photo by Tory Germann

Donut Shack Doughnut Cake. Photo by Tory Germann

You don’t have to settle on a three-course sit down dinner. Our favorite parties always keep it hyper local and family-style.From sandwich and pizza bars to food trucks and homey buffets, there are plenty of ways to save money on dining while keeping it tasty and fun.

Food Trucks

Spiceventure
Spice up the party with authentic Thai, Lao, Khmer and Indian.
spiceventure.com

Roxy’s gourmet grilled cheese
It doesn’t get much better than a build-your-own grilled cheese bar. Roxy’s rolling restaurant can come straight to your event with several unique menu options.
roxysgrilledcheese.com

The Taco Truck
A fantastic and fun catering option with fresh tacos, tortas and a friendly staff.
thetacotruck.com

The Cupcakory
Mobile desserts add a nice touch, especially when they come in the form of cupcakes — and whoopie pies!
cupcakory.com

Pizza

Balducci’s wood Fired Pizza
If you’re looking to save a huge amount of money on food and still satisfy your guests, you simply can’t go wrong with a pizza bar. We love Balducci’s. They offer a huge selection of specialty pizzas and they’re some of the best we’ve ever tasted.
419 S. Broadway, Salem, N.H. | 603-890-3344 | balduccispizza.com

Tony & Ann’s
A surefire crowd pleaser for the couple big on local flavor.
11 Broadway Rd., Dracut | 978-251-3311 | tonyandannspizza.com

Caterers

Two Chefs Are Better Than One
They’ll bring you a BBQ, raw bar, vegan menu or chicken and waffles. You name it, they’ll create it. These chefs also excel at farm-to-table fare, and working within any budget.
1001 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell | 978-970-0212 | twochefsfood.com

French’s
This family owned and operated Tewksbury in- stitution serves up a number of budget-friendly options including specialty fajita, stir-fry, pasta and sauté stations, as well as a reasonably priced Northeast clam bake bar.
825 Main St. | 978-851-2111 | frenchscatering.com

Filho’s cucina
This Groton-based restaurant’s chef and owner has roots in Boston’s North End and can help whip up a remarkable custom Italian menu that’s delicious and brimming with simple and natural ingredients.
235 Main St., Groton | 978-448-5664 | filhoscucina.com

The Twisted Fork
Want a waffle bar that will go down as legendary? Call these guys.
509 Stafford St., Cherry Valley | 508-892-437 | unclejaystwistedfork.com

Steve’s Kitchen and Catering
Dependable, delicious and affordable.
36 Chamberlain St., Lowell | 978-452-8325 | steveskitchencatering.com

Dessert

Cake no longer reigns supreme. Pies, cupcakes, cookies and doughnuts are all possibilities, as well as a make-your-own sundae bar. Shaw Farms anyone?

Sweet Lydia’s
Lydia’s signature marshmallow s’mores and her cup- cakes in mason jars (do yourself a favor and try a pea- nut butter and jelly) are out-of-this-world good.
160 Merrimack St. | 978-888-7616 | sweetlydias.com

Little Delights
Cupcake flavors as far and wide as your imagination can roam, and specialty cakes to suit your wildest dreams.
132 Merrimack St., Lowell | 978-455-0040 | facebook.com/littledelightsbakerylowell

The Donut Shack
Best. Doughnuts. Ever. Try the marshmallow filled, apple filled, and if you really want to get crazy — the marshmallow and jelly filled combo.
487 Westford St., Lowell | 978-937-0178 | facebook.com/thedonutshack

Shaw Farm
Since 1908, this Dracut farm has been churning out local ice cream and pies that never disappoint.
204 New Boston Rd., Dracut | 978-957-0031 | shawfarm.com

Mrs. Nelson’s Candy House
Local and made-on-site. A candy bar is always a big hit for couples with a sweet tooth. Mix it up with ice cream and you’ve got a winning dessert station.
292 Chelmsford St., Chelmsford | 978-256-4061 

Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus
Set up a coffee bar from this favorite local haunt with fair trade coffee.
61 Market St., Lowell | 978-454-2793 | brewdawakening.com

Spirits

Local craft beer is always a big hit and a signature cocktail makes for a great and cost-effective alternative to the full bar. Pick a classic drink and spice it up with a garnish.

Navigation Brewing Co.
When this small local brewery made its debut at Lowell Winterfest in 2013, they took home a first place people’s choice award for best tasting brew among several other well established craft beer makers, including Harpoon and Slumbrew.
45 Meadowcroft St., No. 1 | navigationbrewing.com 

Djinn Spirits
Gin and whiskey made with love and a little bit of rebel spirit in southern New Hampshire.
2 Townsend W. No. 9, Nashua | 617-649-6972 | djinnspirits.com

Turkey Shore Distillery
Hand crafted rum made in Ipswich, Mass., with sweet molasses from the sugarcane fields of Louisiana and distilled the old fashioned way in a 250 gallon copper pot.
23 Hayward St., Unit 8, Ipswich | 978-356-0048 | turkeyshoredistilleries.com  

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About The Author

HOWL Street Team

Exploring everything from food and shopping to arts and entertainment so you can experience the best of what Greater Lowell has to offer.