MORE Meals That Cost $10 or Less at Houston Restaurants
Although the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our collective bottom lines, there is a silver lining. We can still eat well — and affordably. The comforting nature of food is as valued as always and Houston has plenty of dishes to nourish the body and the soul that cost $10 or less. So many, in fact, that our original list warranted publishing in two parts. You can read the first edition here, and see below for more budget-friendly bites.
Want more budget friendly options at local restaurants? Shoot us an email to nominate your favorite cheap eats in Houston for a future list.
Dish Society, multiple locations: Find deals all day long at this local mini-chain with five Houston-area storefronts. It’s also comforting to know that Dish Society uses all-natural and local ingredients as much as possible. It’s a nice perk for your health and the local economy! Start the morning with breakfast and brunch with the Breakfast Biscuit Sandwich for only $5.65. It includes a housemade buttermilk biscuit, cage-free eggs, cheese and a choice of local pork sausage, all-natural bacon or ham. The BYO Breakfast Tacos start at $3.50 each and include eggs plus two add-ons; additional toppings are $1 each. There is also avocado toast for $7.65 ($6 during Social Hour) and fluffy Red Velvet Pancakes cost $3.95 for one or $7.25 for two. Get chicken tortilla or summer squash bisque for $7 or less at lunch, or snag the deconstructed elote for a $6 afternoon snack. Visit for Social Hour Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. for $6 small plates (avocado toast, Fried Smoked Gouda Grit Balls, Quinoa-Stuffed Avocado half, Pretzels + Queso, or Berry Bruschetta) and pair with a pint of local Texas craft beer for $3 to $4 each. There are also fresh-pressed juices and mocktails for $5.75 or mimosas for $6.
Floyd’s Seafood, multiple locations: This spacious hangout specializes in top-quality Cajun seafood and you can make your dollars stretch the most by ordering in bulk. Stock up on group meals and the price per plate usually drops below $10. This is perfect for the office. For families, enjoy a hot dinner tonight and freeze some for later for a future, stress-free meal. A large pan of chicken and sausage jambalaya makes 15 to 20 meals for $90 while the seafood version is $140. The large pan of Ashby’s Alfredeaux Pasta also serves 15 to 20 people and costs $200. There are a la carte items, too, such as catfish filets for $5 each, crab cakes for $6.50 each and stuffed shrimp for $4.50 each. (All are available fried, grilled or blackened). For splurge-worthy feasts, visit and relax on the shaded patio to indulge in appetizers and entrées. There are eight kinds of fish from which to choose as well as eight luxurious topping add-ons like Pontchartrain with shrimp, crab meat, mushrooms and cream sauce or Evangeline with crab meat, spinach and tomato in a citrus butter sauce.
Good Dog Houston, multiple locations: Gourmet hot dogs topped with fun and funky additions are the norm at this craft café in the Heights and Montrose. Each hot dog comes in at less than $8 but feels like a full meal due to the overload of toppings. Summer staples include the Picnic Dog topped with beef & chorizo chili, red potato salad, Short Bus Mustard and dill pickle slice for $7.75, the Guac-A-Dog with avocado, fresh jalapeño, tomato, onion, roasted garlic aioli, cilantro, cumin and lime for $7.95 and the Fried Corny Dog, aka the house-dipped and fried corn dog with mustard and sriracha ketchup, for $7.25. You can also build your own dog for $6.50 with your choice of three housemade additions. Wash it down with sodas starting at $2.50 and beers starting at $4. Visit both locations for shaded and dog-friendly patio dining, takeout, curbside pickup and 3rd party delivery.
Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, multiple locations: Although this Tex-Mex destination has more than 10 Houston-area locations, Pearland gets bragging rights as home to the original so visit there for a taste of history. Cheap eats include the Fajita Bowl brimming with meat, refried beans, Mexican rice, a touch of chili con carne and queso for only $8.99 for chicken, $9.99 for beef or $9.69 for both. Another option is the Marisco Bowl, filled with sautéed Gulf shrimp and crawfish tails, Mexican rice and white wine sauce that is $9.99. Add fajita meat for only $1.99 extra.
