Where to Find the Best Cheap Eats in Austin
The 10 best dining deals in Austin
There is certainly no shortage of good food in Austin. Whether you prefer BBQ joints like Franklin’s that see people line up outside for hours before the restaurant even opens, 22-course sushi dinners at Otoko, or the city’s famous food trucks, there’s an endless number of ways to fill your belly in the Live Music Capital of the World.
When you’re looking to save a little money on your meals but don’t want to sacrifice flavor, stop by the following restaurants to discover the best cheap eats in Austin.
1. Top Notch
The fast-food joint may have become famous outside of the city after being featured in the movie Dazed and Confused, but locals have been enjoying the burgers, sandwiches, and fried chicken for nearly 50 years.
Most burgers are less than $5, while a two-piece fried chicken dinner with two sides is under $10.
Fresh tortillas and some of the best Tex-Mex in the city helped put Juan in a Million on the local foodie map, but it’s the breakfast tacos that make the restaurant one of the top cheap places to eat in Austin.
Try the Don Juan El Taco Grande, which comes loaded with potatoes, eggs, bacon, and cheese on a fresh tortilla for only $6.25.
Phoenicia serves up tasty chicken shawarma wraps, gyros, falafels, and deli sandwiches for less than $5. Such low prices might leave you with some extra money for baklava or cashew fingers for dessert—truly one of the best restaurant deals in town.
Veracruz All Natural food trucks can now be found at five locations throughout Austin, and while the menu varies slightly from location to location, one thing remains the same: good cheap eats.
Most tortas and quesadillas made with fresh ingredients can be had for less than $8, but if you really want to splurge, grab a cochinita pibil plate at the North Austin location for $12.
Dirty’s, as locals call it, has been feeding UT students and fellow Austinites since 1926. The dirt floors have been cemented, and the prices have risen slightly over the years, but you can still get a single patty burger for under $5 at this local institution.
Looking for affordable places to eat doesn’t mean you should forego BBQ while you’re in Austin. Rollin’ Smoke is the place to go for stacked brisket, pulled pork, and sausage sandwiches that’ll fill you up for under $10.
7. Home Slice
Sometimes a slice of pizza really hits the spot. At Home Slice, you can get large slices of piping hot New York-style pizza for $4 or less. If you don’t want to wait for a table, grab a to-go slice at More Home Slice and eat it on the curb.
One of the finest food trucks in a city known for them, Three Little Pigs, manages to cook up some of the best food in town while keeping prices reasonable. Try the famous Cracklin’ Meatloaf, which is wrapped in bacon and served with collard greens and cheese grits for $8.
You’d probably expect to find budget eats in an old-school bowling alley, but you might be surprised by the high-quality food at Dart Bowl Café. If you’re in the mood for Tex-Mex, it’s hard to top Dart’s Famous Enchiladas for $6.25.
This burger stand chain can now be found around Austin, but the first outpost was on the corner of Barton Springs and South Lamar. Seeing as you can get a tasty all-natural double cheeseburger combo for under $8, it’s easy to see why the chain has successfully expanded.
Get a taste of Austin
Now that you’ve saved a few bucks with these inexpensive restaurants, you’ll have more pocket money to explore, see more sights, and perhaps check out one of the city’s famous festivals such as South by Southwest or Austin City Limits. And don’t miss our Austin Hotel Travel Guide or the incredible deals you can find on flights to Austin. Take a look at our list of the top things to do in Austin to plan your trip.
Header Image Via Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock
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