Jeff Mauro’s Favorite Cheap Dining Spots Slideshow

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Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (New York City)
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Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (New York City)
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Mauro likes to order a slice of double dough artichoke pizza ($4.50) and the Sicilian slice with vodka sauce ($4) at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, a trio of pizzerias founded by best friends Francis Garcia and Sal Basille in New York City.

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Flickr / wallyg

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Tofu Ya (Los Angeles)
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Tofu Ya (Los Angeles)
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To find cheap eats, Mauro likes to frequent the Japanese and Korean restaurants in Los Angeles. He likes to order the tofu seafood soup ($8.99) at Tofu Ya, which comes with banchan, small side plates like kimchi and fermented tofu.

"You might be disgusted with yourself," said Mauro of the unlimited helpings of banchan that the waitstaff happily refill.

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Flickr / SocialMediarts

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Argyle Street (Chicago)
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Argyle Street (Chicago)
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When the Sandwich King is in need of a tasty but inexpensive sandwich, he heads to Chicago’s Argyle Street for Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches at shops like Vah Li.

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Wiki / Jeremy A

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Al Pastor (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
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Al Pastor (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
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Around 11:30 a.m. each day in downtown Puerto Vallarta, taco vendors begin setting up and serving Mexico’s quintessential street food.

"Nothing beats a $0.75 street taco made with expertise and love," said Mauro.

When he wants a sit-down taco feast, Mauro heads to Al Pastor where the pork is grilled on a vertical charcoal spit before being stuffed into $1 tacos.

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Flickr / gtmcknight

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Tierra Caliente (Chicago)
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Tierra Caliente (Chicago)
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In the back of a Mexican grocery store is a taqueria where Mauro goes for inexpensive tacos al pastor. The messy tacos are loaded with all the fixings for $2 each.

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Yelp / Araceli R

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Gene and Jude’s (River Grove, Ill.)
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Gene and Jude’s (River Grove, Ill.)
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Conveniently located between Mauro’s home and the airport, Mauro stops by for the Chicago Depression-style hot dogs that have hand-cut french fries thrown on top before they are wrapped up.

"You have to get like three hot dogs," said Mauro who spends roughly $5 for his hot dog trio.

You won’t find ketchup here, notes Mauro, who said the McDonald’s in the gas station next door sells ketchup packets at a premium. Mauro explains that the true Chicago hot dog comes with onions, "normal a** relish, not that neon green stuff," two sport peppers, mustard, and a bun.

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Flickr / born_to_me

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Gooey Looie’s (Philadelphia)
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Gooey Looie’s (Philadelphia)
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"Steak was just pouring out of it," said Mauro of the mammoth cheesesteak sandwich fir for two or even three diners at Gooey Looie’s. "It was so big!"

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Yelp / Jaime J