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.

Best of Cheap Eats New England Restaurant Meals for 2011

Fried seafood -- clams, scallops shrimp, cod fish, calamari

Fried Seafood Platter at Evelyn's Drive-in, Tiverton, R.I. (photo by Eric)

In 2011, we learned even more that you don’t have to pay a lot to dine out.

Truth be told, we don’t dine out much at all so when we do, it’s paramount that the overall dining experience is excellent. In other words, we want to make the most of our much-less-frequent times out dining. It’s OK to be demanding, given you’re paying for the meals!

We have learned along the way that many restaurants are, in fact, a pure rip-off charging way too much for the food that’s served! Sometimes, these places have wait staff and management acting like over-the-top, pretentious dopes! Who needs that major source of irritation? We don’t even bother with these places anymore, knowing that some restaurants that we’ve discovered charge, sometimes, half the price for the same dish — and without the self-absorbed attitudes.

In this terrible economy, we have honed our craft of being cheapskates while not compromising a quality dining experience. Here are our top six experiences for 2011:

1. Buying a tasty one lb. lobster at Markey’s Lobster Pool in Seabrook, N.H., for $9.95, while enjoying the water views at this no-frills landmark restaurant.


2. Enjoying a significantly stacked fried seafood platter — enough for four people — at Evelyn’s Drive-in in Tiverton, R.I., that included a combination of delicious, not-too-greasy clams, scallops, calamari, cod fish and shrimp for just $46!

3. Dining in Walpole, Mass.:

At Guido’s, we had tender, perfectly-cooked steak tips with vegetable and rice, a choice of mixed greens salad or cup of made-from-scratch soup, as well as fresh homemade scali bread and rolls for $14.95. At the Red Wing Diner, a phenomenal freshly-carved roast turkey dinner with real mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing and corn cost just $11.95. Topping it off with root beer and orange creamsicle cupcakes at Butters Bakery and Cafe for $2.75 still kept our wallets feeling healthy.

4. Chowing down on a huge plate of addictive pesto pasta with grilled chicken with unlimited salad bar at Everything But Anchovies in Hanover, N.H., for around $10.

5. Munching on an mouthwatering hot dog for $1.60 at Tex Barry’s Coney Island Hot Dogs in Attleboro, Mass.

6. Devouring an abundant fish and chips dinner at Maniax in Wells, Maine, for $7.99.

Prices could change, but we don’t think the overall good value at these restaurants will. How about you, what are some of your favorite cheap eats restaurants in New England? Please write your comments in the “Leave a Reply” box below!

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