Some restaurants aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and some are way better than they look at first glance. These restaurants are of the latter breed. From tiny shacks serving up mouthwatering seafood to hidden local dives that will knock your taste buds right out, check out these great hole-in-the-wall restaurants across Massachusetts.
1. Pete & Henry's, Royalston
You might think you're past your chicken nugget eating days, but this place will make you reconsider. Besides the tasty nuggets, this place also offers frog legs. With simple fare that is priced well, Pete & Henry's is a local fave for its delicious fried seafood and generous portions.
2. Chef Wayne's Big Mamou, Springfield
This place serves up authentic Louisiana fare for great prices. The restaurant is a little small and doesn't look like much from the outside, but the staff is incredibly helpful and willing to answer all your menu questions. Try the shrimp and sausage jambalaya (pictured) for a real Cajun treat. The blackened shrimp poboy sandwich (pictured) is also a good bet.
3. Pajer Superette, Agawam
This Italian grocery shop is one of the best places to grab a delicious sandwich in the Pioneer Valley. They're known for their insanely sized grinders – pictured is a SMALL sandwich, and it still measures nearly nine inches long and four inches across! The price? Only $4.50. They don't accept cards, but if you have a $10 bill in your pocket, you can easily feed four people.
4. El Rincon Boricua Restaurant, Holyoke
This warm and cozy spot offers true Caribbean food at ridiculously cheap prices. They have a different special entree running every day of the week, which can be as cheap as $2! The lasagna todo los Martes (pictured) is only $3. In terms of authenticity, and quality, El Rincon cannot be beat.
5. Jack's Hot Dog Stand, North Adams
Jack's has been in business since 1917. Go here for classic hot dogs with real retro prices. Their hot/sweet sausage should definitely be on your plate. They also host the annual Jack's Hungry-Man Hot Dog Eating Contest, where participants can gorge themselves on delicious dogs.
6. Carl’s Steak Subs, Waltham
Gigantic and tasty sandwiches, as far as the eye can see. That's Carl's Steak Subs in a nutshell. With sides like melted cheese french fries and some truly epic burritos, this place is a hidden gem that delivers big on portions and flavor. That huge sandwich pictured is the large Mexican steak and cheese sub, and it's only $8.
7. Kool Kone, Wareham
This ice cream and food stand is a real throwback joint. The little shack may not look like much, but it serves up some of the best classic summer food around. The onion rings are huge, thin and perfectly crispy, while the ice cream tastes homemade.
8. Four Leaf Clover, Bernardston
Simple food done well with plenty of heart. The Four Leaf Clover has been in business since 1949, and has been a local landmark since. While the interior may seem a little dated, the food more than makes up for its retro style. If you're craving a homey meal topped off with a decadent dessert, this is the place for you.
9. Vick's Waffle House, Tewksbury
Waffles, anyone? This place has 'em. Waaaay better than IHOP, Vick's Waffle House serves up massive, buttery waffles in a cozy atmosphere. Try the Elvis waffle with peanut butter, bananas and bacon. The chicken-fried steak is also to die for.
10. Spanky's Clam Shack, Hyannis
This place is fairly well-known amongst locals, but it sure doesn't look like much from the outside. Situated right on Hyannis Harbor, Spanky's serves up fresh seafood and crazy-good lobster rolls in a classic Cape Cod atmosphere.