Broke Girl’s Guide to Eating Out: Food, Drink and Tip for $15

As a frugal, unemployed urbanite who is also planning a wedding, I am on a serious budget. Unfortunately, I love to eat out. I especially love a good happy hour. In addition to all of these things, I can be a bit of a food snob given how many fantastic eateries we have here in Cleveland.

The good news is that we have a surprisingly high number of happy hour specials around town that will allow me to continue to dine out and sample some of the fine foods Cleveland has to offer, while sticking to my budget (I hope!).

The broke girl’s guide to eating out highlights one food item, an alcoholic beverage and 20% tip that will allow you to dine out for a whopping $15 or less. Yes, you are reading that correctly. You can dine out at a NICE restaurant for only $15 a meal. Keep in mind that I am referencing happy hour specials only.


Order: Mac and cheese with chicken, goat cheese and rosemary ($6), Beta cocktail with ginger infused vodka, fresh lime juice and soda ($5). Total with tip: $13.20

Other tasty bites include mussels ($6), pork rillettes toast ($5) or charred eggplant dip ($6). Signature cocktails are $5, wine options $5, and beer $3.

Happy hour is served in the bar area Tuesday – Thursday 5 – 6:30 p.m. or 9 – close, Friday – Saturday 5 – 6:30 p.m. or 10 – 11 p.m. and Sunday 4 – 6 p.m.


Order: Penne alla vodka ($6) and two Great Lakes Dortmunders ($3 each). Current beers on happy hour include Great Lakes Dortmunder and Peroni. Total with tip: $14.40

Other delicious choices include cavatelli alla bolonese ($6), formaggio ravioli ($6) and carpacio di salmone ($6). Happy hour wine options are $6 and cocktails are $7.

Happy hour is served Monday – Friday from open – 7 p.m. and Sunday open to close.

Pier W

Order: Tempura Blue Cod Sandwich ($7) and The Pier W Blue Cocktail ($6) for dinner. Total with tip: $15.60 

There are almost too many options to choose from at Pier W during their happy hour! Angus reserve sliders ($6), lobster bisque ($5.50), margharita pizza ($5.50), gulf shrimp tempura ($6.50), verlasso salmon burger ($7) or beef short rib pierogies ($5.50) are all available. Wine specials are $5.50 – $6 and cocktail specials are $6.

Happy hour is served at the bar area from 4:30 – 7 p.m. on Sunday, 4 – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday and 4 -6 p.m. on Saturday.


Order: Rocco’s shrimp tacos ($7) and pair with either a happy hour wine or beer selection ($4). Total with tip: $13.20

Other filling options include the happy hour pizza ($7) or the Cleveland Cheesesteak ($6). Or try the signature cocktail ($5).

Happy hour is served at the bar from 5 – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday.

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