Being a foodie on a budget is TOUGH. Friends ask me how I'm always going out to eat when I'm seemingly drowning in student and credit card debt. Well, when you live in a city like Austin, it's not too hard to eat delicious food and not break the bank. Aside from Happy Hours, here are some of my faves.
The Soup Peddlar - Soup is an odd choice for a city that's summer weather 3/4ths of the year, but I recently discovered that the Soup Peddlar also has an extensive fresh juice menu. I was even more surprised to discover that while competitors will charge $10 a bottle (sometimes more, sometimes less) the offerings at Soup Peddlar are a lot more reasonably priced. If you're into juicing, or feel like having a hearty soup, definitely check them out!
Castle Hill - 1112 N. Lamar Blvd. / Airport - 4631 Airport Blvd. / Mary - 501 W. Mary St. / Lamar - 2801 S. Lamar Blvd. / 183 - 13219 Hwy. 183 N. Austin, TX
Tyson's Tacos - If you order 100 tacos, you get to create and name a taco on the menu. And that's not hard to do, considering each taco averages about $2-3. Where else can you get crispy duck and a soft boiled egg on a tortilla, for under $5? And while the tacos obviously are the main attraction, be sure to try the avocado carpaccio or the street corn. All solid options.
4905 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX
Juan in a Million - If you take the Juan challenge, you're going to feed yourself for the entire day for under $10. It's an enormous migas plate that many have attempted but few have conquered. For those of us with smaller stomachs, there are a number of high quality breakfast tacos that won't break the bank.
2300 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX
Bangers - Bangers was the first place I ate at after setting foot in Austin for the first time. The menu has changed a bit since (I miss those late night bagel bites and deep fried mac and cheese!) but it's still incredible. While certain items on the menu aren't necessarily "budget" you can still get a gourmet hot dog or sausage for under $10.
79 Rainey St, Austin, TX
Mod Pizza - Mod Pizza is a chain, but don't let that stop you from trying one of their excellent personal pizzas. Where else can you pile your pie high with custom ingredients for the same low price? It's a great value, and a delicious meal.
1801 E. 51st St, Building D, Suite 410, Austin, TX / 500 W Canyon Ridge Dr, Suite J100, Austin, TX / 701 S Capital of Texas Highway, Suite F-600, West Lake Hills, TX
Din Ho Chinese BBQ - For whatever reason, duck is my barometer for how pricey a place is. And here a seared duck breast will only put you out $14--and it will be DELICIOUS. The menu covers all manners of Chinese cuisine, and offers shareable plates in addition to inexpensive single portions. Worth a try if you're hungry for good Chinese in the city!
8557 Research Blvd #116, Austin, TX
Casino el Camino burgers - Make your way to the back of the bar for some of the best burgers in town, all for under $10. Big, juicy burgers on a soft bun. Or, grab some of their delicious wings. Accompany it with one of their famous bloody marys from the bar and make a night out of it.
517 E 6th St, Austin, TX
|Image courtesy of Waller Creek Pub House
Waller Creek Pub House Established in 2015, Waller Creek Pub House is known for its craft draft beer, original pub fare and laid-back vibe. Specials Monday’s Wing Deal, featuring 6 house made buffalo wings and a pint of Community Beer Company’s Helles Lager for only $10, or the rotating “Taco of the Day” selection for $10 or less are affordable options for those on a budget.
603 Sabine St, Austin, TX
|Image courtesy of PhoNatic
PhoNatic - With nearly all menu items coming in for less than $10, PhoNatic is the perfect spot to grab an affordable, high-quality meal. PhoNatic specializes in traditional Vietnamese cuisine in a modern environment. Be sure to try one of their Vietnamese classics like pho, banh mi and spring rolls. There are multiple locations across Austin, so you're always just minutes away from a flavorful bowl of tasty goodness.
Northcross - 2525 W. Anderson Ln. Bldg 3, Suite 280 / Southpark 9900 S IH 35, Suite P500 / Cedar Park - 1468 E Whitestone Blvd, Suite 200 / Round Rock - 200 University Blvd, Suite 530 / Mueller - 1201 Barbara Jordan, Ste. 1460
Torchy's - This is an addition from my fiance. While the tacos are a little more expensive than the average street taco, they pile them HIGH with ingredients. Two tacos and you're pleasantly full for under $10.
Multiple locations. Please visit their Locations page for details.
This isn't a Happy Hour Roundup... but I felt the need to point out two GREAT low-cost, high-quality happy hours as well:
Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge - Their happy hour menu is extremely reasonable, but the real gem is Tuesday night dollar nights. And don't let "inexpensive sushi" scare you, it's so fresh! Don't miss it!
Salty Sow - Everything on the happy hour menu is $5, with accompanying drink specials. Ordering one of everything comes out to a full meal for two, for $40 total. Not bad for one of the best restaurants in town!
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide for 2017!