Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cheap City Snacking

The Topic: Easy Eats on the Streets

The Dish: Anytime I'm walking around the city, I get a major snack attack. Even if I've only been gone half an hour, there's something about being surrounded by feeding opportunities that, well, makes me hungry. Chances are that if I'm out and about, I'm shopping, which means I'm in bargain-hunting mode. Of course this carries over to my chow, which consequently tends to lean towards the junk-food variety. So without further ado:

Top 5 City Snack Attacks Under $5

  1. Starbucks Tall Soy Mocha Frappucino ($3.95)—I had never tried a famous Frapp before the brand-new and improved vegan-friendly version, but let me tell you: These are freaking good. I am a big coffee and espresso fan, so that combined with chocolate and a shake-like consistency equals a big, sweet win.
  2. Auntie Anne's Original Pretzel sans butter ($2.89)—So maybe even in a "big city" I find myself in a mall, and maybe sometimes I have nostalgic cravings for oversized, doughy pretzels dipped in mustard. This can be tricky since your timing has to be just right—catch the pretzels right out of the oven so you can wrangle one before they get dipped in butter.
  3. Banh Mi ($3.50)—I first tried one of these delicious Vietnamese sandwiches when I moved to San Francisco, and now I'm in love. One of the cheapest substantial eats you can get, these gems are also hidden throughout the city in a number of sandwich shops. Crunchy bread, marinated tofu, shredded carrots, and cilantro—it's a tasty combination.
  4. Jamba Juice Original Mega Mango ($4.75)—This smoothie is my jam. I heart Jamba Juice and all its veg-friendly ways (the website has a handy filter to help find all of its vegan offerings, including wraps, smoothies, hot beverages, and an apple cinnamon pretzel I didn't even know existed!). This filling snack makes me feel healthy(ish), while still getting in my daily requisite sweet.
  5. Convenience Store Duo ($3)—Believe it or not, there are stretches in the city (cough, my neighborhood) without a million restaurants. But you can always find a convenience store, and for that I turn to the ultimate snacks: Original Pop Chips and an Honest Tea. I've recently become addicted to both, and I'm making no apologies for it. The new Half & Half? Get out of here.
The Final Word: If you're out and about this month, Jamba Juice is running daily specials in honor of its 20th anniversary. I'm most looking forward to my beloved mango smoothie, which will only be $3 on Fridays. And as for the almighty vegan Frapps, Starbucks will be celebrating their official launch May 7 through 16 with a daily half-price happy hour, from 3pm–5pm. Consider yourself caffeinated.


  1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I'd say more but I've got to get to Starbucks...

  2. I love Savvy Abby! Your tips make my day and remind me how easy/delicious it is to be vegan. I could go for a hot Auntie Anne's pretzel right now.

  3. i thought auntie anne's put the butter on before they went into the oven, which is why it would always take a year and a half of waiting to finally get a vegan pretzel!