Carlsbad, CA706 Inexpensive Caterers near you

Where do you need the inexpensive caterer?

Answer a few questions

Tell us what you need so we can bring you the right pros.

Get quotes

Receive quotes from pros who meet your needs.

Hire the right pro

Compare quotes, message pros, and hire when ready.

Carlsbad Inexpensive Caterers

Browse these inexpensive caterers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Carlsbad.

Top Pro
Baja's Tacos & Catering
4.8
from 141 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 162 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Yvonne C.
Verified review

My employer hired Baja's Tacos to cater a company event at Qualcomm Stadium on 12/27. We host an annual tailgate party for clients and industry partners, and have used other caterers in the past. I got quotes from 5 caterers, and ultimately went with Baja's because it was evident that they are very passionate about what they do, and really dedicated to quality and authenticity. (side note: although cost wasn't a factor in our decision, Baja's price was probably the lowest of all 5 companies) Jesus was always quick to respond and answer questions, and every interaction I had with him was pleasant. We were extremely happy with the service that Jesus and his team provided, and the food was amazing. We had three types of tacos (carne asada, pollo and adobada) with fresh corn and flour tortillas and extra chips and guacamole as an appetizer. I appreciated that they included all the toppings including various salsas, guacamole, etc. in the price, as well as rice and beans. It was also very important to us that the tortillas be made fresh onsite, and they did not disappoint! In fact, they made everything right there, including salsa, guacamole. The team arrived well in advance of the event start, and were completely set up and ready to go before any guests arrived. They also provided plenty of staff to serve and cook., so no one had to wait in line. Overall, we would highly recommend Baja's Tacos and look forward to using them again in the future.

Top Pro
Mr. WorldWide Catering
4.9
from 92 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 152 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Brandi G.
Verified review

I don't even know where to begin! Jose is an amazing caterer and I am so happy we hired him for our wedding this past Friday. When we were first tasting caterers food they all seemed metiocre but Joses was amazing! We hired him on the spot! Not to mention he was the most reasonable price! Then everyone was making me nervous saying that catered food is never as good when they have too cool it in large quantities (we had 180 people). When we got to the reception everyone was already eating appetizers and happy. When Jose spotted my husband and I he came up to us and told us he had made us each an appetizer plate and if we wanted it. Then he came up to me to make sure I wanted dinner served when I had originally asked. I did and he brought us the first 2 plates. The food was amazing! Just as good as I remember! Everyone was so pleased and kept talking about how the food was the best they had ever had at a wedding! That was exactly what I wanted! His bartender was amazing and all his staff was so friendly. The setup looked nice and professional. The drinks he brought were great and everyone was talking about how great the mint water was! Then I ordered cheeseburger sliders and French fries to be served late night and they were amazing! He even brought wings and everyone was so excited! They went fast and by the time I got over there everything was gone. Jose told me let me get your plates and pulled out two foil covered plates. He always thought of us first and without him I wouldn't have eaten. All day everything had hiccups and my rentals were late, everything was slightly wrong except Jose! He really came through and went above and beyond. I will definitely hire him again for any events and recommend him to the fullest!

Top Pro
Busy Bee Cook for Me
5.0
from 74 reviews
  • 19 years in business
  • 97 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Janice F.
Verified review

I would highly recommend Lilian for your catering needs! She catered our business cocktail party for approximately 25 people in our home supplying tray-passed hors d'oeuvres. She possesses a vivacious personality and is extremely fun to work with! Her culinary skills are excellent...the food was fantastic! (My personal favorite was the Sicilian Swordfish Skewers.) She will be the first person I call when I need a caterer again!!

Top Pro
Best Mobile Chef
5.0
from 59 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 94 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Tiffany F.
Verified review

Shawna is AMAZING!! She was the ONLY vendor we had for our wedding that didn't give us any difficulties. I emailed her asking to make changes and every time her response was "of course"! The food was amazing and her services were beyond outstanding. Shawna was flexible in creating our brunch menu and catered to a handful of vegans we had on our guest list. Even our non vegan guests enjoyed the vegan options! We were looking forward to left overs but everyone enjoyed the food so much, there were none!! I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a caterer whether it be a wedding or any special event. I am definitely keeping her information in case I need a caterer again someday! If you want to be stress free about catering, choose Shawna! You won't be disappointed!!

Chef Mumsie LLC
4.6
from 57 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 107 hires on Thumbtack
Erin S.
Verified review

I had less than a week to throw together a reception in LA - a city I don't live in - and Chef Mumsie came to the rescue. You have to take a leap of faith when booking caterers on short notice and with no prior knowledge of their work and Chef Mumsie came through! Our reception was beautiful and seamless. The food was delicious and the staff was very professional. They made it so easy for me and my group and the event was great.

