.
Elephants is also a lot more than just this deal. If you have $10-$20 to spend you can have a pretty big gourmet meal and even a beer, wine or cocktail.
2. Hotlips Pizza – Before noon only!
6 locations in Portland
$4.00 – 2 slices of cheese pizza
$1.00 – tip
$0.00 – complimentary seasoning: Parmesan, red pepper flakes, granulated garlic, oregano, and hot sauce
$5.00 – total
Another home grown Portland chain is hot lips pizza. Their six Portland pizza locations have an early bird special of $2.00 slices of cheese before noon.
3. Maya Taquiera on Yelp
$4.50 – Bean and Cheese Burrito, comes with chips.
$0.00 – complimentary fresh salsa
$0.00 – various hot sauces
$4.50 – total.
Located caddy corner from the downtown Target, and just four blocks from Pioneer Square this is a full service Mexican restaurant. Burritos and entrés are in the $7-$12 range so this low key deal on the bean and cheese is pretty good.
2 locations in Portland
$4.50 – 1/2 pound of salad @ $8.99/pound
$4.50 – total (approximate)
Our first national brand on this list is Wholefoods they have a central location in the Pearl District, a location in SE portland, and numerous locations in the burbs.
The key we’ve found to come in under the half pound weight is to use the provided bowls, which result in a $0.20 discount, and to add high weight items like meat and olives to the bowl first – doing this allows you to better gauge how much heavy stuff you’re adding to your bowl. Salad greens are much lighter than meat and veggies, so add those last and you’ll end up with a heaping bowl. Be sure to be careful with the dressing as it can add a lot of weight.
Mix and match various value menu items. Bacon Cheeseburgers are $2, McChicken’s are $1. They also currently have 2 for $5 Big Macs. If you stick to the value menu it’s easy to spend $5 or less at McDonald’s.
$5.00 – total
If you’re looking for the most calories per dollar this is a good high calorie option.
6. Grocery Store(s)
$3.00 – fresh baguette
$1.00 – two slices of cheese from deli at $6.99/pound
$1.00 – a few slices of deli meat $8.99/pound
$5.00 – total
A bit on the plain side for many American’s taste, this is a classic way to get a large quantity of food on the cheap often used by backpackers in Europe. Most grocery stores will have baguettes for sale for around $3.00. cheese and deli meat by the slice is surprisingly cheap due to its light weight.
Have your own $5 lunch or meal spot? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list of $5 meal deals in Portland.