Coronado Café for $10

We love the cute little house-turned-restaurant Coronado Café in central Phoenix. The place is filled with uber-colorful local art and has a hip staff, and its menu offers healthy, fresh lunch items.

Bonus: The restaurant recently extended its dinner hours and is incorporating more seafood items since it changed ownership in October.

When it's busy, the place can get pretty crowded, and the closely situated tables can make for some cramped quarters. But that's all part of the charm and makes diners feel like they're really eating in someone's home--and the food's just as good as Mom's.

For lunch there recently, we had a portobello mushroom sandwich ($9.50) with potato salad.

The sandwich was served on thick, melt-in-your mouth focaccia bread and topped with melted provolone, spinach and tomato. We opted to sub the carmelized onions and roasted red peppers for raw red onion and avocado...delish!

Our friend got Chicken Salad ($6 for small, $9 for large), with oragnic baby greens, tomato and a balsamic vinaigrette. He gobbled it up and said it was great.

The lunch menu is dominated by salads, soup, sandwiches and tacos, but go back for dinner for pizza, pasta and meatloaf. Warning: You likely won't eat for just $10 -- but we bet it'll be worth it.

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Nicki Escudero
Contact: Nicki Escudero