La Mexicana Tacos & Catering
4.4
from 55 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 77 hires on Thumbtack
Lucia V.
Verified review

Everybody loved the food. There was plenty and we even had leftovers. The caterers didn't mind all the stairs they had to take to carry their stove, tables etc. We will hire them again for sure when we are in the area.

  • 3 years in business
  • 65 hires on Thumbtack
Dolores G.
Verified review

I am beyond grateful to Thumbtack for connecting me to Chef Keith Prante and his team at Hautè Productions Events and Catering to cater my mom's 80th birthday celebration. They are absolutely A-MAZING! Chef Prante was one of two chefs who responded to my request via Thumbtack, and I also received a personal referral. Neither of the other caterers offered ANYWHERE NEAR the quality, selections, variety and value that Hautè offered at my price point. We had our tasting today, and it absolutely sealed the deal! Everything was delicious and the presentation was outstanding. I highly recommend Hautè Productions to any potential customer who appreciates excellence, accommodation and genuine customer service.

Top Pro
  • 7 years in business
  • 52 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
James R.
Verified review

The best food! Epicures catered our wedding reception and was very professional and fun. It was so nice listening to our guests talking about how much they were enjoying the food!

Enjoy Dining In
4.9
from 21 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 15 hires on Thumbtack
Robert D.
Verified review

Our plans to have our wedding meal prepared by our favorite restaurant fell thru 3 weeks before our wedding. I knew Christine Mcmaster as an excellent cook and had been to 2 private dinners catered by her. Quite anxious, I called her and she put me at ease with her assurances and suggestions to take my time and figure out what we would really like. Great advice! We chose Mediterranean food. Together with Chris we quickly settled on a menu. There were so many details but she handled it all from overseeing the table setting, shopping, deliveries and arranging table display. It was amazing I actually could relax. The meal was sumptuous elegantly prepared and plated all by Chris and her kitchen staff. Our dinner menu was: A simple greek salad, hummus, tzatziki, baba ganoush, roasted vegetables, flat bread Then Shawarma lamb, roasted chickens, and feta rice w/ pistachios. There were 35 people at the wedding meal and all the courses were on time and beautifully plated. The kitchen was quiet and when I went in everyone was smiling and extremely busy. Chris ran the kitchen in a quiet organized way that was contagious to all who worked there. Truly an amazing woman. Her sense of elegance shined thru both in the delicious food and its presentation. My husband and I will have lasting memories of Christine and how she stepped in and played an integral part in helping create our dream wedding. I highly recommend you have her cater any function. All you have to do is relax and enjoy it.

Top Pro
  • 12 years in business
  • 21 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Victoria G.
Verified review

Shannon is a great coordinator she went above and beyond to make our day stress-free. She was on top of everything and made herself available at all times to make sure everything was prepared and under control. She also made flower arrangements, which came out absolutely gorgeous & provided us with extra items like boutonnieres and bouquets at an affordable price. She is definitely talented in many areas. Very professional & highly recommended. We could not have had a more enjoyable and stress-free wedding without her & her staffs help.

Top Pro
Daily Chew Catering
5.0
from 12 reviews
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Christian W.
Verified review

Daily Chew Catering dished up a bit of heaven on a plate for a holiday party recently and from the first time I contacted Carly until the last bit of food was gone, we were blown away by the entire experience. Daily Chew Catering offers a wide selection of menu options, so there's guaranteed to be something great for every palate, and everything is done well. Daily Chew does food service right, and I'll no doubt be quick to call back and start planning for our next event as soon as the time comes. Thank you for the professionalism, the amazing food, and your passion for great-tasting, incredible quality catering experience!

Chef Sydney Andrews
5.0
from 12 reviews
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Ryan R.
Verified review

Without words. The food from entres to deserts melted in our mouths. As far as we know.....that was next level, and we have eaten in 40 countries. More than a 100% recommendation for her talent. The best we've ever had...ever.....and we don't do reviews....it was that remarkable. Thank you Sydney. Everyone we know now has your contact info. And we were not scared to give it out with our reputation at stake. Guaranteed satisfaction. No, guaranteed overly satisfied......wow. Thanks Syd..

