Students in Atlanta, or anyone watching their wallet, will want to check out the following restaurants, acclaimed by the locals for dishing out great deals and tasty meals.
So step away from the pizza, and dig into these Southern (and other!)-style cheap eats.
1. Doc Chey's Noodle House
Described as "quick, cheap, and delicious", Doc Chey's Noodle House is in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta, not far from Morehouse College and Georgia State University. The noodle house serves large portions of vegetarian-friendly Asian and Japanese cuisine. Main courses range around $10. www.doccheys.com/locations/virginiahighlands.php
2. South City Kitchen
Feel like splurging a little? Consider the nouveau Southern cuisine served in this remodeled and slightly upscale Midtown bungalow. You'll enjoy fried green tomatoes, Southern biscuits, and barbequed swordfish with cheese grits. Brunch is also a popular option here to get your week of studies started off right. Main courses are a little pricier, around $20, but residents say it's worth it. www.southcitykitchen.com
3. Red Light Cafe
Open late (until 2 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), this cybercafe is the perfect place to grab coffee and keep working through the night on that assignment for class. Live poetry readings and occasional music can help you take that much-needed break. And don't forget to enjoy treats like fettucine alfredo or a brie and baguette. Main courses are $5.00 - $10.00. www.redlightcafe.com
4. Big Shanty Smokehouse
A classic side-of-the-road barbeque joint, Big Shanty Smokehouse in Decatur features friendly staff, hand-licking good ribs, and what some residents from Texas call the best brisket in Georgia. Diners also love Big Shanty desserts like coconut cake and banana pudding. Hungry yet? Entrees are under $10. bigshantybbq.com
5. The Varsity
We couldn't have a list of cheap eats for students in Atlanta without mentioning a place called the Varsity. This popular drive-in, the largest in the U.S. and open since 1928, boasts "game-day grub" served "hot and fast." Your options include hot dogs (with or without chili), orange milkshakes, fried peas (anything can be good fried!) and double cheeseburgers.
Heart-healthy it is not, but the flavors and vibe keep Atlanta residents and tourists alike returning. And the price is right. Combos are around $6.00, and most sandwiches are under $3.00. www.thevarsity.com
If you want to work at any of these places or open your own, check out the culinary arts schools in Atlanta.