Wherever there's a booming college campus, there's bound to be cheap eats, so visitors on a shoestring budget can rest assured that they'll find plenty of cheap meal options in Austin. Small and quaint is how you can best describe Austin's Tamale House. But don't let the "small" factor undermine the Mexican fare dished out here; you can actually watch them cook. Crowded with hungry students, travelers, local patrons, and professionals, the food is delicious but inexpensive. Food includes homemade salsa, breakfast tacos, migas, enchiladas, chalupas and a lot more. In spite of the demand, service is quick.
Sandy's Hamburgers is one of those all-American cafes. This one has been around for two decades, its neon custard cone its trademark. So, if you want a bit of classic Americana, drive through and pick up a meal or sit at one of the picnic tables. The menu consists of mouthwatering cheeseburgers and its famous custard cones. Everything on the menu is affordable here.
For no frills, good old Texas barbecue, check out Pok-e-Jo's Smokehouse. This warehouse-style restaurant serves reliably good barbecue along with great sides. An entire meal here is surprisingly inexpensive. From sandwich chains to mom-and-pop taco stands, Austin is full of inexpensive eateries that will satisfy the stomach without draining the wallet.
209 B West 5th Street
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3601 South Congress Avenue
1311 South 1st Street
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618 West 6th Street