There is certainly no shortage of good food in Austin. Whether you prefer barbecue joints like Franklin’s, which see people lined up for hours before restaurants open, the 22-course sushi dinner at Otoko, or the city’s famed food truck, there are many ways to fill your stomach with live music. Huh. Capital of the world. Where to find the best cheap food in Austin?
When you want to save a little money on your meals but don’t want to sacrifice flavor, stop at the following restaurants to discover the best cheap eats in Austin.
- Top Notch
The fast-food joint has become famous outside the city after being featured in the movie Dazed and Confused, but locals have been enjoying burgers, sandwiches, and fried chicken for nearly 50 years.
Most burgers are under $5, while a two-piece fried chicken dinner with two sides is under $10.
- Juan in a Million
Fresh tortillas and some of the best Tex-Mex in town helped put Juan’s in a million on the local eating 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 is loaded with potatoes, eggs, bacon, and cheese on a fresh tortilla for just $6.25.
- Phoenicia Bakery and Deli
Phenicia serves up delicious chicken shawarma wraps, gyros, falafels, and deli sandwiches for less than $5. Such a low price could set you up some extra money for baklava or cashew fingers for dessert—actually one of the best restaurant deals in town.
- Veracruz All Natural
Veracruz All Natural Food Trucks can now be found in five locations throughout Austin, and while the menu varies slightly from location to location, one thing remains the same: good cheap food.
Most tortas and quesadillas made from fresh ingredients can be had for less than $8, but if you really want to splurge, grab a Cochinita Pibil plate at a North Austin location for $12.
- Dirty Martin’s
Dirty, as the locals call it, has been feeding UT students and fellow Austinites since 1926. The dirt floor is cemented, and prices have risen a bit over the years, but you can still get a patty burger for less than $5 at this local. Institute.
- Rollin’ Smoke
Looking for cheap places to eat doesn’t mean you should give up BBQ when you’re in Austin. Rollin’ Smoke is the place to go for the stacked brisket, pulled pork, and sausage sandwich that will fill you up for less than $10.
- 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.
- Three Little Pigs
One of the finest food trucks in the city known for them, Three Little Pigs, manages to cook up some of the best food in town while keeping the prices reasonable. Try the famous Cracklin’ Meatloaf, which is wrapped in bacon and served with collard greens and cheese grits for $8.
- Dart Bowl Café
You would probably expect budget eats at 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 at $6.25.
This burger stand chain can now be found around Austin, but the first outpost was at the corner of Barton Springs and South Lamar. Given that you can get a delicious all-natural double cheeseburger combo for less than $8, it’s easy to see why the chain has successfully expanded.