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Eating Cheap in Coeur d'Alene 

Sixteen affordable eateries from 4th Street Pantry to Wah Hing

4TH STREET PANTRY
206 N. Fourth St., CdA • 208-667-3818 • 24 hours daily, dinner 5-9
A friendly vibe and comfortable setting has this new round-the-clock diner in downtown Coeur d’Alene perking at any hour — including deep into the wee hours. Limited seating fills up fast. Dinner options include prime rib, turkey and salmon — all under $10. This is comfort food, yes, but done with attention and care. TRY Chili omelet ($7.29)

CAFÉ CHULO
155 W. Neider Ave. • 208-667-2700 • Lunch, Dinner Sun-Thur; Breakfast Sat, Sun
Self-proclaimed “fresh Mex,” the food is made as it’s ordered, in a “make it how you want it” fashion. The colorful, authentic feel of the atmosphere makes it more than a fast-food restaurant, even with its drive-thru window and front-counter ordering system. (TY) TRY Sweet Pork Burrito ($7), Wednesday Special ($6)

GOLDEN DRAGON
106 W. Seltice Way, Post Falls • 208-457-0137
Hidden on Post Falls’ main street, this small building may never be noticed unless you know what you’re looking for. Inside it looks like a breakfast place that was converted into a Chinese restaurant. Golden Dragon serves authentic Chinese food as well as American food for the less adventurous. Takeout is available, too. (TY) TRY Teriyaki Chicken Lunch Special ($6.25), Beef chow mein ($8.75)

HERBIE’S DELI SHOP
4055 N. Government Way • 208-667-8840• 10 am-3pm, Mon-Fri
Defining itself as “mighty salubrious,” this hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop is truly a hidden treasure. From the outside, it looks a little iffy, but step inside and the friendly at-table service, comfortable atmosphere and huge, delicious handmade sandwiches leave nothing to be desired. (TY) TRY Small whole deli sandwich ($6.50), Combo meal of half deli sandwich and cup of chili or soup ($7.50)

HUMDINGER DRIVE-IN
205 Hill St., Kellogg • 208-786-7395 • Lunch, Dinner daily
Under the “worth the drive” category, this Silver Valley drive-in is a little snapshot of small-town America at its best. Peruse the common-sense sayings on the walls and become a fan of Kellogg Wildcat sports while you wait for your order to be cooked, hot and fresh. Don’t forget dessert: ice cream, of course! (CS) TRY Bag of six burgers ($8.59), John’s Pork Chop Sandwich ($5), Frozen Butterfinger Hummer ($3-$4.79)

JAVA ON SHERMAN
324 Sherman Ave. • 208-667-0010 • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner daily
The Bowl of Soul — espresso, milk and Mexican chocolate — is worth the drive from anywhere. Holding down the corner for more than a decade, Java (often voted “North Idaho’s Best” by Inlander readers) also serves breakfast items, like eggs “poached” on the espresso steamer. Sidewalk seating has some of the best people-watching downtown. (AC) TRY Any of the yummy muffins

JIMMY’S DOWN THE STREET
1613 Sherman Ave, CdA • 208-765-3868• Breakfast, Lunch daily
For the welcoming, homey feeling that usually only comes by actually going home, Jimmy’s is the place to go. Friendly, quick service, a large selection of breakfast and lunch and good food that tastes homemade, makes this small restaurant, only a short walk away from downtown Coeur d’Alene, a big success. (TY) TRY 2 Egg Breakfast ($4.99), Jimmy’s Steak Sandwich ($8.95)

NOODLE EXPRESS
305 West Prairie Shopping Center, Hayden • 208-762-8488 • Lunch, Dinner daily • mustardseedweb.com
Spokane, Missoula, the Coeur d’Alene area … all links in the small but growing chain of Asian café-style restaurants. It’s a simple formula: nicely decorated pseudo-fast-food feel with an emphasis on fast, fresh and flavorful dishes. Dine-in or call ahead for pickup. (CS) TRY Tofu Teriyaki ($6.15), Peppered garlic beef ($6.35), Chicken Osaka Party Pan for 5 ($20)

