Sometimes, all you need very simple, but healthy, abundant, and not expensive food.  In cheap places to eat in Austin, you can enjoy such Tex-Mex budget-friendly snacks as tacos, burgers, barbecues, and burritos.

Without further ado, here are our picks for cheap but GOOD food around Austin….

Gourdough’s. Big. Fat. Donuts

1503, S 1st St,
Austin, TX 78704
Bouldin Creek, So-Fi (S. 1st St. District),
South Austin 78704

This Gourdough’s snack place is located on the 1st Street on the South, but there are also two other spots of the same restaurant chain in Austin. If you are a huge fan of sweet donuts, take Mother Clucker – the fried chicken with honey butter, having a perfect combination of salty and sweet taste;

Miss Shortcake – cream cheese icing with strawberries; or Granny’s Pie – cream cheese icing, caramel, graham crackers, bananas, and pecans. You will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.

Donuts here are rich and fat, perfectly slightly toasted. Freshly fried donuts have all sorts of toppings. The texture of donuts is so perfect that it’s fluffy but has enough yummy substance in them.

These are little-fried dough balls with coconut, banana, blackberry cream or Nutella.


616, W 34th St,
Austin, TX 78705
University of Texas

First of all, this is a very cute restaurant for students and not only. Everyone can come here, leave the car on parking along 34th Street near the restaurant and enjoy a good atmosphere and great food at a reasonable price.

It is a cozy house that has a small interior, but plenty of shaded outdoor seating. Each table has a small vase of bright flowers on it and chairs and tables are colorful as well. Even during busy lunch hours, the place isn’t too loud and the tables aren’t too awkwardly close together.

It is not one of those sleek and modern bars, but a very homey place that makes you want to come in and get comfortable to catch up with a friend or a lunch date. The interesting and unusual menu offers many items, mostly sandwiches.

Try Chicken Special Sandwich, Apple Pork Sandwich, Cinnamon Roll, Roast Beef, Brie Sandwich with Tortilla Soup or Goat Cheese with Basil Pesto. The typical price is $8-9 per sandwich.

Don Japanese Kitchen

2716, 1/2 Guadalupe St,
Austin, TX 78705
University of Texas, West Campus

Back then, Don Japanese Kitchen was originally a simple food truck with Japanese fast snacks for students. This enterprise quickly became successful, and now they have their own brick and mortar.

They added a ton of new options on their menu as well – poke (fish salad), pork belly, etc. The prices went up, but not so much, on par with other snack places around the campus. Whenever you come here, at the brunch hours or lunch ones, you can see many visitors.

All food is perfectly fine and the line moves quite quickly. Onsen Tamago eggs with rice and the fish or chicken Katsu cakes are quite excellent and recommended. This place is very inviting and has a fun young environment.

Whole Foods Market

Market District, Downtown
525, N Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78703

Inside the store in downtown, there are several different restaurants and cafés where you can go to eat. This good meeting place offers a great selection of fresh food, good wine, and draft beer.

They also have an excellent café with fresh juice bar, salads, barbecue and stunning roasted bacon potato. You can also find here taco shop, pizzeria, and a fish restaurant with delicious oysters and squids. The bakery area is a killer. The food is always prepared on a timely basis, and even the chef will provide the plates when waiters are busy.

Everything is not expensive and affordable for everyone. With a huge variety of available dishes, it’s hard to make a choice, but you have to try it!

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

117, San Jacinto Blvd,
Austin, TX 78701

This budget spot has a great location in downtown. If you stay at Hampton Inn or JW Marriott, you can come here for a snack every day. First, when you step inside, you see the open and spacious hall with wonderfully nostalgic antique décor – thanks to the designer.

Ordinarily, there are a lot of visitors. So, be ready to wait. The line of hungry people may go out the door. The menu is not very versatile, but there is always something to choose and you will want to try it all. Here, the fried chicken for only $2-$3 with hot sauce has a really good crisp, hot, and juicy.

Enjoy also a fried fish, fried green tomatoes, beans, and sweet pecan pie at the end of your meal. Wait staff is friendly, absolutely pleasant and hospitable.

El Fogón de Geña

1307, West Howard Ln,
Austin, TX 78753

The place is located near the Field of Honor, right next to the Valero on the corner. If you are going there by car, you have to turn in slightly early to get into the parking area where you will see two food trucks. El Fogón de Geña is not a well-known place, but when you are in the mood, this food will really hit the spot.

In the opinion of many people, this typical food truck offers the best and authentic Puertorican food in Texas. Here, you can try lots of “staple” Rican food like Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas), Pernil (roasted pork shoulder), Empanadillas (ground beef), Mofongo de Pollo (mashed plantains), etc.

