Sometimes hunger hits at inconvenient times. Fortunately, there are a slew of local eateries, grocery stores and filling stations that offer grab-and-go options to keep your blood-sugar levels stable. Here are a few of my favorites that might help you get to your next meal safely. The best part is that they are all quick, tasty, homemade and economical.

Sweet Potato–Country Ham Biscuit from Cindy’s Kitchen

Cindy’s Kitchen is located inside the Citgo Gas Station in Coinjock. The locals know about this place for its quick, delicious eats. I also have a hard time resisting the Yellow Cake with Caramel Frosting that is dangerously available most any time of the day. 4511 Caratoke Hwy., Currituck. 252-453-4855

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit from Miss Helen’s

Here’s another filling station favorite. Miss Helen’s, otherwise known as Biscuits and Porn, is inside the Stop Quick station in Kill Devil Hills. Made from scratch daily, these flaky biscuits are available only in the mornings. You pick your breakfast sandwich fillings. 2112 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head. 252-441-6446


Black Bean and Corn Salad from Frog Island Seafood is a healthy and tasty mid-day snack.

Black Bean and Corn Salad from Frog Island Seafood is a healthy and tasty mid-day snack.

Black Bean and Corn Salad from Frog Island Seafood

This cold, prepared salad is slightly spicy, vinegary and tart. It’s a great vegan option. Order it like you would their seafood and it will be ready in just a minute. Remember to grab a spoon, as this one is hard to eat with just your fingers. 3997 Caratoke Hwy., Currituck. 252-453-2879,

Popcorn from Outer Banks Popcorn Shoppe

This is a place where the intention of one nibble can quickly dissolve. Go ahead, buy a few flavors for later. The Corolla Crunch with peanuts and cashews is a favorite, but so are most of the other flavors. Timbuck II Shopping Village, 799 Sunset Blvd, Corolla, 252-453-4000, or Scarborough Lane Shops, 1171-D5 Duck Rd., Duck, 252-255-4000;


Watch out. Popcorn from Outer Banks Popcorn Shoppe is addictive.

Watch out. Popcorn from Outer Banks Popcorn Shoppe is addictive.

Cajun Crab Dip from Tommy’s Market

This dip is spicy with a hint of sweetness. Tommy’s Market in Duck has refrigerated cases full of pre-packaged eats. Fresh salsa, chicken salad and more are made in-house and make a great snack. They fit nicely in a cooler, too, for the boat or the beach. 1242 Hwy. 12, Duck. 252-261-8990;

Guacamole from Coastal Provisions Market

The guac is creamy and delicious. Coastal Provisions offers a selection of take-out food perfect for a snack, a picnic or a full heat-and-eat meal. Often, a pint of something cold and yummy does the trick. Fresh fruit salad, tomatoes and homemade mozzarella, and creamy guacamole are a few of my go-to choices. They have a small selection of crackers and chips, too, but I usually grab a freshly made, salt-hinted roll instead. 1 Ocean Blvd., Southern Shores. 252-480-0023;

Cheese from Trio Wine, Beer and Cheese

A wedge of cheese and a pack of crackers is a favorite snack, and when I can pull into Trio in Kitty Hawk and grab a wedge of something yummy, like a Classic Beemster, and a small box of crackers, I am one happy gal. 3708 N. Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk. 252-261-0277;

Popsicles from Zen Pops

For a quick, non-filling snack, I love to grab a fruity, frozen treat. Made on a stick, these gourmet popsicles are easily consumed with one hand still on the wheel. I love anything they make with coconut milk. Flavors change often, so there is always a new taste to try. They have a storefront in Kitty Hawk, but look for their mobile freezers in other local eateries, too, like Front Porch Coffee Shop and Farmdog Coffee in Nags Head, and at the Manteo Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. 3712 N. Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk. 252-573-0306;

Tabbouleh Salad from Café Lachine

Café Lachine has a full take-out menu and delicious sides in its dessert case if you are really in a hurry. Their Tabbouleh Salad is a delicious, healthy-eating option. I usually ask for two because they are side dishes and are small. OK, sometimes I just ask for one and a slice of whatever dessert catches my eye. Outer Banks Mall, 5000 S. Croatan Hwy, #1, Nags Head. (252) 715-2550;

Amy Gaw is a food entrepreneur who has eaten, cooked and written about food on the Outer Banks and surrounding areas for more than three decades. A clean food advocate with a focus on local seafood, Gaw is also a salt maker and the founder of Outer Banks SeaSalt.

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