The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Dining Like a King on a Pauper’s Budget in Walpole, Mass.

Walpole, Mass., is a pleasant, southwest suburban small town 20 miles from Boston with plenty of budget-friendly restaurants. If we were to dine out in Walpole with a tight budget in mind, here would be our choices for a thrifty, but tasty experience:

Steak tip dinner at Guido’s Best known as an Italian restaurant with fantastic pizza and pasta dishes, Guido’s also makes a terrific steak tips dinner that comes with fresh vegetable and rice. Also included: a mixed greens salad or cup of made-from-scratch soup as well as fresh homemade scali bread and rolls. $14.95 is a very good deal for all that you get here. Many other places charge more for quality steak tips and don’t even include a salad or soup. 683 Main St., the Marketplace at Route 1A. Tel. (508) 660-1533

Cupcakes at Butter Cafe and Bakery (CLOSED) A cupcake at $2.75 might not seem like a great bargain, but one taste tells us this special treat is worth the price. The cupcakes are so filling and delicious! When you combine it with at he steak tip dinner at Guido’s, you’re still well under $20. Butter has an expanding cupcake list including blueberry pie, ice cream sundae, orange creamsicle, Oreo, mint chocolate chip, Boston cream, red velvet, apple pie, root beer and the “Mellow Yellow” — with valerian and melatonin. You have to be 21 or older to order this “relaxing” cupcake! 935 East St. Tel. 508.668.2123

Roast turkey dinner at the Red Wing Diner They carve it fresh every day. The homemade stuffing, gravy, fresh corn and real mashed potatoes are also phenomenal. For us, it’s the next best thing to a Thanksgiving dinner. The $11.95 price is quite reasonable, don’t you think? 2235 Providence Highway, Route 1. Tel. (508) 668-0453

At the Red Wing, don’t forget to top off your meal with a slice of homemade blueberry pie for $4.95 (recommend also ordering a scoop of vanilla ice cream). I have tasted many blueberry pies around New England, and this one ranks with one of the best!

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