Literally every dish has the delicious flavor and cooked right. They even have the traditional beverages – Maltas, Coco Rico, and Cola Champagne.

La Gordita Loca

7545, N Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78752

La Gordita Loca is one of favorite taco spots for Austinites. It is found near the gas station and parking at the South East corner of Lamar and Morrow streets. The food here is super tasty and very cheap. You can find here all the usual favorite snacks like tacos, barbacoa, fajitas, etc. But Gordita Loca is proud of the unique items like Bistec con Papas and Azado de Puerco Verde. The tortillas are also made fresh. There is definitely that someone took secret recipes from his grandmother – all is delicious. You can pay by cash only.

You can find here all the usual favorite snacks like tacos, barbacoa, fajitas, etc. But Gordita Loca is proud of the unique items like Bistec con Papas and Azado de Puerco Verde. The tortillas are also made fresh. There is definitely that someone took secret recipes from his grandmother – all is delicious. You can pay by cash only.

The tortillas are also made fresh. There is definitely that someone took secret recipes from his grandmother – all is delicious. You can pay by cash only.

MezzeMe Mediterranean Kitchen

4700, W Guadalupe St,
Ste 9,
Austin, TX 78751

The location of this café at The Triangle to the North of downtown is stunning. The place has a casual atmosphere and provides outdoor seats. A good music plays inside. It’s so inviting, bright, plenty of fresh flowers at every table.

Even coffee cups and saucers are beautiful. The owner is Turkish. He and his staff are very gracious and genuinely nice. The mix of Mediterranean and Turkish cuisines is great. First, you have to select a base – pita, greens, rice, etc.

Then, take meat dishes – lamb, beef, chicken or falafel and combine all that with different Mezzes – hummus, eggplants, shakshuka, etc. Finally, a bunch of fresh toppings & sauces will finish the plate. The café is a bit pricey, but it is not for nothing.

The Big Kahuna

5000, Burnet Rd,
Austin, TX 78756
This food truck place with outdoor seating is located on the North of the city on Burnet Road. Ask the waiter to make a presentation of dishes. Their poke is excellent, especially the tuna poke with a wonderful orange colored sauce is top notch.

The traditional Loco Moco is also great, very typical dish from Hawai’i. Beef skewer, coconut shrimp skewer, and different salads will bring you a unique and awesome flavor experience. The atmosphere is cool – people often come here for a party. Customer service is great, very friendly and personable.

The atmosphere is cool – people often come here for a party. Customer service is great, very friendly and personable.

The B’s Kitchen Vietnamese & Asian Cuisine

5000, Burnet Rd,
Austin, TX 78756,
This good food truck with outdoor seats is situated in the North on Burnet Street next to T-Loc Sonora and The Big Kahuna.

You can order different Bánh mi snacks. Bánh mì, a Vietnamese dish, is a loaf of bread, or more specifically the baguette, stuffed with chicken, pork, veal, etc. They also have stir-fry, rice dishes and many other items of traditional Asian food.

The portions are big enough and filling. They always offer some special off-menu items like pork, boar and deer ribs on specific days of the week. Just ask what they have. Service is fast and effective.

Needful to say that the owner and his staff take pride in their cuisine and genuinely care about their customers, whenever they are returning locals or newbies.

ATX Jamaican Grill

2201, S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
So-Fi (S. 1st St. District), Bouldin Creek,
South Austin 78704
It is very easy to find this place – just drive along the 1st Street to the South. All locals living nearby are happy to have ATX Jamaican Grill in the neighborhood.

Curry and jerk chicken and beef patty are absolutely delicious and authentically Jamaican (not too spicy). These dishes are served with traditional coconut rice and beans, sautéed cabbage and sweet plantains. The beef patties are full of flavor and flaky.

The salad with fresh crisp lettuce and tomatoes is also recommended. Reggie music and Rastafari atmosphere produce a very good impression.

JeonJu Korean Grill

2323, S Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78704
South Lamar District,
South Austin 78704
This eating place is located on South Lamar with plenty of outdoor seating and some games to play while waiting for your food. Not only the food is delicious here, it is very different.

Rather іmall menu with various combinations of the basic ingredients includes rolls, bowls, pizza, quesadillas, and sliders. Despite the fewest number of offered dishes, sliders, Kimchi Quesadillas, and Pajang pizza are all deeply flavorful in their own way and fantastic.

Steaks are sweetly marinated, thinly sliced and then grilled. Spicy pork seems to be lightly breading or coating on the outside. The prices are great and the portion sizes will allow you to try a few items without breaking the bank.

The Togo bowls are top notch. All in all, it is a very welcoming and homey place.

Brazas Taco House

6801, Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78752
The restaurant is easy to locate on Airport Boulevard next to the Mercedes Dealership. There is some graffiti on the building which needs to be removed, but the inside is clean and big.

