Austin's Best Cheap Eats

There's no need to live off of ramen noodles or pizza slices that taste like cardboard in Austin. This city is home to plenty of good, cheap eats that will barely put a dent in your wallet--from sushi to tacos and burgers to oysters. Read on for our list of the best cheap eats in Austin. (Photo: Eddie V's $1 oysters, courtesy of Eddie V's)

Updated: July 28, 2011

Cheap Eats in Austin


3423 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Who says sushi has to be expensive? In the Hyde Park neighborhood just north of campus, you can get your sushi fix at this fast-food Japanese joint. Don't be fooled by the term fast food. Zen has made a commitment to being healthy and rolls its sushi fresh daily.

Wahoo's Fish Taco

509-A Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701

Fresh and made-to-order Baja-style fish tacos are served up at this surf-inspired venue in the downtown and South Austin neighborhoods. The platters come piled high with a healthy serving of rice and beans. Wash yours down with the temperature happy hour that happens all summer from 5pm to 6pm. The temperature outside gauges the price of draft beers and margaritas, which often come in at about $1 or less (98 degrees means 98 cent happy hour).


1728 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Monday through Friday from 4pm to 7pm, you can eat for free. This Tex-Mex staple in South Austin loads up its Taco Car with chips, salsa, queso, refried beans and taco meat. You can make a meal out of it (or at least a hearty appetizer). What 's better than free?

Whole Foods Market

525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

Some have renamed this place located in downtown and the Arboretum neighborhoods as "whole paycheck," but at breakfast this place is a bargain. Load up at the taco bar or oatmeal station for $1.99. The taco bar is loaded with nearly a dozen items to stuff your taco full. At the oatmeal station, fill a generously sized cup with an assortment of fresh fruit and berries and crunchy add-ins like whole walnuts, slivered almonds, pecans and healthy flax seeds. That's a whole lot of goodness for just a little dinero.

Tam Deli & Cafe

8222 N Lamar Blvd Ste D33, Austin, TX 78753

The banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich, is the way to go at this North Austin neighborhood gem. These scrumptious sandwiches can almost be compared to a sub. A fresh baguette is spread with homemade mayonnaise, stuffed with pork, shredded carrots, daikon and fresh cilantro and comes with a spring roll on the side for around $5.


601 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

The burger at this upscale American tavern with British influences is one of the best in downtown. It is thick, juicy and piled high with Gruyere cheese and sauteed onions. You can be sinful or sensible with your selection of accompaniment--greens or British-style chips. Normally the meal costs $16, but it is half off at happy hour weekdays from 5pm to 7pm, and it's large enough to share, cutting the cost to just $4 each.

Eddie V's Prime Seafood

9400 B Arboretum Blvd., Austin, TX 78759

Who says you have to sacrifice fancy for frugality? Louisiana jumbo-sized Gulf oysters are just $1 every day of the week from 4:30pm to 7pm. Listen to live jazz in a sophisticated setting at both the downtown and Arboretum locations while savoring these delicacies from the sea.