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  • Katie McCarthy

Looking for Lunch in a Hurry? These Gaston Lunch Spots Have you Covered

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Here is a familiar story: Your morning’s been busy, you’ve snacked at your desk or—dare I say—in the car. You forgot your leftovers from the night before and you’re in a one-hour pinch. Where can you get a quality meal in a short amount of time? While this is not to condone rushing through lunch, or any meal really, sometimes a swift meal is just what you need. So, take a stroll down main street for your next lunch break with Gaston County's unique lunchtime scene.

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

We've covered breakfast, brunch, bakeries, and burgers. Now, here is our guide to classic spots in Gaston County to get a quick bite so you can slow down the rest of the day. With plant-based options, cozy interiors, and sunny outdoor patios, lunch just got a little more exciting.

133 West

Photo courtesy of 133 West

133 West Mountain St., Kings Mountain

Wednesday-Saturday, 12 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Freshness is just one aspect that makes 133 West so special. With a creative menu that changes with the seasons, your lunch break will never feel mundane. For those busier workdays, 133 West offers its customers free wireless internet so you can keep the productivity going.

Cherubs Café

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

23 N. Main St., Belmont

Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

If you’re looking for lunch with a purpose, Cherubs Café is the place to be. A Holy Angels restaurant, Cherubs gives back to the community through their intentional hiring process. If you’re in for a sandwich, try The Woodrow—apples, bacon, and cheddar with a cranberry raisin dressing grilled on sourdough.

Doffer’s Canteen

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

119 Center St., Cramerton

Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

What has quickly become a downtown Cramerton staple, Doffer’s has a variety of items for lunch, with an option to order online. Looking to go meat-free? Try the sweet potato and black bean tacos or the Impossible tacos with plant-based “meat”, veggies, and a side of garlic chipotle sauce.

Grits N Greens Southern Cuisine

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

125 N. Main St., Lowell

Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Grits N Greens in downtown Lowell is known for their southern “cookin’ like granny” cuisine but alongside that are burgers and sandwiches you can take back to your desk. Looking for something southern? Try the Southern Pimento Burger with pimento cheese, lettuce and tomato and a side of sweet potato fries.

Jack Beagle's

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

127 S. Main St., Mount Holly

Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.

Making their way to the Mount Holly food scene by way of Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood, Jack Beagle's is a great stop for a midweek lunch. Stop in for the pork tacos or the Hawaiian Chicken Wrap and swing back over the weekend to try out the brunch menu.

J.R. Cash's Bar and Grill

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

1000 Marina Village Dr., Mount Holly

Sunday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Located on the lake (and one of four South Carolina-based eateries), J.R. Cash's offers an elevated lunch menu with soups, salads and sandwiches. Their Cash Burger, with Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, signature BBQ sauce, fried onion straws, lettuce, tomato & pickles, is the light at the end of a workday tunnel.

Kitchen MaeKong

Photo courtesy of Kitchen MaeKong

408 E Franklin Blvd, Gastonia

Sunday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Friday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Add a touch of spice to your lunch break with Kitchen MaeKong's delicious lunch menu, including Thai favorites such as sushi, curry dishes, and traditional stir-fry entrees. Enjoy it inside the beautiful interior of their restaurant, or take it to-go, just know if you bring this delicious food into the breakroom you will undoubtedly be the target of your coworkers' envy.

Mayworth’s Public House

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

115 Center St., Cramerton

Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Mayworth’s Public House offers daily lunch specials Monday through Friday, giving customers a variety of options to choose from all week long. Looking for something light? Get your creative juices flowing and build your own salad.

McDonald’s Family Restaurant

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

617 Gastonia Hwy., Bessemer City

Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

No, not that McDonald’s. Even though McDonald’s Family Restaurant opened in 1965 (a few years after the McDonald’s chain began), this family restaurant’s high-quality traditional American food has kept people coming back for over 50 years. Try one of the burgers that are hand-ground daily topped with homemade slaw and wash it down with a good, old-fashioned sweet tea.

Nellie’s Pick Me Up

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

36 N. Main St., Belmont

Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Around the corner from Nellie's Southern KitchenBelmont's southern cuisine restaurant owned by none other than the Jonas Family (yes THE Jonas family)Nellie's Pick Me Up offers a variety of quick lunches to grab and go.

