Posted in: Dining Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2015

Dining on a Budget at North Carolina State University

Photo Credit: Public Domain

You're in college, you're mostly broke, and the thought of eating another meal in the university cafeteria fills you with dread. Luckily for you, there are plenty of budget-friendly restaurants near North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Most of the options are places designed for picking up a quick bite before, between, or after classes, but you can also make a night of it at a few places.


One place to pick up a cup of coffee before class is Cup of Joe, which has been serving students and locals for nearly 20 years. The coffee shop has two locations, one on Hillsorough Street, which is nearest to campus, and one in Mission Valley. It has daily specials, such as deals on mochas on "Thursday Mocha Madness," or smoothies for just $2.99 on Tuesdays. You can also get a cup of coffee, made from the bean of your choice, for $2.99 every day.


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you're in school. How else will you get the energy and calories you need to make it through class and studying?

Finch's Family restaurant is the classic greasy spoon diner spot that only serves breakfast and lunch and is closed well before dinner. Although most dishes are under $10, it's the type of restaurant you go to when you want a full breakfast, including eggs, pancakes or waffles, and some type of breakfast meat.

If you're the type to want breakfast outside of normal breakfast hours, you're going to have to go to Waffle House. Despite its name, Waffle House is actually better known for its hash browns than its waffles. Open 24 hours and dirt cheap, it's the place to go when you need breakfast now, and everywhere else is closed.

College is expensive, especially if you're living off campus and paying your own way. Fortunately, budget-friendly restaurants in Raleigh, NC, help take some of the sting out of the cost of college, while giving you plenty of delicious food.


College life and pizza go hand in hand, perhaps because pizza is cheap and readily available. Pizza places abound near campus, from the not quite geographically accurate "I Love NY" Pizza, which serves two slices and a soda for less than $5, to Gumby's Pizza, which features the claymation character as its mascot. If you love pizza so much that you want to enjoy a pie with a date, Moonlight Pizza is worth checking out. It's a slightly more gourmet than the standard pizza place, but the pies are still budget-friendly, especially if you split one.


For some, burgers are another quintessential dining option during the college years. Char-Grill has been serving up burgers, hot dogs, and other standard American favorites since 1960. The restaurant has a few locations in Raleigh, including one near campus. You can head in to Char-Grill and get a full meal for less than $10. As an added bonus, the restaurant is open until midnight, or later, most nights of the week, so you can enjoy a full, filling meal after a long, late night of studying.