Cheap and Good Eats: The Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in River Oaks

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
There's no seating inside this counter-service bagel joint, so grab a seat next to the parking lot or get your bagel to go.
3. The Hot Bagel Shop

Looking for a super quick, super delicious lunch that's easy on the wallet? Shepherd's hole-in-the-wall Hot Bagel Shop is the way to go. New Jersey natives opened the store more than 25 years ago, so you know it's the real deal. The sandwiches, available on bagels or whole wheat bread, range from $3.99 to $6.99 and include items like roast beef, housemade chicken salad, and a New York favorite, sliced lox. Choose one from the board or build your own. We like toasting a garlic bagel and topping it with a smear of scallion cream cheese, sliced smoked turkey, and thick tomatoes. But most of all, we like the shop's bagel dogs, all beef hot dogs ($.89 to $1.79) wrapped in bagel dough and served plain or filled with jalapeño and cheddar cheese.

Photo by Troy Fields
You can't beat chunks of lemon-scented, aioli-drenched lobster meat for less than $10.
2. Maine-ly Sandwiches

When Maine-ly Sandwiches opened up its Shepherd location earlier this year, they were met with tons of local support. That's because they are serving up one of the best lobster rolls in town. At $9.50 for a half sandwich (don't worry, it's big enough), you are sure to walk away pleased. If lobster's not your thing (you crazy, crazy person, you), you can find plenty of other sandwiches, most ranging between $5 to $6 for a foot-long, stuffed with sliced deli meats like turkey, roast beef, and salami. Make it a combo and add a cup of soup and a fountain drink for a few extra bucks. And don't leave without a New England favorite, the Whoopie pie, (less than $2) for dessert.

Location Info

Avalon Diner

2417 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Hot Bagel Shop

2009 S. Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Maine-ly Sandwiches

3310 S. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


1834 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Torchy's Tacos

2411 S. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Ginger

1952 W. Gray, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Relish Fine Foods

3951 San Felipe, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Camerata at Paulie's

1834 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Ian Hopman
Ian Hopman

A little disappointed not to find anything west of Kirby.

JohnG10 Paulie's not in Montrose?

Bruce_Are topcommenter

I think the best restaurant in River Oaks is Gilhooley's.  As a bonus, they allow smoking but not kids.


I declare this the most mis-labeled article of the year ever, seeing that ALL of the places on this list isn't even in River Oaks at all. (Avalon Diner comes the closet but it's on the wrong side of Westheimer.)


This list puzzles me because I just realized that I don't know what the boundaries of River Oaks are. Can anyone tell me?


By your own definition, Maine-ly isn't part of River Oaks and Avalon is south of Westheimer. I'd have put Relish in the 5, Auntie Chang's too.


@jimbo1126 meant to note that Maine-ly was just outside, thanks. Also Avalon I'd consider in the lines. Auntie Chang's is pretty good but I've had better experiences at Cafe Ginger.

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