Sometimes you just don’t have the free time to cook a proper dinner but don’t want to break the bank either by dining out either day after day. Cary has a reputation for being expensive if you ask most people, but there are dining options at just about every price point if you know where to look. It is indeed possible to get a delicious meal for under $10 in Cary!

Check out these top five best local spots for affordable eats next time you are looking for a satisfying meal at a reasonable price:

Ashworth Drugs

Cary locals know where the absolute best lunch deal is, and it’s over at Ashworth Drugs. This pharmacy has been a downtown Cary staple for years. It features a small dining area with a soda fountain and is best known for its hot dog specials. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can get two hot dogs for just $3! If hot dogs aren’t your thing, the lunch counter at Ashworth Drugs also features a small sandwich menu.

Corbett’s Burgers & Soda Bar

Corbett’s Burgers & Soda Bar offers a unique selection of burgers, hot dogs, sodas, and milkshakes. You can build your own or order a specialty item, but either way, you are getting a great deal. All of the burgers are under $7, and all of the hot dogs are under $5. Soda selections include old favorites such as RC Cola and A&W Root Beer. This spot is popular with kids and adults alike, and it’s one of the best deals in town when it comes to dining out, hands down!

Esmeralda Grill

Esmeralda Grill is one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in Cary. Most menu items are under $10, and the lunch specials cannot be beaten. Three tacos for $4.99? Yes, please! It also takes its delicious, affordable eats on the road with a food truck, the Taqueria Esmeralda Taco Truck, so hungry peeps throughout the entire Triangle can enjoy delicious tacos on the cheap.

Roma’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria

Roma’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria opened in downtown Cary in 1996 and quickly became a favorite among the locals. All items on the lunch menu are under $10, and it also offers daily specials such as two cheese slices with a drink for just $5.50. Looking to pick up dinner for a crowd? The sheet pizzas at Roma’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria can easily feed a large family and are a steal at just $18.25.

Johnny’s Pizza

Another affordable pizza joint in Cary is Johnny’s Pizza. You can order by the slice or get a large NY Style pizza to feed a crowd for just $12. It also offers wings and appetizers such as garlic knots at very affordable prices. This is a great place to take the entire family on any given day.

If you are out running errands on the weekend, you may run into another local favorite, affordable lunch option – Jim’s Ole Time. You can find this excellent hot dog stand outside Lowe’s or Ace Hardware in Cary and throughout the Triangle. It serves up delicious hot dogs with fixins for just $2. You can also find food trucks throughout Cary, which also make for a quick and cheap meal on the go. Check out Street Food Finder to see if there are any near you!

So what are some of your favorite spots for an affordable meal in Cary? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Cary Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN