The century-old Italian delicatessen two blocks north of Lexington Market is friend to many local restaurants. The prices are drastically cheaper than supermarkets--where else can you get the freshest, tenderest black and green olives for $2.99 a pound? So if you pop in for lunch, you may land in line behind someone ordering 20 pounds of fresh sausage. Grab a ticket and find a cranny to stand in, as Trinacria is worth the wait and the cramped conditions.
Anything you put together for lunch is going to be cheap and delicious. But try the house sandwiches first. Five bucks will get you a turkey tapenade and roasted red pepper sandwich on focaccia; a prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and pesto sandwich; or a muffuletta sub--a stomach-bursting collection of Italian meats, provolone, and olive spread on unsalted Tuscan bread. If you prefer something (relatively) healthier, ask them to go light on the olive oil. Or better yet, pick up a loaf of the Tuscan bread ($1.99 a loaf) with a quarter pound of Asiago cheese ($4.99 a pound) and a bottle of San Pellegrino. If you can get through all that, pick out some fresh cookies from the racks behind the registers. At $3.59 a pound--you can choose your own mix of biscotti, vanilla florentines, linzer tarts, or numerous others--they're the final temptation as you pay your bill.