Asian Eats on a Budget 

Anyone who has traveled in Asia understands that much of the food eaten daily by locals, from businessmen to taxi drivers, is street food and, in general, not expensive. But let’s face it, Coral Gables isn’t known for its economically friendly meal prices. Don’t worry, because, among the steakhouses, Haute French, and elegant Italian eateries here, the Asian restaurants offer a slew of hearty meals at reasonable prices. We took a quick tour of Asian restaurants with dinner deals under $17 and lunch deals under $12. Here is a sample of what we found. 

Khaosan Road (Thai) 

Bangkok Bangkok, Khaosan Road

Previously known as Bangkok Bangkok, Khaosan Road (157 Giralda Plaza) has an extensive menu inspired by Thai street food. We zoned in on the curry options to get a bang for our buck. All curry dinner dishes are $16, generously sized, and flavorful, with your choice of chicken or pork and a side of white rice. For
an upcharge, you can get shrimp ($5) or beef ($2) as your protein. We went with a medium spice Panang Curry with chicken: panang curry paste, sweet coconut milk, ground peanut, and kaffir lime leaf. 

Canton (Chinese) 

Canton Chinese restaurant

If you’re looking for a satisfying lunch (and guaranteed leftovers), look no further than Canton Chinese Restaurant (2614 Ponce de Leon Blvd.) The 18 different choices on their Lunch Combo menu range in price from $9.50 to $14.50, but we stuck to our rule of under $12 and went with Sweet and Sour Chicken, which comes with a choice of starter soup (egg drop for us), fried rice (we chose veggie) and crispy wonton chips. The cost: a whopping total of $10.50. 

Izakaya (Japanese) 

Asian Eats

Weekday lunch hour is always busy at Izakaya (159 Aragon Ave.), and for good reason. Their lunch specials cost just $11.95, and
for this, you’ll get fair-sized samples of traditional Japanese foods. The lunch box includes a house salad with ginger dressing, shrimp and vegetable tempura, a California roll, and your choice of either sashimi, sushi, chicken teriyaki, fish teriyaki, sauteed vegetables, or stir-fried garlic flavored beef. We went with the sushi. A miso soup to start is also included. 

Miss Saigon (Vietnamese) 

Asian Eats

Considered by many to be the best Vietnamese restaurant in South Florida, Miss Saigon (148 Giralda Ave.) has been wowing customers in downtown Coral Gables for more than a decade. Their selection of spring rolls, steamed rice noodles, pho, and lemongrass dishes are tasty and refreshing. For us, however, nothing beats the shrimp with broth, onions, and noodles ($16.95), a masterpiece of flavors swirling together. And you can finish it with their unique Vietnamese drip coffee with sweet, condensed milk. 

Namaste (Indian) 

Asian Eats - Namaste

For authentic Indian fare at a fair price, head to Namaste (221 Navarre Ave.) Much of their menu falls under our less than $17 for dinner rule, but ask your server for their off-menu platter specials, which range from $15.99 to $17.99. We chose the chicken platter with medium spice for $15.99. This included tender pieces of chicken with a piquant masala sauce, a small house salad, white rice, crispy potato (like a hash brown with peas inside), warm soft pita bread, and lentils. Dessert is included – rasmalai (an Indian dulce de leche) topped with pistachio.