Looking to celebrate the end of the semester? Dino's Cafe in the North End is the perfect place if you're on a budget, as I'm sure many of us are in college. This restaurant is only a 20-minute T ride from Northeastern. I stumbled across it last summer, and the affordable options and massive portion sizes have made it a personal favorite ever since. 

Dino's Cafe is a tiny restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating, which is perfect now that Boston no longer feels like the Arctic. Walking in, you'll see an expansive chalkboard menu featuring a wide array of sandwiches and pasta under $20, and a few tables along the walls.

You have the option to add chicken, sausage, meatballs, or shrimp to your pasta for extra protein, but a majority of their pastas are meatless, making Dino's a great option for vegetarians. You can also customize your pasta with one of their delicious homemade sauces, such as Alfredo, marinara, pesto cream, pesto, or pink cream. Other options include both hot and cold sandwiches and salads. The atmosphere is relaxing and laid-back, which makes me love spending hours here with friends after a stressful week of classes.

Once you order at the counter and sit down, you'll receive fresh (and complimentary) bread. If you're going to carb overload to prepare for the trauma of finals, the carbs must come in multiple forms.

But the real standout is the pasta. My absolute go-to is the pumpkin tortellini with cream cheese mascarpone sauce. You can really taste the pumpkin, which adds a little sweetness to the dish. The cream cheese mascarpone sauce has also irrevocably changed my life. I would eat it with absolutely anything. You can check out the menu here to see what they offer, but here are some of my friends' personal favorites.

Pumpkin Tortellini With Cream Cheese Mascarpone Sauce

My absolute favorite. I'd eat this every day if I could!

Neeti Desai

Spinach Tortellini With Pesto

A unique take on a classic. Made with homemade pesto sauce and topped with fresh parmesan. Also, it has spinach, so it's healthy, right?

Neeti Desai

Gnocchi With Marinara (ft. bread)

Elevated with homemade marinara, this is a warm and comforting classic.

Neeti Desai

Baked Gnocchi With Marinara

The extra layer of cheese alone makes this worth a try.

Neeti Desai

Fettuccine And Sausage Special

Topped with roasted red peppers and a delicious garlic cream sauce, with an extra finish of parmesan.

Neeti Desai

Since there's always room for dessert, I recommend heading over to Mike's Pastries for cannoli, a convenient 3-minute walk away (yes, I timed it). There goes your perfect carb-filled, low-cost, post-semester and very well-deserved celebration meal!