M&M Events Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 10 hires on Thumbtack
Courtney C.
Verified review

Please please hire her for your catering needs. Not only was the food fabulous she was prompt on arrival ! I will be highly recommending her for anyone I know . My wedding went off without a problem when it came to our food. All night my guests complimented the food . Morgan created a wonderful menu and the food was delicious ! Thank you Morgan

Swamp Daddy's BBQ
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Gelsa De Damas S.
Verified review

I attended a birthday party catered by Swamp Daddy’s BBQ and the food was delicious and promptly served. I noticed several quests stating how tasty the food was as well.

URBN Catering
4.5
from 8 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Jeff F.
Verified review

URBN went above and beyond what we expected from a catering company. They worked with us on every request. The food was excellent, especially the cannoli's. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a catering company.

commis.
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Dustin S.
Verified review

For the last 3 years, Chef Monterey has been a constant fixture at our events.  Her food is absolutely top-notch, and she always comes up with just the right dishes for each dinner!  We've done everything from a Western-themed birthday party with authentic BBQ to a classy Old Hollywood New Year's Eve where she served an eight (!!!) course tasting menu, and her food just knocks it out of the park.   Chef Monterey is most definitely in our top 3 private chefs in Southern California (and we've gone through A LOT), and if you want absolutely AMAZING food made by a dynamic young chef with a personality to match, she's your girl!

Flavor Affinity
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Ian S.
Verified review

Flavor Affinity and Chef Baker came highly recommended by a co-worker of mine.  I decided to use this service because Chef Baker was not only the first to respond to my email,  (I sent out the same email to 3 private chef/caterers) but had the most value built into his quote. He had pre-built packages but ultimately allowed us to design the whole menu! We chose a 4 course option and could not have been happier with the food, ambiance, and decor.  Lastly, as the party began to wind down, I noticed that almost the whole service area and glassware was cleaned up without anyone noticing. It was a truly impressive evening and Flavor Affinity comes highly recommended from myself and surely anyone who has had the pleasure to work with them.

O'SIDE BBQ MAN
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 17 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Kerry M.
Verified review

Alvin was a BIG hit at our Holiday Gift Fair! The food was DELICIOUS! We are hoping he will join us for our Family Fun Day!

  • 9 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Manny S.
Verified review

We hired Unique Luxury Catering to prepare a family dinner for 8 for my wife's birthday on our patio at Pelican Hill.Chef Brad prepared a fabulous meal topped off by a scratch made carrot cake that was divine.The reduction sauce with vanilla bean added was incredible to plate everything in. This was a great meal,for a great celebration in a great setting. Unique will deliver a great experience for whatever need your occasion requires.Thanks Steve for providing a great experience !

APRIL'S on GIRARD Catering
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
Carolann N.
Verified review

Simply put....AMAZING! April is our new go to event caterer, she is the best of the best. Details, exquisite food, and she is so warm and kind on top of that! All if our guests were so impressed!!

Takobar San Diego
5.0
from 2 reviews
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Jennifer D.
Verified review

Julianna was very professional in setting up all details of our event and gave a discount for the number of people we had at our event. She wrote out a very detailed contract to what would be served, time they would arrive to set up and to start serving our guests. She went over and beyond when she included a sweet and special treat for our daughter that was a spectacular surprise, Chocolate Covered Strawberries at no additional charge! Jorge the chef's meat was amazing and all the fixings! In addition they served quesadillas as an appetizer and Julianna brought them out on a tray to serve our guests! She also made a menu and asked for a pic to include! Like I said she went over and beyond! Everyone enjoyed the food, service and people! All wanting to use this company for their catering needs! Thank You Takobar!

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much should catering cost per person?

Catering prices can range from about $10 per guest on the low end to $150 or more per person on the high end. Catering costs represent the quality of food, presentation, variety, ingredients and service. But catering prices are more than the cost to cook the food that will be at your party; they also include the cost for the company to do business. Here is a simple breakdown of catering prices:

  • Menu: The food you serve your guests will directly affect the price per person. Organic ingredients, complex recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all add to the cost.
  • Service: Buffet, family style, plated dinners — how you serve the food affects the cost per person. For example, a true plated meal can cost about twice the price of a staff-assisted buffet because of staffing costs. Hiring waiters, bartenders and cleanup crew will all be calculated into the per-person catering price.
  • Drinks: Providing beverages and alcoholic drinks for guests greatly increases your catering budget. Hosting an open bar can cost as much per person as the meal.
  • Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc., will all have an effect on the cost per person for catering. For example, a plastic conference table that seats 10 costs about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is about $80 to rent on average.
  • Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business such as insurance, employee wages, commercial kitchen space and more.

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

Hire skilled professionals for absolutely everything.