Atlanta's best chefs recommend cheap eats

Their menus might be upscale, but chefs at some of Atlanta's top restaurants don't mind eating on the cheap. We asked Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun's, Jay Swift of 4th and Swift, Stephen Herman of Haven and Gerry Klaskala of Aria for their recommendations on places for a good meal for around $7 or $8.

Here are their picks, with a Buford Highway flavor:

DiRienzo's Delicatessen (Deli, Italian)
209 Edgewood Ave. S.E., Atlanta

Rathbun: "They do a half-sheet pizza. It's one of my favorite pizzas in town."

Ming's B.B.Q. (Chinese)
Asian Square, 5150 Buford Highway N.E., Atlanta

Klaskala: "The Singapore noodles is outta sight. The shrimp fried rice is great. It's nothing fancy, believe me. It's kind of a working man's kind of place."

Nick's Food To Go (Greek take-out)
240 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. S.W., Atlanta

Rathbun: "I do that a couple times a month, easy. All my waiters and cooks, they all love it, too. Six dollars, you get a gyro sandwich that'll fill you up for five hours."

Pho Bac (Vietnamese)
4897 Buford Hwy., Chamblee

Herman: "It's delicious and cheap. ... You can eat like a king for $8."

Pho Dai Loi (Vietnamese)
4061 Jonesboro Rd., Forest Park

Rathbun: "I couldn't believe the size of the food, for like $6."

Ria's Bluebird (breakfast)
421 Memorial Dr. S.E., Atlanta

Swift: "I go there for lunch all the time and never spend more than $20 for two people. They've got a brisket and poached eggs in a tomato broth that's to die for."

Taqueria El Rey de Taco (Mexican)
5288 Buford Hwy. N.E., Atlanta

Herman: "Delicious, real tacos, not the Americanized version. They're like $1.50 a piece. They're super cheap and delicious."