11 “Poor People Foods” That Have Been Taken Over By Rich People


The food rich people eat today wasn’t always made for the rich. In fact, there are lots of expensive foods in grocery stores and restaurant menus that were once considered “poor people’s food” and served primarily to the working class.

Once affluent people got a taste for some of these foods, prices skyrocketed.

Here are 11 “poor people foods” that used to be cheap.


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Believe it or not, Lobster was once unappealing because it was relatively tasteless without butter (and still largely is!). It was considered “garbage meat” and served to servants and prisoners because it was so cheap.


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Consider one of the most luxurious foods today; that wasn’t always the case. Caviar used to be given away for free at some bars and restaurants because it was cheap to obtain and serve. Prices for caviar have risen drastically once affluent people began craving it.


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Pho is a delicious Vietnamese soup made with bone broth, rice noodles, and thinly sliced meat. It used to be a very inexpensive meal for many people until word got out, and now It has doubled in price over the last several years, with prices of $10 or more.

Food Trucks

Food truck prices are no longer as cheap as they used to be. Today, food trucks are a “thing” in the United States and worldwide, with people lining up to eat at them. With some food trucks, you’ll pay as much for a burger as you would in a traditional sit-down restaurant.

Fish and Chips

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It’s a simple dish served at many restaurants, for good reason. “It’s a hunk of white fish with a potato for a side. Minimal seasoning, fried in whatever oil you have around, and served on a piece of yesterday’s newspaper. Twenty years ago, it cost $5, but now it costs $25,” said one person on an online forum.

Avocado Toast

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Avocado toast used to be what many low-income people could afford. Avocado is high in calories, making it a good “bang for your buck.” Avocados are no longer as cheap as they used to be, but you can still find deals occasionally.

Chicken Wings

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If bought frozen, chicken wings can be an inexpensive meal. But “wing joints” are far from cheap, costing many times as much as a regular meal at a restaurant.


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Quinoa was a go-to source of inexpensive protein, but not so much anymore. Many times, manufacturers mix rice in with quinoa as a cost-saving measure.

Pork Belly

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While delicious, pork belly has become quite costly in many areas worldwide. “Use to be scrap basically, now it’s glorified and more expensive than gold,” one person said.


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Oxtail used to be cheap, but it is no longer. One Reddit user said, “Saddest day of my life when the rich people found out about oxtails. My husband makes glazed oxtails so good they’ve made grown folks weep, and now, they can only be a special occasion food.”


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Oysters were in extreme abundance at one time. As a result, they were cheap to obtain in buckets full straight from the ocean. With little pollution to harm the oyster population, they were an easy way for poor and working-class people to eat. But today, the supply has decreased due to ocean pollution and industrialization.