Not everyone has time for a long, leisurely lunch, or wants to regularly drop $20 on a meal on a weekday. Maybe you just want something fast and easy, that won’t burn too much of a hole in your wallet. We’ve got you covered: here are five lunches in and around downtown Bangor that won’t cost you more than seven bucks.
Tesoro Pizzeria & Restaurant, 114 Harlow St. 942-6699; open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Even as downtown Bangor’s dining scene has grown over the past decade, Tesoro Pizzeria & Restaurant on Harlow Street has remained virtually unchanged since it opened in 1994. Owners Fortunata and Rocco Agrusa serve unfussy, perfectly honed, classic Italian American food, from pasta puttanesca and baked ziti, to the closest thing to a New York slice available for pizza in the Bangor area ($6-$7 for a half pie, $10-$13 for a large). For our money, you can’t beat their meatball sub, priced at $6, smothered in house marinara and served on a warm, crusty roll. It’s cash only, so be prepared. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out.
O’Donnell’s Subs & Deli, 204 Union St. 907-2020; open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, 9-3 p.m. Saturdays
Tucked away at the corner of Third Street and Union, O’Donnell’s is a bit of a hidden gem in downtown Bangor. This little family-run joint is as Irish-American as Tesoro is Italian-American — Irish soda bread, colcannon and corned beef are regularly on the menu, alongside an array of sandwiches and subs. But the best part is the homemade bread and soups. For $6, you can have one of O’Donnell’s daily soup specials, like Tuscan veggie, broccoli and cheddar, potato and leek, chili and French onion, paired with a fresh-baked roll. Sounds pretty good on a chilly day, doesn’t it?
98 Wake n’ Shake, 98 Central St. 990-0500; 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday
Since taking over the former Java Joe’s, owners Lisa Overlock and Regan Robson have jazzed up the menu. There’s still coffee, of course, but there’s also paninis, wraps, salads, breakfast all day, ice cream and bubble tea. The thing we like the most, however are the Nathan’s hot dogs, served either plain or as a Coney dog, a chili cheese dog, a “98 dog” (pickles, onions and mustard) or with other specialty toppings. Dogs are between $3 and $4 a piece.
Fork & Spoon, 76 Main St., 433-7647; 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
Everybody talks about the baked goods at Fork & Spoon — and that’s fair, since the cookies, cakes, croissants and other treats made by baker Lee-Russell Dunn are fantastic. What you might not know, however, is that the salads there are just as good, and at $5.89 for a generously sized half-portion, it’s also a steal. Most of the salads on the menu are vegan or vegetarian. The Roots & Wild Rice salad — roasted beets and sweet potato, tossed with wild rice, kale, red peppers, pumpkin seeds and maple mustard dressing — is a customer favorite.
West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse, 24 Broad St., 992-2270; 7 am.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
It’s a coffeehouse, yes, but West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse also offers what might be the fastest lunch downtown. Its cooler is stocked each day with an array of pre-made sandwiches ($6.50), quiches ($4.50), salads ($5.50) and other grab-and-go lunch options for those in a hurry.