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Cheap Eats: Verde Mexican Grill

Locally grown fresh produce makes for great cheap eats.


Previously known as Taqueria, this downtown Walnut Creek spot has recently undergone an extreme green makeover. While remnants of the 34-year-old restaurant’s laid-back Latin flair remain, with terra-cotta tile floor, flashes of decorative tile, and comfy wooden walls, Verde stays true to its new name—not just with the freshly painted lime walls but by emphasizing locally grown produce on its menu. 

Ordering is Chipotle-like simple: Choose a burrito, bowl, or tacos (three), and then the meat and sauce. They all come with beans, rice, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, cilantro, and cheese, and guacamole can be added for $1.25. The selection of meats includes carnitas, steak, fish, chicken, and shrimp, and depending on what you select, the price ranges from about $6 to $10. The menu also goes beyond tacos and burritos, offering specials that all run under $12.50, including enchiladas, tostadas, chile verde, chiles rellenos, and chicken and shrimp fajitas. Chips and salsa are complimentary. 

Go green or go home: The produce is fresh and organic, and the quotations on the walls (“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry”) hammer home the message to appreciate the planet and its resources.

Kid-friendly: The children’s menu offers meat or cheese quesadillas, bean and cheese burritos, and tacos. In addition to horchata and agua fresca, regular fruit juices and sodas are available.

Night and Day: Verde serves breakfast all day, along with its lunch and dinner options. The big breakfast burrito ($3.85) offers a cheap but filling option, or try the traditional huevos rancheros or huevos con chorizo (both $6.95). 

Verde Mexican Grill, 1359 Locust St., Walnut Creek, (925) 932-8987. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

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