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Cheap/Inexpensive Dinner in Portland, ME

Hi All!

I am still new to the city and am looking for inexpensive places for dinner (or any meal out) in or around Portland Maine.

A lot of the suggestions on the forum are great but Fore Street, 555, and Ciaolas are very expensive and not for us regular folk on a budget. :)

Thanks for the help! Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Have a great summer!

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  1. I'm sure others will weigh in, but here are few of my favorites:
    Japanese: Yosaku (great menu, and delicious)
    Indian: Passage to India, Wharf St.; also Brit-Indy takeout from Hagerty's on Forest Ave: tremendous value
    Thai: lots of choices; have heard that Veranda Noodle Bar is top-notch
    Vegan/veggie: Green Elephant, Congress @ High St.: really creative
    Pub food & beer: Great Lost Bear, Forest Ave

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    The Great Lost Bear
    540 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101

    1. Susan's Fish 'n Chips on Forest Ave. good fried seafood, free coffee and BYOB!
      We've been putting 5 kids through college and Susan's is always a detour when we go through the city by the sea.

      http://www.susansfishandchips.com/

      edit: the Vietnamese place on Forest Ave. too.

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      Susan's Fish & Chips
      1135 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04103

      3 Replies
      1. re: Passadumkeg

        There are two. Tanh Tanh 2 and Saigon,on the right going north on Forest. Both are good currently favor Saigon.TT2 is on the left.

        1. re: LeRique

          On these recommendations, we tried Saigon tonight (a place we would never have even noticed otherwise), and it was wonderful — very attentive service, fantastic food — and five of us dined for under $70, with two lunches left over.

          Man, I hope you Portlanders know how lucky you are. The Halifax dining scene is going to look even dingier by comparison when we make the long trek back on Tuesday.

        2. re: Passadumkeg

          Last week I thought Susan's was terrible. The fish preparer did not wear gloves. The cook was too interested in talking on his cell phone, the fried fish was undercooked, and french fries came out of a frozen bag and not cooked long enough, the bathroom was really scary, the indoor picnic tables are for 18 year olds and not for people over 60 and I though the homemade tarter sauce was absolutely terrible.
          Now the ketchup, vinegar, ice tea, and service was very good. I have been going there for a few years, but won't return.

        3. Tu Casa on Washington. Very good Salvadorean food and very inexpensive. Good for eat in and takeout. Somewhat similar to Mexican but the food has its own unique characteristics.

          As mentioned, Saigon on Forest is good. There are a fair number of Thai restaurants that are decent. and inexpensive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hicow

            And speaking of Washington Ave., how could we forget Silly's?????
            http://www.sillys.com/

            1. re: mainemal

              You beat me to it! I was thinking the same thing. Great minds think alike. Sillys is the only place where one can find an inexpensive lamb meal. And a very funkadelic place to boot.

          2. Don't forget pizza: Otto, Bonobo, and Flatbread are all outstanding.
            Paciarino for pasta, especially for lunch.
            Wasn't there another thread about cheap-ish food in Portland recently?

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            Paciarino
            468 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101

            1. I'd second most everything that's been metioned above (I'd say Bonobo is our most frequent go-to cheap eats dinner restaurant for pizza and beer) and add a few:

              Duckfat: Great panini + Belgian Fries.
              Kim's Sandwich Shop: Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwiches. At under $3/each I don't know if you can find a better, cheaper, lunch
              Po'Boys + Pickles (out on Forest across from Susan's): Surprisingly good New Orleans style sandwiches and gumbo
              Norm's East End: Good BBQ (for Portland). It's salads are always fresh, tasty, and filing.
              Soju: New Korean / Japanese resto on Congress. I haven't tried the Japanese cuisine, but I've enjoyed all the Korean dishes I've ordered.

              1. Article I wrote for the Boston Globe on Portland restaurants where you can eat for $20 or less for two courses: http://bit.ly/CheapEatsPortland

                (At the risk of being too self promotional, you can find more on my blog; see profile for link).

                2 Replies
                1. re: Mainegal

                  I'm a daily reader of the Globe and Boston.com. I saw your article when first published. Good job. Your credibility on this site just went up.

                  1. re: hicow

                    Mg's credibility has been up for a long time w/ me.

                2. Now's the time of year to head down to Salty Bay Takeout in Scarborough for some fried clams or fried native shrimp. . It's hidden in the Pine Point neighborhood on Jones Creek Drive overlooking the marsh. On the way back to Portland, stop at Len Libby's Candy Store and try the coconut needham ice cream. Wow.