It seems the down economy is affecting pretty much everyone these days. It’s not just the minimum wage workers, big families and poor college kids who are feeling the pinch of high gas prices and outrageous food costs. Perhaps this is increasingly evidenced in New Bedford by the growing number of mopeds and bicycles that have been taking to the streets, or the overwhelming popularity of the new Market Basket.
If you’re like me and you live on a careful weekly budget in order to pay your bills, you’ll be thrilled to know that you can still treat yourself to the occasional lunch out without having to look for a second (or third) job. Any of these five places in the Greater New Bedford area offer great prices for great food!
1. No Problemo
813 Purchase Street,New Bedford, MA
Located downtown, No Problemo serves a delicious variety of Mexican-style cuisine. Whether enjoying a meal inside this hip downtown restaurant or taking out from the lunch counter, No Problemo can offer quality food for your Lincoln.
I want to highlight the regular burrito, which is packed with rice, your choice of black or refried beans, cheese,salsa and sour cream. It will definitely fill you up. If you’re willing to splurge the extra dollar or so, there are a lot of other great varieties of burritos to choose from as well.
My personal favorite meal here is the beef taco, which only costs $3. With juicy cuts of beef and refried beans, cheese, salsa, lettuce, scallions and sour cream, you can’t go wrong. If you’re a fan of spiciness like myself, be sure to try No Problemo Serrano Lime and Cayenne Garlic hot sauces!
2. My Place
291 Nash Road, New Bedford, MA
Located in the North End right off Ashley Boulevard is a little restaurant called My Place that specializes in Portuguese foods, but also offers some of your favorite lunch time standards.
For only $3.99 you can get a BLT sandwich. I recommend getting it on a homemade cheese roll for $1.49 extra. It will push you $.48 over your $5 budget, but it will be the best 48 cents you’ve ever spent!
All of the sandwiches they offer for lunch are priced at five dollars or less and include a side of crispy hot french fries. One of sandwiches served at My Place is the Portuguese cacoila, which is sure to fill you up on your lunch break.
Of course, if you have an extra $1.35 it’s always a great treat to grab a fresh made malassadas on your way out. My Place makes delicious malassadas every week, Wednesday through Sunday.
3. Shawmut Diner (CLOSED)
943 Shawmut Avenue,New Bedford, MA
With all the character of a 1950’s boxcar diner, Shawmut has some very reasonable prices if you’re looking to grab a sandwich, and it’s right off of the 140 exit to Hathaway Road.
If you’re looking for some home-style cooking, try the meatloaf sandwich on a bulky roll or your choice of bread for $4.75. Or go for a diner classic and get the tuna melt for $4.50. Every sandwich comes with a side of chips and a pickle, or you can opt to get fries for only a dollar more.
Also, for the reasonable price of $2.25 you can choose between a grilled hotdog or grilled cheese; either way it will feel good to be able to get lunch for only a few bucks!
4. Whaling City Diner
894 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA
A relative newcomer to the downtown scene, the Whaling City Diner is conveniently located for those who work in the downtown area and are looking to grab a bit to eat without overspending.
As with many diners, Whaling City serves breakfast late into the day and offers some pretty delicious breakfast sandwich options. Bacon, sausage, ham or linguica breakfast sandwiches are all under five dollars and come on an English muffin with a side of home fries. For 25 cents more you can add cheese, and for 75 cents more you can get that breakfast sandwich on either a bagel or a cheese roll instead.
Whaling City Diner also offers a number of lunchtime items for five dollars or less, all served with fries. You can get a linguica sandwich for only $3.95. A pastrami melt will run you exactly five dollars, as will a cheeseburger. I decided to throw in the extra quarter, and for $5.25 got the Blue Whale Burger which was a delicious blend of blue cheese, red onions and lettuce.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys a good salad, or maybe you’re watching your weight for the upcoming beach season, the Whaling City Diner also offers tossed, Greek and Cesar salad options, all for under five dollars.
5. Jake’s Diner
104 Alden Road, Fairhaven, MA
Easily accessible from the 240 (Fairhaven) exit off of 195, Jake’s Diner has a quaint and comfortable atmosphere and offers a large menu to choose from including some great seafood items. Jake’s also serves breakfast all day, so if you’re in the mood for a little breakfast for lunch it’s worth checking out.
Jake’s serves all your breakfast favorites such as pancakes and French toast, home fries, omelets, cheese rolls, and fresh eggs. They offer some filling breakfast options at affordable prices, for example, three eggs cooked any way you like, home fries and toast for $4.75.
If you’re looking to get a sandwich their lunch menu is equally impressive, offering all the usual diner favorites. The last time I went to Jake’s to grab a quick lunch with a friend I went with the seafood salad roll which came with a mountain of fries, all for $4.75. My friend went with a simple grilled cheese on a delicious pumpernickel bread. With a side of fries and a pickle she bought this hearty meal for $4.25.
There you have it: Five lunches in the New Bedford for $5 (give or take a few cents). Know of any other places with great lunch deals? Leave a comment here or on Facebook!