Pete’s Grill

124 N. Main St., Stanley

Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Located inside Stanley Convenience Store, Pete’s Grill has an expansive menu of burgers as well as a surprising pita menu boasting their delicious Souvlaki Pita with pork tenderloin, grilled peppers and onions with a cucumber sauce.

Pita Wheel

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Moss, Moss Videography

110 S. York St., Gastonia

Sunday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Friday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Pita Wheel’s self-described “epic, fast, fun” take on food service brings in regulars and newcomers alike. While you’re there, grab a classic—The Gyro. With lamb and beef, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and tzatziki sauce you’ll definitely get the pita experience. Any lunch break can turn into Octoberfest when you have a Beer Garden in your backyard. When in Rome…

Sammy’s Pub

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

25 S. Main St., Belmont

130 W. Trade St., Dallas

Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Sammy’s is a casual lunch spot with a true pub feel. If you’ve got a second to sit, try the fish and chips. If you’ve got to go, grab the grouper BLT on brioche.

South Main Kitchen & Tavern

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

128 S. Main St., Mount Holly

Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Located in the ever-growing downtown Mount Holly, you can find lots of good eats at South Main Kitchen & Tavern. For a yummy and hearty lunch, try the Chophouse Turkey Burger with swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun.

Spindle City Café

207 W. Main Avenue, Gastonia

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Named for Gaston County’s historic textile industry past, Spindle City Café occupies a 19th-century building with original elements throughout. All that charm adds to the convenience and expansiveness of their lunch menu. Whether you’re looking for brats or elevated grilled cheese (like the Mozzarella Artichoke Melt), Spindle City is worth the weekday stop.

Sprouts Café

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

1012 S. New Hope Road, Gastonia

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

While they have a reputation for being vegan and vegetarian-friendly, Sprouts Café does not exclusively cater to those dietary desires. If you’re going vegan, try the mock chicken salad. If you’re in need of some sustainably sourced meat, try the grilled chicken sandwich. (And don't forget to check out the desserts.)

Spruced Goose Station

118 Wesleyan Dr., McAdenville

Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Another Holy Angels restaurant, Spruced Goose Station offers workplace opportunities to a variety of individuals all the while serving up an excellent quick lunch. Try the pecan chicken salad on a croissant for a hearty lunch and top it off with a cup of Dilworth Coffee with a fresh cookie.

The Groovy Beast

Courtesy of The Groovy Beast

109 E. Hudson Blvd, Gastonia

Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

A Gaston County staple, The Groovy Beast boasts an eclectic lunch menu (not to mention the breakfast) that's sure to please. Pick one of their five salad options or check out the Groovin' Cuban with pulled pork, swiss, ham, pickles and mustard on a hoagie roll.

The Shake Shop

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

505 W. Church St., Cherryville

Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

Though a seeming misnomer (though no one seems all that concerned over), The Shake Shop is known for its Lotta Burgers dripping with chili and topped with tomato. A Cherryville staple, drive home the quintessential Gaston County experience with a Cherry Lemon Sundrop.

The String Bean

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

106 N. Main St., Belmont

Tuesday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Friday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Grab a table at their unique outdoor patio, a great view of Downtown Belmont included, or take a look at their to-go menu for a quick bite to eat. Either way, this fresh and creative take on southern cuisine will not disappoint.

Tommy’s Drive-in

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

2708 Gaston Dallas Hwy., Dallas

Sunday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

A classic diner dripping in nostalgia, Tommy’s Drive-In’s curb hop service is alive and thriving. You can choose from daily specials or go for a burger and fries.

Viva Tequis

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

238 W. Main Ave, Gastonia

Sunday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Viva Tequis offers a variety of Mexican street food and California burritos. If you’re looking for something different, try the Nopal Asado (grilled cactus with pico de gallo). If you’re not feeling horribly as adventurous on your weekday lunch run, try a grilled steak or veggie torta to go.

Wills Doggn’ It Deli & Dogs

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

1301 Spencer Mountain Rd., Gastonia

Tuesday-Friday, 10:45 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10:45 a.m.-5 p.m.

While yes, this is technically in Gastonia, Will’s Doggn’ It is on the Ranlo side of the city, and has an excellent reputation for quality sandwiches and—you guessed it—hot dogs. Stop in for one of their specials and hang out to eat or grab it to go.

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