AAA Picks Its 50 Favorite Budget-Dining Spots

The list highlights local eateries in the US, Canada, and Caribbean

Abbot's Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Conn. made AAA's list of 50 favorite budget-dining restaurants.

AAA has released its 50 favorite budget-dining spots for travelers watching their wallets. The list of notable one- and two-diamond restaurants comes from the more than 29,000 AAA-approved and diamond-rated restaurants and includes barbecue, seafood, and ethnic eats from cities large and small around the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

Restaurants that made the list from big cities include hot dog restaurant Pink’s in Los Angeles, casual restaurant Corner Bistro in New York City, two-diamond Italian restaurant Bistro La Viola in Philadelphia, and sandwich and pastry shop Les Madeleines Café & Patisserie in Salt Lake City.

AAA inspectors evaluate restaurants on a scale of one to five diamonds, from simple eateries with specialty menus to fine-dining restaurants with renowned chefs and service staff. The list includes quick-service, casual dining, and family dining restaurants in 26 states, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec in Canada, and Aruba and Bonaire in the Caribbean.

No fine dining establishments made the list, but plenty of small, hometown restaurants did, like Big Mama’s Soul Food in Cathedral City, Calif., Abbot’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Conn., and Havana Hideout in Lake Worth, Fla.

While the majority of the restaurants that made the list were in the continental U.S., Jimmy’s A & A Deli in Calgary, Alberta, White Heather Tea Room in Victoria, British Columbia, Hungry Bear Restaurant in French River, Ontario, Craigie’s Harbourview Restaurant in Tobermory, Ontario, and Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen in Montreal, made the cut.

Ranked in no particular order, the list also included two restaurants in the Caribbean, La Trattoria El Faro Blanco in Arashi, Aruba, and It Rains Fishes in Kralendijk, Bonaire.