A popular spot with locals, Helen’s (17 Main St., 978/369-9885, $6–10) is a cute lunch spot with comfy booths and a retro feel. The menu contains 50 different kinds of burgers, sandwiches, and wraps for both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, as well as a few dinner plates.
Concord’s  old fire station has been reincarnated as Walden Grille (24 Walden St., 978/371-2233, www.waldengrille.com , $14–23), a casual yet sophisticated eatery that draws a regular crowd of young professionals. The menu runs toward simply prepared comfort cuisine, such as hanger steak with rosemary parmesan polenta or steamed cod loin wrapped in a banana leaf.
The homey, rich flavors of Southern France are the draw at La Provence (105 Thoreau St., Concord, 978/371-7428, www.laprovence.us ), a sweet little spot with a welcoming staff and addictive menu. Specialties like coq au vin and bouillabaisse come out at dinnertime, while simple-but-delicious sandwiches filled with pate, cheese, and ham are the focus at lunchtime.