Living in the Bay Area means all your money goes to rent, gas, and $15 elevated mocktails made of 50 percent seltzer. When you’re on a budget but you still want an excellent lunch or dinner, head to Vientian Cafe - a Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese spot in East Oakland. We come here for the flavorful nam kao ($7.95), the fresh papaya salad ($7.95), and the angel wings ($6.95) with a side of sticky rice. You’ll also want to ask for the menu of Lao specials, which includes a tangy fermented sausage ($3 a piece).
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Sunflower Vietnamese Restaurant in Potrero Hill is a good spot for a casual meal when you have a small group to feed.
PPQ Beef Noodle House
PPQ Beef Noodle House is a casual Vietnamese restaurant in the Sunset serving great noodle soups.
Saigon Sandwich in the Tenderloin is where you’ll find the best banh mi in the city.
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