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Any Good Non-Seafood Dives/Townie Joints/Diners in Gloucester?

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I am getting ready to do another food-based road trip in a few days, hitting several towns on the North Shore, from Salem on up to Ipswich, including Cape Ann. Nearly everything has been planned out (thanks in part to one of my fellow diners who has gone on food trips in the past and will be going on this one), but there is one part of the trip that has not; I would like to find a place in Gloucester that is a diner, townie joint, dive, food stand, or other type of ultra-casual cheap eats place that does not concentrate on seafood. Instead, I would be looking for any/all of the following: burgers, roast beef, hot dogs, bar pizza, steak tips.

Are there any places in Gloucester that fit this category? Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. As a Gloucester native I would have to recomend Virgilio's on Main Street for sandwiches or Scalifani's on Washington Street-- both are amazing and classic. Gloucester is not only great for seafood but also for italian food. These two spots are perfect sub/ italian specialty stores where you can pick up easily one of the best sandwiches you will ever taste. (also if you decide Virgilio's - my personal favorite- pick up some sweets or St. Joseph's rolls for the road)

    4 Replies
    1. re: winstont

      What are some particularly good sandwiches at these places? Any good steak and cheeses or meatball subs? How about pizza?

      1. re: hiddenboston

        La Trattoria on Main St., across from Virgilio's, has some great Italian food and pizza that is also very reasonable. Ned's on Main St. awesome stuff like white anchovies, cheeses and other specialties.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          Virgilio's has great classic scilian style pizza, they have an eggplant sandwich which is honestly to die for- I have to stop in everytime I visit. Thier St. Joseph's sandwich is also a popular choice... honestly anything is great- perfect italian cold cuts, cheeses, spices and fresh baked bread.
          Sclafani's (which I appologize for miss spelling earlier) has great italian cold cut style sandwiches.

          If you want great pizza I would suggest Maria's on Pearl Street- it seems like a real hole in the wall but it has thin crust pizza with an amazing sauce with good sandwich or seafood choices too- you will likely find a meatball sub or atleast a great chicken parm. Also for pizza there is Sebestian's (it has gone slightly down hill in my last few visits home) but the pizza is still amazing and great snacks like arancini.

          1. re: winstont

            Second/third Virgilio's, esp for the St. Joseph's sandwich. Very basic -- Italian meats and cheeses on a fresh roll, but perfectly done.

      2. For sit down pizza we really like Maria's. For take-out we get Delaney's.
        We lost our favorite bar food place when it was converted to a more upscale place (Blackburn Tavern) and are still looking for a good replacement.
        My in-laws like the steak tips at Halibut Point and my brother-in-law says very good things about the burger at Dog Bar.
        For breakfast, Two Sister's or George's are great, ultra-casual cheap places.
        Have fun!

        1 Reply
        1. re: eriberri

          Yah, I can't believe Blackburn sold out. Maria's also has a great breakfast on the week-ends.

        2. I haven't been lately but I liked Lee's..a little breakfast/lunch spot on Main..sort of just heading out of "downtown" towards Rocky Neck. I had breakfast but I'd guess lunch would be "diner" fare..a little further on the same road is a bbq guy who sets up in a parking lot. If you get to Brown's Boat Yard..you went about 100 yards too far. He's been around Cape Ann for years; and like many bbq'ers keeps somewhat irregular hours..sort of the Speed's of the N Shore..:)

          For "dives"..go to Crow's Nest..made famous in "Perfect Storm"..beers are cold, drinks strong...can't speak for the food...but guys were bringing in "Italian" hot and cold sandwiches from nearby spots that looked very good. Maybe a local can give you the nearby names.

          3 Replies
          1. re: 9lives

            Been to Smokin Jim's BBQ, it's not slow and the smoked is more like just grilled. Ribs were stringy and tuff, pulled pork was real skimpy, sides were outrageously priced. He even charges for a thimble of extra sauce.

            1. re: treb

              You may be partly right...though my experience wasn't as poor as yours. Maybe I caught him on a good day..or a long night for me...and I was particularly hungry..:)

              Maybe it's the Speed's phenomona...the "maybe availability" in such an odd place.???

              Not the best Q; but a fun take for a Gloucester visitor.

              1. re: 9lives

                That's what caught me, the look from the road makes it very interesting, Ole Smokin Jim is not dumb! He got me in to try it out, and I needed to give it a chance, I did like sitting out back overlooking the water.

          2. Hey #9,

            Always like your posts,
            Would appreciate seeing your list of prospective
            (or better yet, reviews - post facto)
            of those upper/lower scale " everything has been planned out..."
            N Shore places you might try,
            Please let us know...
            Thanks
            Ab Goosht Dude

            1 Reply
            1. re: abgooshtdude

              Thx for the kind words.

              Actually there are a number of posters here that spend much more time than me on the N Shore...and know of a lot more places than I do. I know the usual names; Farnham's ( a sentimental favorite because of the location/setting), Clam Box, Essex Seafood..and a few more that I've heard of here..

              I hope to make it this year...Tradition is the organizer of a chow event calls the shots..and that's not me..and the mod team likes planning to be done offlist..

              I'll be sure to post a review if I can make it..maybe some pics too.