Now that burritos and falafel wraps cost $8 and a bowl of pho can't be found for less than $6, the under-$5 meal has become a rarity in San Francisco. Damn that Healthy San Francisco. (Kidding.) But the cheap meal is not a unicorn, and there's no need to resort to frozen burritos or step into McDonald's. It's still possible to find meals at local restaurants for $5, including tax and even tip.
Here is where SFoodie eats on the cheap:
5. Combination bun, aka dai bao, from Yong Kee Bakery (732 Jackson -- watch out, there's no sign in English)
Grab-and-go dim sum shops rarely advertise their steamed combination buns, or dai bao (big bun). But a few of them -- Wing Lee in the Richmond and Good Mon Kok in Chinatown, for instance -- make them. Yong Kee's dai bao is the largest. It's bigger than a grapefruit, heavier than a Big Mac, and stuffed with gingery chicken, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage, and half a hard-boiled egg. If that doesn't seem like enough food, just double your order -- Yong Kee's combination bun costs $1.25 -- and then grab some mangos or apples from the Stockton markets to go with your bun.