Going out to eat can be a fun and exciting way to spend time with your family. However, it can also be incredibly expensive if you don’t know where to look for affordable restaurants.

There are a variety of ways to cut on the cost of dining out. For one, if you are eating out with children, it might be best to cut back on meals that offer dishes that aren’t as kid-friendly. Instead, try going with an inexpensive restaurant that offers family plates or other low-cost food options. Or choose sandwiches and salads rather than a full meal.

Another option for eating at an economical price is ordering off the kids’ menu (which can be found at most American restaurants). If you’re not looking to cut into the family budget too much, though, it might be best to skip the kids’ menu. The key is to order cheaper options or food that your family actually enjoys eating.

Lastly, if you are bringing a friend or family member along who eats vegetarian or vegan, look for restaurants that offer vegetarian entrees and sides. Vegetarian and vegan meals can cost significantly less than regular meals.

To see 10 examples of delicious and cheap restaurants, read on.

1. Wok and Roll

As a Chinese restaurant chain, Wok and Roll offers a variety of stir fry meals for less than $10. This chain is known for its wok-seared signature dishes as well as its vegetarian options and fresh juices.

Wok and Roll serves a wide variety of different Asian cuisines, though it offers fewer Western dishes. Even if you don’t plan on eating Chinese, Wok and Roll is an excellent option for inexpensive dinners. Although the average dinner bill at Wok and Roll will vary depending on the location, it is a great restaurant to visit with family.

2. California Pizza Kitchen

For families looking for inexpensive meals, the chain California Pizza Kitchen has some of the lowest prices in restaurants. Even better, this restaurant offers a great gluten-free menu for those who are into following a healthy diet (just be sure to order your pizza without cheese). On average, a family of four can order from the menu and eat for $20 or less.

3. Applebee’s

If you are looking for cheap family meals, Applebee’s is a good option. This chain offers family meals that can hold up to four people for less than $20. You could even split a meal between two people and still get a decent amount of food for a low price. Plus, if you are looking to save money on drinks, there are plenty of inexpensive choices on Applebee’s drink menu.

One of the best things about having Applebee’s as a dining destination is that it offers locations in both urban and suburban areas.

4. Chili’s

If your family is looking for a restaurant that serves a variety of choice meals, then Chili’s is a great choice. With various menu options available, families will find delicious entrees they can enjoy at a reasonable price. Most dinners will cost less than $20 per person.

5. Red Robin

When looking for a restaurant that serves more than just burgers and fries, Red Robin is an excellent choice. Families can enjoy the chain’s entrees and salads at a reasonable price. Plus, if you have a couple of picky eaters in your family, Red Robin is a restaurant that offers plenty of choices. The menu includes burgers, chicken sandwiches and even seafood dishes so there is something for everyone.

6. Denny’s

If you’re looking for inexpensive meals with one of the largest menus in the industry, then Denny’s is your place. You will find a variety of low-cost meals at this chain, including entrees and breakfast plates. Not only will you find a variety of different dishes, but you will find plenty of desserts to choose from.

7. Sizzler

A family of four can enjoy a delicious meal at Sizzler, which offers both lunch and dinner options. Your kids will also enjoy the chain’s kid menu. This restaurant also offers a gluten-free menu for families with special dietary needs. If you are looking for an inexpensive meal, then Sizzler is a great destination. With plenty of options and low costs, this chain should be on your short list of restaurants.

8. Olive Garden

Olive Garden offers a variety of Italian entrees for less than $20. The chain also offers pasta dishes and salad plates to satisfy anyone who is looking for a reasonable meal.

Although Olive Garden does have some expensive items on the menu, there are many cheap dishes that will appeal to children and adults alike. If you are looking to eat out with your family at an inexpensive price, then Olive Garden is one of the best choices you can make.

9. Waffle House

For less than $20, a family of four can enjoy breakfast at Waffle House. The chain’s restaurant is busy, which means you will most likely be getting your food fast. And because the restaurant has plenty of customers, the prices for its meals are low. So if you are looking for an inexpensive place to eat with your family, then check out Waffle House for your next meal out.

10. Red Lobster

If you are looking for a seafood restaurant, then Red Lobster is a good choice. Along with its delicious entrees, the chain has soup and salad options for your family to enjoy. This chain also offers an affordable kids’ menu.

Red Lobster restaurants is an interesting place with a type of atmosphere usually associated with fine dining. You and your family can save money and enjoy a casual meal without the upscale cost.


You might be able to get great deals on eating out by opting for an inexpensive restaurant over a more expensive eatery. If you plan well, you can save a lot of money by eating at places that offer lower prices or free entrée options. At the end of the day, eating out as a family can be just as fun as cooking at home. Though you might need to cut back on spending, remember that your family will enjoy spending time together and having new experiences. If you’re looking to save more money, you can even take the entire family out to eat once a month.