11 Budget-Friendly Places to Grab Lunch in Downtown Wilmington

Posted Jan 7th, 2020 in Foodie Fodder


If funds are tight after a busy holiday season, you may be looking for budget-friendly, eat-in, or take-away lunch options in Downtown Wilmington.

With around 100 eateries to choose from, several have good value menu options. Most dine-in restaurants have appetizers, soups and salads for under $10; however, if you’re looking for something less expensive, try one of the following.

Mexican food is always budget-friendly and filling. Capricho specializes in Mexican street food and you can create your own combination of tacos, quesadillas, tamales and empanadas using the a la carte order form. Alternatively, the tacos are always tasty at Beer Barrio and the wings are spicy and delicious.

If you’re craving your favorite patty and you’re in a hurry, Port City Cheese Steak will create your choice of burger, cheesesteak sub or wings and have you on your way in the blink of an eye. Or, visit Pender’s Café. It is one of Downtown Wilmington’s longest-standing eateries—the Pender family has been flipping juicy burgers and more for 40 years. If you want an alternative to a burger, tuck into one of Pender’s subs or an all-American, hot dog.

Downtown Wilmington has a couple more great options for hot dogs. Louie’s Hot Dogs has been in the center city for 30 years and offers 20 different ways to dress your dog! The Scoop (don’t be fooled by the name) in the Cotton Exchange also makes over a dozen hot dogs to order. You can also buy ice cream and popcorn here or you can enjoy a freshly baked pretzel—sweet or savory—instead.

Hot and cold menu options are both popular for lunch. Tugboat Tony’s on Water Street makes a tempting range of hot and cold lunch sandwiches prepared on your choice of bagel, wrap or Panini. If you’re looking for more of a deli-style sandwich, head to Cousin’s Deli, where good food is a family tradition. Dietary restrictions may dictate your food choice or you may prefer something healthy. If so, Foxes Boxes on North 4th Street’s sandwich and sides menu includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The “box” option is quick and easy.

Pizza is one of the most common requests for lunch and you will find it on many restaurant menus. However, two downtown eateries specialize in pizza, one of them exclusively. I Love New York Pizza creates around 25 different varieties of classic New York pizza and A Slice of Life offers pizzas with 30 different toppings alongside wings, subs and more. Both sell pie by the slice.

Of course, there are other options too numerous to cover in one article. Click here for a full list of Downtown Wilmington restaurants and eateries. Enjoy!


Mentioned in this post:

The Scoop Ice Cream and Cafe
365 N Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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