cheap eats

No matter how much they tell you the food in the college cafeteria is good, it's not. After about two weeks of being back in school and eating every meal — day after day after day — in the cafeteria, it's going to start sucking. It's actually written in the student handbook. But, sooner or later, your unsatisfied stomach is going to force you to venture out in search of acceptable sustenance.

We know you're dirt poor. Those textbooks are outrageously expensive and you're forced to divvy out your remaining dollars on cheap beer and illegal substances. We've all been there. However, we wanted to remind you that there are places you can afford to eat in Portland that won't bankrupt you (any more than those student loans will when you graduate). We even helped you with the math and organized it by how many dollars you have in your pocket. So, give up your tray and check out these places.

Breakfast for $5

OHNO CAFÉ | 87 Brackett St, Portland | 207.774.0773 | Breakfast sandwiches range from $3.99 to $5.50. Can't beat the Number 2: egg, smoked turkey, avocado, tomato, gouda served on an English muffin for $4.50.

158 PICKETT STREET CAFÉ | 158 Benjamin W. Pickett St, South Portland | 207.799.8998 | Their breakfast sandwiches tend to be just a hair over the $5 mark, but we know you can wrassle up some change because the delicious bagels these sandwiches come on are delicious. Example: the egg, prosciutto, and pesto for $5.25.

Breakfast for $10

ARTEMISIA CAFÉ | 261 Pleasant St, Portland | 207.761.0135 | The atmosphere here is eclectic and you'll probably never have the same coffee mug twice. You can't go wrong with the chalkboard specials.

HOT SUPPA | 703 Congress St, Portland | 207.871.5005 | Despite the name, the menu is filled with delicious breakfast items like biscuits and sausage gravy with eggs and grits.

BECKY'S DINER | 390 Commercial St, Portland | 207.773.7070 | Pretty standard diner fare here, but with a Maine fishermen twist, especially if you go at 4 am when they open.

Breakfast for $20

FRONT ROOM | 73 Congress St, Portland | 207.773.3366 | You may have to wait for a table during the real rush hours (weekend brunch), but the potato gnocchi with spinach, bacon, two poached eggs & hollandaise is worth the wait.

CAIOLA'S | 58 Pine St, Portland | 207.772.1110 | Brunch is only on Sundays and you're wise to make a reservation, but the omelettes are amazing — and since you have money to spend, indulge in one of the muffin or pastry specials; it's worth the extra bucks.

Lunch Sandwich for $5

ROSEMONT MARKET | 88 Congress St, Portland | 207.773.7888 | 580 Brighton Ave, Portland | 207.774.8129 | Prices just went up to $5.50, but these daily pre-prepared sandwiches are still a great deal. They are made on Rosemont's fresh bread and there's always meat and vegetarian options. Great for on the go.

Lunch Sandwich for $10

BIG SKY BAKERY | 28 Monument Sq, Portland | 207.228.2040 | Located in the Public Market House, the sandwiches and paninis are delicious, served on organic breads.

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