Houston Journals

Cheap Eats in Houston, TX

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2004 trip to Houston by ssullivan

Brown Bag Deli Photo, Houston, Texas More Photos
Quote: Visiting Houston on a limited budget? Want to know where the best places to eat a great meal for less than $15 (or sometimes less than $10) are? Take my advice -- Houston is one city where you can eat very well on not a lot of money.

Cheap Eats in Houston, TX

Overview

Downtown Houston Photo, Houston, Texas
Quote:
Houston has gained a reputation as a city of great chefs and restaurants. I mean, where else do people consider eating out to be one of their major hobbies? It's true, we Houstonians love to eat out (no wonder we earned the dreaded "fattest city in the US" title from Men's Health magazine several times in the last few years). Unlike some other well-known restaurant cities like New York and San Francisco, the good news is you don't have to carry a platinum card to afford to eat well here. Sure, we've got all the usual affordable chain restaurants, but why eat at those places when we've got great local choices like Barnaby's, Niko Niko's, Fadi's, Cafe Express, and others serving up larg...Read More

Brown Bag Deli

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Brown Bag Deli Photo, Houston, Texas
Quote:
The folks who brought us Barnaby's Cafe have done it again! Brown Bag Deli is a funky little sandwich shop on Westheimer at Shepherd Dr., on the edge of Montrose and near the Westheimer antique shop district. Newer locations have also recently opened in Rice Village and Northwest Houston. The concept is simple. Pick up a clipboard and brown paper bag with the menu printed on it at the front door or counter and a pencil. Create your own sandwich by marking the menu on the bag with your choice of bread, meat, cheese, veggies, and condiments. Check off any side orders or beverages, turn in your bag to the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 2, 2004

Brown Bag Deli
2036 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77098
(713) 807-9191

Ming's Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This kitchsy little Montrose Chinese fast food place serves fairly large portions of very good Cantonese and Hunan cuisine. From the outside, Ming's looks like little more than a run down shack sitting near the busy Montrose and Westheimer intersection. Once inside, though, hungry customers are hit with a funky, Ikea-styled interior. Orders are placed and paid for at the counter, but the staff brings the food out to you at your table. The menu is posted on a large chalkboard above the counter, but printed menus that are easier to read are available on the counter. Be sure to check the dry erase board above the drink cooler for the daily specials. While the food here is served quickly on Sty...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 3, 2004

Ming's Cafe
2703 Montrose Blvd
Houston, Texas 77006
+1 713 529 7888

Lai Lai Dumpling House

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Lai Lai Dumpling House Photo, Houston, Texas
Quote:
If there was an award for best "bang for your dining dollar" in Houston, Lai Lai Dumpling House would win it hands down. Tucked into a corner of an Asian shopping center in West Houston's bustling "new" Chinatown on Bellaire Blvd., this small Chinese cafe is just about the only place I know of where you can feed four people on less than $15 (including tax, beverages, and tip!) and still have enough leftovers for everyone to take home some. Lai Lai's menu is somewhat limited; do not expect the huge variety that some of the other Asian restaurants in Houston feature. Don't expect much in the way of ambiance either. But the owner is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet and the Chinese food that...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 3, 2004

Lai Lai Dumpling House
9262 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77036
(713) 271-0080

Mission Burritos : Restaurants

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Mission Burritos"

Mission Burritos : Restaurants Photo, Houston, Texas
Quote:
In recent years burritos (or when they're filled with non-Mexican food, "wraps") have become extremely popular, especially in Houston. Of all of the burrito shops in town, Mission Burritos remains my favorite, even if they did close the Westchase location close to where I used to live (although now I'm not too far from the West Alabama store!). This is the best place in town to go for huge burritos freshly made as you watch. Or, if you prefer something other than a burrito, tacos, quesadillas, salads, and soups are also available. If you've ever been to another burrito place the format here will be familiar. Step up to the counter at one end and place your order. Burritos come in two...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2004

Mission Burritos : Restaurants
2245 W Alabama Street
Houston, Texas 77098
(713) 529-0535

Jason's Deli

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Jason's Deli Photo, Houston, Texas
Quote:
Once again, I'm making a rare exception to my "no big chain places listed in my journals" rule. I've been eating at Jason's Deli my entire life, since the days when they had fewer than five locations, all in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. The original Gateway Center location in Beaumont (it's still there) was a frequent lunch spot for us when I was a kid and we went into Beaumont on Saturdays to go shopping. There are now over 75 locations in 16 states, yet Jason's remains one of my favorite places for a good, affordable lunch or dinner. Jason's Deli is a typical deli menu, with a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and soups. The restaurant also features giant baked potatoes stuffed with...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2004

Jason's Deli
10321 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77024
+1 713 467 2007

Quote:
As a proud Houston resident set on doing my part to get rid of this wonderful city's mostly undeserved bum reputation as a tourist destination, I've centered my various Houston journals around certain themes. As a result, some very affordable dining options have ended up listed in other journals. Rather than reviewing the same places multiple times in multiple places (I doubt the IgoUgo editors would be very happy with that), I'm including here links to other restaurants that fit the "Cheap Eats" category but are listed in my other journals. And, as I complete my other Houston journals, this list will grow. ...Read More