There are also combination plates, such as the Summer Special with guacamole, crispy beef taco, bean chalupa and queso chip for $8.99, and beef Burrito Con Queso served with rice and beans for $10.19. Stop in during happy hour Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. when the Caddy’Rita and House’Rita are $5.50 and $4.50, respectively, draft beer is $2.79 for domestic and $3.49 for premium, and wines are $1 off per glass.
Gringo’s has also unveiled four Tex-Mex Family Meals for $36.99. Each meal feeds a family of four (two adults and two kids). Choose from Enchilada with one dozen cheese, ground beef or salsa-style chicken topped with choice of chili con carne, poblano cream or queso; Tacos that includes one dozen ground beef or salsa-style chicken topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese; Chicken Fajita that includes chicken fajitas, guacamole, pico, cheese and tortillas (combo or all beef available for additional fee); and Fajita Bowl Casserole made with chicken fajita meat, refried beans, rice, queso, shredded cheese and tortillas (combo or all beef available for additional fee). All meals also include beans, rice, red & green salsa, queso & chips.
Feges BBQ, 3 Greenway Plaza: There are several ways to indulge in smoky fare from this Greenway Plaza mainstay while sticking to a moderate budget. Choose from a chopped brisket, pulled pork or chicken salad BBQ sandwich for $10, the Pick 3 (three sides) for $8 or the Kale Salad tossed with Champagne vinaigrette, almonds, dried cranberries and red onions for $9. Sides include Loaded Potato Salad, kale salad, braised collard greens, Sweet Potato + Banana Mashers, Pimento Mac & Cheese and Elote Corn Salad. The barbecue counter is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for dine-in, pickup and curbside orders.
Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale: Order food truck favorites and fill up on the cheap at this open-air Heights bar that also has an expansive patio. The cheeseburger is $6.50 and includes an all-beef patty, American cheese, diced white onions, pickles and mustard and the $7.50 quesadilla is stuffed with Oaxaca cheese, cheddar, queso fresco, poblanos, caramelized onions and avocado crema. There are tacos, too, like the $5.75 Sprouts filled with Brussel sprouts, crema, radish, charred onion, queso fresco and cilantro, $6.75 Chicken with kale, pickled red onion, chili mayo and sunflower seeds or $7.00 Shrimp made with orange-glazed fried shrimp, pickled jicama and carrot, Serrano peppers, Thai basil and black sesame seeds. Most single beers are $4.25 to $6.25. You can even stock up on grocery staples such as citrus, corn or flour tortillas for a few dollars. Walk-up orders and curbside pickup are available (masks required for walk-up) and all orders must include food.
Melange Creperie, 711 Heights Blvd: Find fresh, made-to-order crepes at this cheerful, family-owned shop in the Heights. Every crepe is currently $10 or less — and generously sized for appetite fulfillment. There are nine savory options such as Ham, Egg & Cheddar for $8, Veggie, stuffed with local seasonal roasted vegetables, white cheddar, arugula and lemon vinaigrette for $6 or the Nigerian Red Stew Pork filled with spicy red pork and rice for $10. There are 10 sweet delights, including Banana & Nutella for $5 (add strawberries for $2 more), Peach Pie with baked spiced local peaches, pie crumbs and condensed milk for $8, Strawberry Cheesecake with pie crumbs, cheesecake spread, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries for $8 or S’mores Crepe with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate chips for $7. You can also request the gluten-free and vegan dosa batter for $1 extra. Make a full meal with sides that cost just $3 each: fruit cup, macaroni and cheese, kale salad, cookie and muffin. If your budget has a little wiggle room, there are also $12 choices such as the hot Croque Monsieur Sandwich, Roasted Veggie Salad and Pecan Salad. Call (713) 393-7578 for curbside pickup.
Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial Parkway: Snack your way through housemade dim sum dumplings and follow it up with cooling housemade Malaysian ice cream at this colorful spot in Katy. Dumplings are served three per order and include Har Gao (crystal prawn) and Siu Mai (shrimp and pork) for $5 or Shrimp Siu Mai (shrimp) for $6. There are also $5 BBQ Pork Buns (two per order), Sticky Rice In Lotus Leaf with chicken and shiitake filling for $6 and Roti Canai with Chicken Curry Dip for $7, which is a flaky, housemade Indian flatbread accompanied by creamy curry chicken dip. Ice cream costs $6 to $7 per pint and flavors include Malaysian Milk Tea, Ube (purple yam), Pandan Coconut with Curry Sprinkle and Creamy Durian. Wash it all down with $5 local and Thai beers on drafts and in bottles, $3 sodas and Malaysian Iced Milk Tea for $4.50.
Cali Sandwich, 3030 Travis: Vietnamese soups, noodle dishes and bánh mì are the highlight at this family-friendly café in Midtown — plus just about everything is well under $10. The spicy beef, pork or chicken noodle soup is $6.49, grilled pork & egg roll vermicelli is $5.95 and rice plates top out at $7.99. The bánh mì are dreamily stuffed with savory meats and crisp vegetables tucked into tender baguettes and cost between $2.31 and $2.77. Popular options include barbecue pork with marinated and grilled pork, fresh cilantro, jalapeños, pickled carrots, soy sauce and Vietnamese mayo and the Cali Combination stuffed with housemade pâté, Vietnamese mayo, steamed barbecue pork, cucumber, carrots and jalapeños.
Vibrant, 1931 Fairview: Allergy-friendly meets budget-friendly at this specialty cafe that caters to dietary concerns such as gluten-free, dairy-free, no refined sugar or no peanuts. There are four $10-or-less items from which to choose on the all-day menu: the AB&J sandwich made with Teff bread, almond butter, blueberry-lavender-chia compote and dried raspberry is $10; Avocado Toast with avocado, olive oil, lemon, urfa pepper, green onion and Maldon salt on nut and seed bread is $9; Breakfast Tacos are one for $4.50 or two for $9 and are made with an almond flour tortilla, scrambled egg, microgreens, avocado, watermelon radish and jalapeño-mango salsa; and a Gulf fish taco is $9, which includes Gulf coast fish, chickpea tortilla, radish, cilantro, cashew chipotle and taqueria style pickled jalapeño. Pre-pay online for contactless pickup and delivery.
The Whistle Stop Tea Room, 107 Commerce and The Express at 104 North Elm in Tomball: The Whistle Stop in Tomball has three Family Packs for $40 each that serve four to six people for less than $10 per person. Choose from the Spinach Chicken Enchilada pack, which is a casserole of the same name layered with chicken, mild chilies, Monterey Jack cheese and flour tortillas in a cream sauce, the Jalapeño Pimento Cheese pack that includes one quart of housemade favorite chile-spiked pimento cheese, or the Chicken Salad pack that includes one quart of chicken salad. All packs include a choice of two sides such as tortilla soup, fruit, pasta or broccoli salad (a tossed green salad side is an extra $7.75) as well as a dozen free cookies. There is also tomato basil soup and tortilla soup available by cup for $5.25 or or bowl for $6.50. Call to order.
Washington Avenue/Rice Military
Urban Eats, 3414 Washington: Pop into this neighborhood bistro for all kinds of nourishment. Shop the downstairs gourmet market for grab-and-go snacks such as crackers, cheese and bottled drinks, or order from the counter for heartier housemade fare. The Breakfast Sandwich is $9 with choice of biscuit, ciabatta, bagel, croissant, or gluten-free and filled with four options: bacon, egg, white cheddar & jalapeño bacon jam; sausage patty, egg, cheddar, & smoked paprika aioli; smoked honey ham, egg, gouda & cumin chili aioli; or scrambled egg whites, spinach, tomato & feta. The Breakfast Naan is $10 and is filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potato, roasted black beans, corn, and cheddar cheese and salsa verde, served with mixed greens. Head upstairs for lunch and dinner and get the a la carte combination of a Solo Signature Slider & Bistro Pommes Frites for $7 then add a fountain drink or iced tea for $1, making the total $8.66 with tax. Owner Levi Rollins says this is a popular option with regulars. The restaurant is open for in-house dining (reservations required for the main dining room upstairs), to-go, curbside pickup and third party delivery. There are also two spacious patios and the ground floor one is dog friendly.