cheap issue - food

Scrumptious savings; Big portions at small prices

Having fun on a budget in Greater Lansing


Blondies Barn

5640 Marsh Road, Haslett

 If a big breakfast is the most important meal, Blondie’s Barn is the place to be, and owner Andrew Manuel isn’t shy about it.  

“No one has larger portions than we do,” Manuel said. “I promise you that.” 

Blondie’s has established a reputation for its generous portions. Their sizable omelets are all priced at below $10. Caffeine addicts can rest assured that coffee comes in supersized mugs and can be topped with whip cream and syrups. 

For hungry newbies, Manuel recommends the “Big Mikey.” The meal is proudly named after his son, who is 6’5” and 250 pounds.  

“The Big Mikey comes with three large pancakes, three eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage and ham,” Manuel said. “You get a bit of everything in a feast.” 

The “Big Mikey” is so famous and so filling that Manuel created two variations: a “Little Mikey” and a “Senior Mikey,” for those intimidated by the original.  

Ohana Sushi 

707 Brookside Dr, Lansing 

At Ohana Sushi, you’re in charge of choosing how much bang you get for your buck. For $30 at dinnertime and $18 for lunch hours during the week, you receive an all-you-can-eat experience. You’re supplied with a dry-erase menu that’s continuously filled out until you’re filled to the brim with sushi rolls, hibachi items, ramen, salads and more.  

Orders arrive in small portions to ensure you try an array before you leave stuffed. (Spoiler alert: You absolutely will.) The upscale modern vibe of the restaurant also makes for a pleasing experience.  

Falafel Time 

6030 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing

Falafel Time opened in May and has since received rave reviews, often citing its shocking portion-to-cost ratio.  

The restaurant offers falafel, gyros, shawarma, smoothies and more. Large, protein-packed salads do not exceed $10, and their plates (served with sides) all cost under $13. If you’re feeding more than yourself or prefer takeout, the 30-piece family order is just $25. The chicken shawarma salad is a fan favorite, too. 

Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill 

2803 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing 

 However unassuming Dagwood’s Tavern and Grill may be, it’s a beloved local favorite for good reason. The watering hole is arguably one of the best spots to eat and drink for cheap. The tasty menu has something for everyone — with no menu item exceeding $7. Inflation be damned, the famed “Dag Burger” still costs just $3.25. Still not convinced? Dagwood’s special offers a burger, fries and a 12-ounce draft beer for just $6. With food and drink prices this low, you’ll surely be able to afford the Uber ride home that you will desperately need.  

Fleetwood Diner 

2211 S. Cedar St., Lansing 

Like a nostalgic scene from “American Graffiti,” Fleetwood Diner is a unique experience. The restaurant offers a ’50s-esque vintage diner vibe, picture-perfect with its checkered floor and bright red furniture. The diner offers famously large portions of traditional American eats. The salads are priced below $10, and the breakfast special costs just $6.99.  

“Our salads are huge. A large salad will feed three people,” manager Dani Schick said. “Our big breakfast comes with three eggs, a large portion of hash browns, toast, bacon, sausage and ham. Everybody always takes leftovers home.” 


Good Truckin Diner 

1107 S. Washington Ave., Lansing 

 To continue the throwback diner theme, head from Old Town to REO Town and visit Good Truckin’ Diner. If you’re lucky enough to score a seat at the always bustling you’re in for a treat. The eclectic diner is decorated with a distinct personality, ensuring your eyes can explore while you wait for your food.  

No dish costing over $12, and its portions more than satisfy the hungriest of locals. There’s breakfast, street tacos, sammiches and more. For only $9, grab the Mantis: BBQ chicken, bacon, pickles, smoked gouda with bourbon sauce — served on a grilled hoagie roll. The diner also offers gluten-free and vegan options, so everyone can fill up at a cut rate.   


Golden Harvest 

1625 Turner St., Lansing 

If you’ve never eaten a meal at Golden Harvest, don’t dare call yourself a Lanstronaut. And if you’ve never shared a plate, you’re not a certified cheapo. A prized possession to the foodie community, this eccentrically ornamented restaurant seats only those lucky enough to arrive early or patient enough to wait in line. Its rotating menu offers heaps of creative and cleverly named brunch foods. The French toast is piled high with sweetness and perfect for sharing on a breakfast date. It’s truly a bargain hunter’s dream sequence.


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