slides: COLLEGE GUIDE: Best Places to Eat On a College Budget
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Make a meal out of it
One of the best ways to eat for cheap is to pick one of the cheapest types of food in town and just make a dinner of it. Our favorite? Wings. They're abundant, they're delicious, and you can get them delivered, to go, or make a wing mission a night out. Wings Over Providence, one of the all-time favorites of all local college students, should be #1 on your list.
For more wings spots, go here.
Scout for BYOB
If you're 21+, then you'll want a drink (or two) with your meals out. Here's the thing: that's where the restaurants make all their money. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But if you want to save some dollars, hit up the BYOB spots in town. Check out Sakura on Wickenden Street in Providence for a great selection of sushi and pick up your own six pack or bottle of wine at nearby Campus Liquors.
For more local spots like Sakura, go here.
Go big (then go home)
Every smart college students looks for the biggest payout for the least amount of money. There's got to be no better example of this than an insanely huge burger at Luxe, right in downtown Providence.
It's called, appropriately, the Frankenstein Burger. For $19.99, you get 4 Gold Label Burgers, 2 Jumbo Nathan's All Beef Hot Dogs, 4 Slices of Smokehouse Bacon, 4 Slices of American Cheese, topped With Hereford Black Bean Chili, Cole Slaw & Relish on 2 Buttered Rolls served with a double order of Fries. Finish it, and you get a free t-shirt.
You won't need to eat for days. For more about Luxe and other amazing burger joints, go here.
Two words: fried rice
It's tasty, it's filling, and it's the cheapest and most delicious item on any Asian restaurant menu. You'll find it everywhere at your local Chinese and pan-Asian restaurants, but it's especially good at Tokyo House in Newport (great for Salve as well as RWU students), as well as Sura in downtown Providence (great for JWU, Brown, RISD).
For more great Asian spots near your campus, go here.
Work the specials
You're in luck: lots of restaurants near RI campuses like to promote specials, and you should invest an hour getting on to the Facebook pages of all of your local spots so you know what's cheap on what nights.
URI students, you can't do better than Wednesdays at Oak Hill Tavern House of Bar-B-Que, when chicken wings and mini corn dogs are 25¢ each all day long. In fact, BBQ joints often have the best deals going. For the best spots near your school, go here.
The best deals don't come in late-night dorm delivery, or even diners... armed with the right intelligence, you can work all kinds of deals in spots that can be pretty expensive during the day. How about scooping up pre-rolled sushi and edamame for 50% off from Sushi Go! in Newport and Wakefield (great for Salve, RWU, and URI students)? You've got to wait until late night, but you're up anyway, right?
For more about Sushi Go!, go here.
If you've only got $10, you've only got $10. A great way to maximize your investment is to head to spots where you can still order, but for discounts, and those often come in small plates.
One of the best deals around in Providence (and it's within walking distance of every campus in the area) is the sliders at Harry's Bar & Burger. For just $3.99 you can get 2 classic sliders (leaving plenty for a beer or two in that tenner).
For more great spots, go here.
Froyo for dinner
Why not? It's delicious, you can pile it up with fruit (and let your mom know how healthy you're eating), and it's a great value by the pound. And at some of RI's best froyo spots, you do pay by the pound. Salve, RWU and URI students will love that the first time they check into Foursquare at Beluga Froyo, they'll score an extra 20% off.
Double-down secret tip
If you haven't yet hit a Five Guys burger, you're in for a sloppy, outstanding experience. And that alone is a great deal for calories per dollar. However: here's the magic. Order the whole thing to go, including fries, and watch them double up how many of those freshly-fried, cut-on-the-premises spuds you get in your bag. That's twice the bang for your buck. Bryant students, you're in luck... RI's Five Guys is in nearby Lincoln.
For more on Rhode Island's Five Guys, go here.
Photo: Marshall Astor - Food Fetishist/flickr
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