For those who have lived here their entire lives (me) to those who are new to town (many of my friends), all seem to agree that Mudai Ethiopian on NE 8th and Broadway is pretty much unbeatable. The "salads" (lentil mixes, marinated tomatoes) are fantastic and, with a bit of the crepes, is enough for one and only 2.50-3.50. The vegetarian and/or carnivore platters are also amazing, and one is enough for two. Easy to escape with a tab of under twenty bucks for two.
Sushi to Go on Division and about 31st serves up the best inari in the entire world. I swear, I've tried it from the south pacific to NY to Europe and back again, and this place has it down. It's thick simmered bean curd packed with perfectly marinated rice and sesame seeds. A pack of 6 (by far enough to feed me, and I that's saying a lot) is only 4 bucks.
If you're looking for Thai, and we are ALL looking for the best of the many thai options in town, then look no further than Lamthong on Broadway. There are many other great places in town, but please don't dispute my claim until you have tried a. the sticky rice. Yummy sweet coconut goodness that Sweet Basil can only dream of. b. the house special peanut sauce. Try the duo and you won't go anywhere else.
Finally, I know everyone raves about it, but you really should throw down the mula for an indian dinner at Bombay Cricket Club. My boyfriend is severely allergic to Saffron, a fact that has historically kept us out of Indian restaurants, but these guys were more than accomadating. The nanns were unreal, the chicken masala heavenly. A bit spendier, but well worth it.
Other picks: burritos - Ole Ole or La Serinita. Coffee - Stumptown, of course.