Dining on a budget? No worries in North Carolina. With plenty of hole-in-the-walls offering reasonable prices for amazing food, you can leave with a full belly and slightly full wallet. I’ve always liked to believe high prices sometimes don’t reflect high quality, and the scrumptious fare you’ll find at these eight restaurants echo just that.
1. The Roast Grill, Raleigh
A Raleigh establishment and landmark since 1940, their famous hot dogs have received a lot of hype (including a visit from Adam Richman of Man Vs. Food) throughout the years, but the prices always stay reasonable. Enjoy an all-the-way hot dog for just $1.45, at that rate, you could have six and make breakfast lunch and dinner out of this meal, while still having some wiggle room for tip.
7 S West St
Raleigh, NC 27603
2. Provision Company, Southport
Enjoy some of the freshest seafood right on the Intracoastal at the well-known Provision Company. While many seafood joints up the prices (due to location and quality) you can dine well for under ten bucks. A crabcake sandwich rings in at just $5.95 or you can enjoy 1/4 lb. steamed shrimp for only $6.96.
130 Yacht Basin Drive
Southport, NC 28461
3. Snappy Lunch, Mount Airy
Yelp / Vince M
It's hard to believe a sandwich this famous is priced so reasonably, but that's one of the many amazing things about Snappy Lunch. A favorite of Andy and Barney, this 'Mayberry' establishment is known for their pork chop sandwich featuring pancake-batter-fried pork chop, sweet chili, mustard and coleslaw. The sandwich plus drink will ring you around $6 bucks, quite a steal! While looks might be deceiving, the sandwich is rich and filling. If you're not so crazy about pork, they offer other delicious options like burgers and sandwiches for under $10 bucks. After your meal, take time to walk off that pork chop and explore the charming town of Mount Airy, including an authentic squad car tour straight out of Andy Griffith. You'll certainly be shouting, "Citizen's Arrest!"
125 N Main St
Mount Airy, NC 27030
4. Short Sugar's, Reidsville
This beloved BBQ establishment has kept its recipes, interior and exterior relatively the same since first opening in 1949. A place I always asked my grandparents to take me to while visiting them as a child, there's something about Short Sugar's that just stays with you (and has you craving it time and time again). Try a classic BBQ sandwich (sliced is $4.25 while chopped is $3.95) and pair it with hushpuppies for only $1.80. Save some change for a classic-style milkshake (vanilla or chocolate) ringing in at just $3 bucks.
1328 S Scales St
Reidsville, NC 27320
5. South College Sandwich & Deli, Wilmington
Frequented by both penny-pinching college students and sandwich-loving locals, South College Deli offers stellar food for a reasonable price. If you're like me, you can even make two meals out of it and take the other half of your sandwich home (trust me, they pile meats, cheeses and toppings high here). Their signature is Beef on Weck that comes with a side of your choice (get the chips) for only $7.95. Other delicious options include the All American (where the pickle comes ON the sandwich), chicken salad, and the Carolina Club, no sandwich on the menu reaches over $9 bucks.
332 S College Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403
6. B's Barbecue, Greenville
Yelp / Charlie M
One of my favorite parts about North Carolina? You can try some of the best, authentic, hickory-smoked BBQ you'll ever taste for prices that seem stuck in a simpler time. B's BBQ is a great example. Regarded as one of the best eastern North Carolina establishments, this hole-in-the-wall is on a must-visit for many BBQ road trips and lists (including the NC BBQ Trail) but you'll be paying good prices for insanely good food. A BBQ plate will cost you $6.75 and the BBQ dinner is only a dollar more. If you want to stay simple, get a BBQ sandwich for only $3.50 and take home a pint of slaw, potatoes, or beans for just $2.50.
751 Bs Barbecue Rd
Greenville, NC 27858
7. Hap's Grill, Salisbury
Come lunchtime, don't be surprised to see a long line form outside of Hap's Grill. Regular diners know to bring cash (it's cash-only) and know that waiting in line is just part of the experience. For only $1.75 you can try one of their famous hot dogs (and add cheese for 25 cents more). If you're in the mood for a burger, a plain burger will run you about $3.50 while a cheeseburger is only $3.75. You'll still have a little change leftover to try one of the delicious slushes for $2 or a side of chips for $.75 cents.
116 N Main St
Salisbury, NC 28144
8. White Duck Taco Shop, Asheville
White Duck Taco Shop has become a must-stop in Asheville and is now expanding into Charlotte. The delicious and inventive tacos have five-star taste with a-la-carte pricing ringing in around $3-4 dollars per taco. Reflecting local ingredients and seasonal options, the menu (and prices) change frequently, but it's safe to say you can try two tacos without spending over ten bucks. Located in the vibrant River Arts District of Asheville, grab a local craft brew or wander around some galleries to make the experience complete.
1 Roberts St
Asheville, NC 28801
It’s funny to think some of the best restaurants in the state are also some of the most affordable! What are some of your favorite ‘cheap eats’ in North Carolina? Any of your favorites make the list?
For another affordable meal with a cult-like following, you must try a hot dog from this