As college students, we’ve all mastered the art of stretching every last dollar. Here’s a list of cheap yet delicious places in Austin to keep your cravings satisfied without breaking the bank.
Story by Rochelle Friedewald
Photos by Laura Godinez
Breakfast - Veracruz All Natural
This eastside taco truck is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a tasty breakfast that only requires a couple dollars out of pocket. The owners, Reyna and Maritza, are sisters that love getting creative with traditional family recipes, and are passionate about using organic ingredients in the kitchen. Born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, they know exactly how to make the perfect breakfast taco. Their migas, complete with organic egg, avocado, cheese and pico de gallo, is a definite must try.
Lunch - Dan’s Hamburgers
When it comes to cheap burgers, it seems like P. Terry’s can’t be beat. But Dan’s Hamburgers, while much lesser known, has been around town for over 4 decades. Dan’s Hamburgers offers a vintage diner-feel along with some of the best fast food meals in town. The wide variety of sandwiches and burgers all come in under five dollars. While the burgers are the obvious menu selection, the homemade onion rings and curly fries are this greasy spoon’s crowning jewel.
Dinner - 888 Pan Asian Restaurant
This East Riverside restaurant is a bit out of the way but boasts a menu packed with authentic and affordable Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. Portions are large and staff is always friendly, huge pluses for this lesser known eatery. Share some crispy Vietnamese egg rolls with a friend, or browse a huge, versatile menu of noodle soups, rice plates, vermicelli dishes and of course pho, for a mouthwatering experience worth every penny.
Dessert - La Mexicana Bakery
Located on colorful 1st Street, La Mexicana Bakery offers fresh made Mexican pastries for some of the lowest prices in Austin. Grab a bag of authentic choncas, empanadas and churros for less than three dollars or treat yourself to homemade pecan praline for only $1.50 a piece. This family run business is also a great place to grab a late night bite - it’s open 24 hours and serves all of its tacos on homemade corn tortillas.