The Best Cheap Eats in Houston

The OpenTable Team

Houston is the fourth-largest city in America, but its claims to fame extend far beyond that! The city is packed with culture, arts, hotels, shopping, nightlife and world-class dining. Whether you’re checking out the famous Space Center Houston, wandering through the Museum District or taking in the beauty of the historic Heights, you can easily keep your days full of fun here. Southern hospitality abounds and mingles with urban sophistication and a laid-back attitude that makes it like no other city in the world. The dining scene here is famous across the region and you can even find amazing eats for cheap in this Texan paradise. Check out our list of where to find the best cheap eats Houston has to offer next time you’re in town.

Restaurants:Cafe Ginger, The Union Kitchen (Washington), Fratelli's Ristorante
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Chinese, Contemporary American, Italian
Neighborhoods:River Oaks, Heights / Washington, Spring Branch

Cafe Ginger

$$$$·Chinese·
River Oaks
425 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
Cafe Ginger, located in the Galleria/Uptown neighborhood of Houston, is one of the city’s best affordable restaurants. The Japanese-Chinese fusion draws in both locals and visitorsRead more
100% recommended
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The Union Kitchen (Washington)

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Heights / Washington
356 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Casual
This Union Kitchen outpost offers a unique menu of Contemporary American and Continental cuisine. They focus on sandwiches, wraps, entree salads and some of the best burgers in HouRead more
86% recommended
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Fratelli's Ristorante

$$$$·Italian·
Spring Branch
621 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Birthdays
Fratelli’s, located on Wirt Road in Spring Branch, is a casual but refined Italian restaurant and a great place for affordable food on the Houston culinary scene. It focuses on ItaRead more
97% recommended

Lucille's

$$$$·Comfort Food·
W. University / Med Center
1,905 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Brunch
Lucille’s is a casual dining comfort food spot located on Branch Street in the West University / Med Center neighborhood. The Williams’ Brothers, who opened the place, set out to cRead more
93% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Down House

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Heights / Washington
236 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Great for Brunch
  • Casual
Down House is a funky neighborhood restaurant featuring creative locally sourced food, craft cocktails and an amazing selection of craft beers on tap. Located on Yale Street in theRead more
100% recommended
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Whiskey Cake - Baybrook

$$$$·American·
Friendswood
834 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Great for Brunch
Whiskey Cake, located on Gulf Freeway in Friendswood, has some of the best cheap eats in Houston. They serve up delicious farm-to-kitchen dishes and cocktails made in-house at bothRead more
93% recommended

Phil and Dereks

$$$$·Cajun·
Downtown
370 reviews
  • Hot Spot
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Great for Brunch
Phil and Derek’s Restaurant is Houston’s most popular southern Creole and Cajun eatery. They offer tasty mouth-watering dishes and fun, live upbeat Jazz and R&B music. Located in tRead more
85% recommended
Great for Brunch in Houston

Taste Bar + Kitchen

$$$$·Comfort Food·
Midtown / Montrose
636 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Sunday Lunch
  • Great for Lunch
Taste Bar and Kitchen, located in Midtown, it a great choice if you’re looking for the best cheap eats Houston has to offer. The menu features a wide range of globally-inspired comRead more
92% recommended
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Batanga

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Downtown
1,234 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Romantic
  • Good for Groups
For delicious small plates that won’t make a big dent in your wallet, check out the menu at Batanga. It’s a casual dining Latin American restaurant on Congress in the First Ward, aRead more
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Crisp - Heights

$$$$·Contemporary Italian·
Heights / Washington
596 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for Groups
Crisp Heights, located on Bevis Street, is a great place to go for an after-work drink with friends, colleagues or on a date. They have a solid, and reasonably priced, wine and craRead more
92% recommended
Outdoor Dining in Houston

Punk's Simple Southern Food

$$$$·American·
Rice Village
620 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
For some of the best cheap southern food to be found in Houston, head to Punk’s Simple Southern. This home-style eatery is all about Southern hospitality married to a healthy dose Read more
100% recommended
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Hearsay on the Green

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Downtown
830 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
Hearsay on the Green is an upscale but relaxed restaurant located in Downtown, Houston. It sits next to the George R. Brown Convention Center and adjacent to Embassy Suites, makingRead more
89% recommended
Contemporary American in Houston

The Union Kitchen (Ella Blvd)

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Heights / Washington
413 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Great for Brunch
Looking for the best cheap eats Houston offers in the Heights area? Head to The Union Kitchen, the outpost of the original globally-inspired casual dining eatery. They offer a uniqRead more
96% recommended
Great for Brunch in Houston
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D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe - Rice Village

$$$$·Italian·
Rice Village
350 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch
For the double win of finding cheap eats at a neighborhood joint that feels like home, head to D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe! It’s a full service and to-go restaurant specializing Read more
93% recommended
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The Union Kitchen (Towne Lake)

$$$$·American·
Cypress
205 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
This popular Union Kitchen outpost moved into the former Jaxton’s Grill House & Bar space at The Boardwalk at Towne Lake. It’s the 6th to open in the greater Houston area and this Read more
95% recommended
Scenic View in Houston

Blanco Tacos + Tequila - Houston

$$$$·Mexican·
Galleria / Uptown
304 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
A great way to get a tasty and filling meal without spending a fortune is by heading to Blanco Tacos and Tequila. This casual Mexican place is located at the Galleria Mall on LevelRead more
85% recommended

True Food Kitchen - Woodlands

$$$$·American·
The Woodlands
456 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Organic
  • Fit for Foodies
True Food Kitchen is a health-driven restaurant that combines nutrient-rich ingredients with a seasonal menu so you can always count on a fresh and healthy meal. The idea here is tRead more
91% recommended
Healthy in Houston

Monarch @ Hotel Zaza

$$$$·Contemporary American·
W. University / Med Center
830 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
Sometimes you don’t want to spend a fortune on dinner but you still want to go out in style! If you want a great meal in stylish digs, head to Hotel ZaZa, located on Main Street inRead more
100% recommended
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State Fare Kitchen & Bar - Memorial

$$$$·American·
Westside
1,138 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Lunch
State Fare Kitchen and Bar is a casual dining spot with cheap eats located in the heart of Memorial City. They serve delicious lunch, dinner and Happy Hour specials throughout the Read more
93% recommended
Great for Brunch in Houston