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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Out The Door is a good place to grab some spring rolls or pork buns for lunch if you work around the Ferry Building.
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Donut Savant in East Oakland specializes in excellent mini donuts and "cron'ts" (donut-croissant hybrids).
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