THE HOT FIVE

Low-cost definitely doesn't equal low-quality at these budget-minded dining options.

CHEF SHACK

Saturday is the last day of the regular season for the Mill City Farmers Market (check out winter market plans at millcityfarmersmarket.org), which means it's the last Saturday a.m. opportunity to enjoy Lisa Carlson's and Carrie Summer's fantastic street food: pulled pork sandwiches, beef tongue tacos and zesty all-beef hot dogs (all made with Minnesota-raised proteins), along with addictive cardamom- and sugar-dusted mini-doughnuts and other super sweets.

Mill City Farmers Market, 2nd St. and Chicago Av. S., Mpls., 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

LUCIA'S BAKERY AND TAKE HOME

A taste of Lucia Watson's Midwestern aesthetic can be had for $10 or less, including prepared salads, grab-and-go sandwiches, flavorful soups, a marvelous daily pizza and an enormous array of extraordinary baked goods.

1428 W. 31st St., Mpls., 612-825-9800, lucias.com.

CRÊPERIE MALA

Another farmers market find, a forever-busy stand that puts out a true breakfast of champions: inexpensive sweet and savory crêpes, featuring ingredients from surrounding stalls as well as owner Mala Vujnovich's blue ribbon-worthy preserves. Open just two more Saturdays.

Lake St. and 22nd Av. S., Mpls., 612-724-7457,

www.midtownfarmersmarket.org, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

VINCENT

When chef/owner Vincent Francoual says "happy hour," he means it, marking down his category-killing burger -- the one stuffed with short ribs and gouda -- to just $8 (a big pile of French fries goes for just $3.50). The small-plate options (all $4) are also pretty special.

1100 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-630-1189, vincentarestaurant.com.

SALTY TART

Why bother with Subway when baker/owner Michelle Gayer cranks out sandwiches that are exponentially better? And just $4.

920 E. Lake St. (Midtown Global Market), Mpls., 612-874-9206, saltytart.com.

RICK NELSON