Eat, enjoy and talk with locals in this Taco shop. Their homemade corn tortilla is awesome and tacos are magnificent. in Austin, there are a million places that sell tacos, but flavors of these tacos with seasoning are outstanding.

They have big beef, pork, and chicken tacos for any meal of the day. Each taco is named after a street or landmark in the Highland mall/St. Johns area. The salsa is also great and they have a queso appetizer with pork carnitas, Pico de Gallo and guacamole in the bowl too.

All is for a reasonable price. Definitely, this place should be in our hood.

Workhorse Bar

100, N Loop Blvd E
Austin, TX 78751
This is cool little hipster and dive bar nestled on the North Loop. While the space is small, this location is perfect for eating, drinking and having fun after work.

Come here with friends if you want to hang out on some funky furniture, drink an awesome array of cheap beers, and eat some delicious bar food. You can take burgers with sweet or parmesan potato fries, grilled chicken, mac-and-cheese, fried pickles, hot dogs – all is exceptional, absolutely excellent, and totally affordable.

They make even their own mustard too, which is a nice touch. This bar has a fun atmosphere and great music. The back patio area is available too. Parking can be rough.

It is easy to snag a seat during the off time, but on Friday and Saturday nights it is busy here.

My Thai Mom

1006, Congress Ave,
Austin, TX 78701
The location of this Thai food truck in downtown has a lot of advantages. Many people working here come for lunch or order the food to take away. That’s why they are open only for lunch hours up till 2:30 pm.

They have a sort of patio area where there are tables with umbrellas to sit and have your food. Their menu constantly changes and you will definitely find a few vegetarian options as well. Looking forward to trying the famous Thai soup, Chicken Pad Thai, Panang Curry, fried chicken dumplings with peanut sauce, mango sticky or crab fried rice, salads.

Flavors are excellent and the default spice level is perfect. Once ordered, you will get your food reasonably quick. It is nice simple and reasonably priced. Not fancy, just plain good. If you are downtown, this spot is a must have!


1211, E 6th St,
Austin, TX 78702
East Austin
This little food truck with a few other food trucks, located in a really cute space on the 6th Street, offers amazing Colombian dishes.

The spot of really authentic Colombian food has plenty of outdoor covered seating. Order the Colombian Bowl, which was advertised on the truck, any of different empanadas, plantains, fluffy tortillas or Colombian style tacos with veggies.

Each dish has a unique and flavorful taste. The fresh squeezed juices are awesome. They are light, delicious and definitely there is no coloring or adding sugar. All the food here is healthy and filling.

1776 Cheesesteak

1505, Town Creek Dr,
Austin, TX 78741
Oltorf/East Riverside
This food truck makes great cheesesteaks. It is located in East Riverside near The Buzzmill.

Ask for Mount Rushmore, which is not on the menu, Way South Philly, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson cheesesteaks. Frank’s wing sauce and provolone on an Amoroso roll topped with ranch or bleu cheese dressing are delicious.

Not only that, but have great cheese fries as well. Cheesesteaks have a generous amount of meat and cheese inside. The place gives off a good vibe and this is a perfect place to hang out with friends.

Lebowski’s Grill

8909 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757
This great basic backyard burger is in the heart of Highland Lanes Bowling Alley.

This spot offers excellent burgers with a root beer and French fries. Among their standard dishes are Bacon Cheese Burger, Cowboy Special and Wayne and Sumana Split – beef topped with pickles, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, mayo & mustard, and cheese.

This is delicious original food, but speaking about beverages, they serve Pepsi drinks only. The service is always friendly and fast. This is a great place to meet with friends and go bowling.


2323 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
South Austin, TX 78704
This food truck is perfectly situated for its clientele in the South Lamar District. You can see the Vegan Fried Chicken sign when you are driving along South Lamar road.

They have an extremely limited menu, just chicken, buffalo bites, BBQ, and sandwiches, vegan or not. But Sundaze café proves that you don’t need an extensive menu to offer a yummy food – just do what you do the best way.

Spicy, crispy, and sometimes lemony fried nuggets or wings with some fries are absolutely perfect. People say that these sandwiches are some of the best chicken sandwiches in Austin.

Planet Sub

906, Congress Ave,
Austin, TX 78701
This public place with great location in downtown offers a huge option of sandwiches Subway style. Creamy Club, Mega Roast Beef, Dagwood’s Dream are really big.

All amazing ingredients are here – premium roast beef, oven roasted turkey, smoked ham and bacon, crispy chicken. Adding some lettuce, tomatoes, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, pepperoni, pepper jack, jalapeños, and chipotle sauce, it really takes the sandwich to another higher level.

All food has a great taste and is not expensive. Amazing feature is that the calories are indicated on every sandwich.

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