They're the backbone of office buildings across the metro area, but rarely given the attention they deserve. Cafeterias sometimes stuffed away in the bowels of skyscrapers or cafes tucked into lobby corners are doing the hard work of fueling untold numbers of workers from breakfast through that late afternoon slump. What these humble-looking eateries lack in ambience, they more than make up for in flavor and affordability—after all, you're not there to turn the salad bar into a hourslong, multicourse tasting experience. Lunches are short, precious moments of freedom in an otherwise busy workday, and you want something fast, reliable and good. Here are five cafes knocking out daily specials for a steal, and you don't even have to work in the office to enjoy them.
M.O.M. Burger Mondays ($10) | The Good Earth Cafe
"We view anyone who comes into Good Earth Cafe not as a customer, but rather as a guest. We certainly hope that our food and service reflect that mentality."
Chicken Curry Tuesdays ($7.75) | The Deli
4160 SE International Way, Suite D101, Milwaukie, 503-786-9388. 7 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday.
"While we certainly have staple dishes that our customers come back for, we are excited to introduce a variety of new and unique foods to the weekly specials menu."
Butternut Squash Ravioli Wednesdays ($4.50) | Lovejoy Station Cafe
1015 NW 22nd Ave. 6:30-10 am, 11 am-2 pm and 4:30-7 pm Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-3 pm Saturday-Sunday.
"Being situated in a hospital means health is certainly on our mind, so we want to show customers that eating healthy doesn't have to be hard, especially when you have access to a place like Lovejoy Cafe."
Turkey Dinner Thursdays ($7.25) | Cafe 700
700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 140, 503-232-9089. 7 am-4 pm Monday-Friday.
"We know how hard it can be to find delicious lunches during the work week, but Cafe 700 is here to ensure customers never have to compromise taste or price for ease."
Fresh Fish Fridays, through November ($7.50), and fish and chips every Friday ($8.50) | PDX Outtakes
900 SW 5th Ave., 503-226-0401. 7-10 am and 11 am-2 pm Monday-Friday.
"Here at Outtakes, we try to focus on fresh, sustainable product and source locally as much as possible. We have a daily rotating menu featuring international and American food for our local businesses. Service is our goal, from catering to afternoon snacks."