PAUL’S COUNTRY STORE
702 E. Prairie Ave., Hayden • 208-762-3354 • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner daily
The front is a deli, while the back area is dressed in wine bottles, twinkle lights and other grotto-like features you’d expect for their occasional wine dinners. The European feel is apropos, with German specialties like bratwurst and a host of Italian-style panini. Dine in along the counter or call ahead for pickup on your way to the lake. (CS) TRY Berliner ($7), Knackwurst ($5)

PHO THANH & CAFE
2108 N. Fourth St., CdA • 208-665-9903 • Early Lunch, Dinner daily
The difference between lunch and dinner is a matter of perspective, not proportion. Big porcelain dishes of fragrant Vietnamese food with spicy sides and sauces. We call for take-out, convinced that one order of wonton soup lasted us four whole days! (CS) TRY Pho Bo noodle soup ($7, small; $8, large), Chow mein with lemongrass and chili beef, chicken, shrimp or pork ($9)

PORKY G’S
233 W. Dalton Ave. • 208-772-6644 • Lunch, Dinner Mon-Sat
Eliminating the overhead means lower-priced lunch specials like Porky G’s authentic, Southern-style pulled pork sandwich and a drink for $5. All smoking is done in-house at their barn red drive-thru by the affable Gary Sinnett, an affable fellow who makes all his own beans, salads and slaws, too. (CS) TRY Ribs in a Cup ($5), Louisiana Hot Links ($5; $7 with drink and two side dishes)

THE MILL
2360 Old Mill Loop, CdA (Riverstone) • 208-765-5639 • Lunch, Dinner daily, late night Mon-Sat
For such upscale surroundings — nearby Riverstone condos list for half a mil — you’ll find this neighborhood-style bar surprisingly laid-back ($2 PBR on tap!). Mostly bar food, beer and wine, the game on TV, plenty of tables for you and your crew and a clever theme that caters to lovers of lagers and loggers alike. (CS) TRY Cod & Chips ($6.50), Burger Basket ($6.50)

RUSTLER’S ROOST
9627 N. Hwy 95, Hayden • 208-772-6613 • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner daily • rustlersroost.com
Dinner for less than $10 is dang-near impossible, but cowboy know-how comes through at Rustler’s Roost. The decor is rustic Western: wagon wheels, railroad lanterns and riding gear. Fresh, hot coffee. Full counter service and lots of little booths and tables for the whole posse. A North Idaho family restaurant since 1982. (CS) TRY Redneck biscuits and gravy ($5) Country-style ribs ($8.50), Southwest chicken ($10)%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD

SURF CITY BURGERS
16102 N. Highway 41, Rathdrum • 208-687-0942 • Lunch, Dinner daily
Inside Stein’s Family Foods, Surf City Burgers rides the wave of local Lakeland lunch-goers, sharing counter space with Subway. The menu is mostly meat-and-potatoes (burgers and fries), cooked-to-order and served ultra-fast at the counter or through the drive-up window. (CS) TRY Chili cheese fries ($2.59), Jalapeno corn dog ($2.75), Surf City Burger ($3.50; $5.25 with drink and fries)

TOP OF CHINA BUFFET
757 W. Appleway Ave., CdA • 208-676-8888 • Lunch, Dinner daily
It’s sort of cheating to include a buffet here. After all, you can order just about anything and it’s all-you-can-eat. So at Top of China, take note of otherwise high-priced seafood and meat entrees like cheese mussels, peel-and-eat shrimp and General Tso’s chicken. Even for dinner ($10.49), it can be a bargain if you have a solid buffet strategy. (CS) TRY Lunch ($6.59)

WAH HING
15512 Hwy. 41, Rathdrum • 208-687-1688 • Lunch, Dinner daily
Forget that fairy tale about Chinese food leaving you hungry an hour later. Wah Hing has a plateful that will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. Newly opened — they have other locations in Spokane and in Kellogg — this is casual Chinese-American cuisine that we know and love. (CS) TRY Sweet and sour spareribs ($7, lunch), Chicken subgum chow mein ($10, dinner)


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Carrie Scozzaro | Carey Jackson | Jordy Byrd | Kirsten Harrington | Joel Smith | Tammy Marshall | Tiffany Harms | M.C. Paul | Blair Tellers | Daniel Walters | Nicholas Deshais | Chris Dreyer | Leah Sottile | Kevin Taylor | Kevin Finch | Tracy Yeager | Sarah Hauge | Jessica McCabe

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