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10 Cheap Eats in Houston

Referenced by USA Today as “the dining-out capital of the United States,” Houston is home to many excellent culinary options and tasty treats.

Given the city’s proximity to locales like Latin America and the Cajun areas of Louisiana, Houston is known for many types of cuisine, including the ever popular tex-mex, as well as Vietnamese-style restaurants and Louisiana Creole cuisine.

With a plethora of delicious dining options to choose from, you can rest assured that in Houston, you don’t have to break the bank. During your next visit, try out some of the city’s delicious and sought-after budget eats – you’ll be happy you did!

10. Cali Sandwich.

While there are many Vietnamese restaurant options in town, Cali Sandwich stands out among the pack. Here you’ll enjoy a selection of banh mi sandwiches, egg rolls, smoothies, bo luc lac, and much more – with most items being under $10.

9. Zabak’s Mediterranean Cafe.

Under $10 for a platter or $5 for just the sandwich, Zabak’s Mediterranean Cafe has some of the best (and cheapest!) falafel in town. Other fan favorites include shawarma, baklava, and tabouli.

8. Pico’s.

Pico’s offers a suite of popular “Mex-Mex” dishes, ranging from the standard tacos and enchiladas to red snapper veracruz and pork-stuffed poblano peppers, with most items on the menu in the $10 – $15 range.

7. Torchy’s Tacos.

Once listed among the “Best Cheap Eats in the US” by Urbanspoon, Torchy’s Tacos is not to be missed! Choose from chicken, pork, fish, beef, and vegetarian tacos, select the level of spiciness, and add your veggies. Also enjoy breakfast tacos, and plenty of great sides!

6. Empire Cafe.

Hearty breakfast and rich desserts, all inside a renovated old gas station. Empire Cafe offers two outdoor dining patios, as well as a warm interior atmosphere perfect for enjoying your morning coffee and breakfast, or a relaxing glass of wine and dinner.

5. Chuy’s.

A small chain Mexican restaurant, Chuy’s has multiple locations throughout Houston. Stop by Chuy’s for a delicious Tex-Mex meal on the cheap, including fresh tacos, signature sauces, hand-pulled meat and more, all wrapped in their famous hand-rolled tortillas.

4. Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack.

Texas beer, bison burgers, and thick-cut bacon – all at very reasonable prices (most menu items are under $10). And don’t skip out just because of the line – it goes fast and Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack is always worth the wait.

3. CorkScrew Barbecue

Stop by CorkScrew Barbecue, a roadside trailer offering wood-smoked BBQ’ed goodness in the form of brisket, pork, and sausages, along with all the fixings, like potato salad, coleslaw, and much more. Pull on up to one of their picnic tables, and enjoy!

2. Kenny & Ziggy’s.

Kenny & Ziggy’s is a well known sandwich shop in Houston, serving up generous portions for a low cost. Enjoy huge pastrami sandwiches, among many other deli classics in an old-school setting.

1. Pizza Zone.

We couldn’t very well have a top 10 budget eats list without at least one pizza joint, could we? For a cheap and delicious slice, head to Houston’s Pizza Zone, offering all the classics, plus gluten free crust options, calzones, salads, and more.

After you’ve filled up on culinary goodness, enjoy a budget-friendly stay at one of our extended stay properties in Houston.

For more ideas on what to do and where to eat in Houston, check out the Area Guide tabs on the pages linked above.