Cheap & Good Eats: Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in the Galleria


ZabaksFalafel.jpg
Photo by Gary R. Wise
Come to our No. 1 spot for the falafel, stay for the baklava.
1. Zabak's Mediterranean Cafe

If you are craving falafel, this walk-up service cafe is the way to go. Crisp on the outside, soft and delicate at the center, these deep-fried, za'atar-spiced chickpea patties are perhaps the best in the city. Enjoy them stuffed into a pita with all the fixin's ($4.49 for a small, $5.49 for a large) or just eat them as is with a side of creamy tahini sauce ($.75 each, $7.50 for a dozen or $6.99 for a platter with tabouli salad, hummus and pita). There's also plenty of shawarma, spinach pie and baklava to go around.


Location Info

Bubba's Texas Burger Shack

5230 Westpark, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Fountain View Fish Market

2912 Fountain View Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Argentina Cafe

3055 Sage, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Fountain View Cafe

1842 Fountainview, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Mawal

6006 Fairdale, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Zabak's Mediterranean Cafe

5901 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Pita +

5506 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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21 comments
Justin Montez
Justin Montez

Antonio 'TONE' Martinez y'all need to try #3... Off the chain bro!

frankenreich
frankenreich

Dumpling King, Indias, Thai Gourmet, House of Kebab way way better than Mawal or Zabak's, Biryani Pot.

Zabak's is pretty average, more Americanized than the good middle eastern places in the area...they don't even use a vertical spit for beef shawarma, but pressed beef like stuff they buy in sheets.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Good list but Chinese cafe' should be on the list, I adore their weird school lunch tray smorgasbord lunches, and the double spicy chicken is legendary..

Eddie Brito
Eddie Brito

And now these five places will have their rent increased. (With the exception of the JCI) Mentioning JCI is rediculous. Might as well mention MC Donalds too.

Sharyar San
Sharyar San

I need to try couple of them. Zabak?

Michelle Balch
Michelle Balch

Zabak's is one of my favs. Best falafel in town! It used to be Mama's Po-Boys.

Nate
Nate

You nailed number one.  Zabaks is so, so good.

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

Do one on cheap and good eats near Market Square next

JayPFrancis
JayPFrancis

In the same shopping center as Pho Binh: newly opened in what had been an all you can eat, a new restaurant with a chef / owner from Chengdu called Chuan's. Not cheap but I believe their interpretation of MaPo tofu on the lunch menu is one of the most balanced and perfect ones in Houston.

kjstravel
kjstravel

Zabak's also has some incredible art on its walls. The artist lives in the Galleria area so keep an eye out for her. She is known to drop in whenever she chooses.

Come for lunch and enjoy Art by Cherisse!

tinyhands
tinyhands

Pho Binh instead of JCI (or any of the others, for that matter). It's expensive for pho, but still a cheap lunch without driving outside the belt.

JayPFrancis
JayPFrancis

And, of course, French Riviera Bakery on Chimney Rock.

johnnybench
johnnybench topcommenter

@tinyhands If you replace JCI for Pho Binh they will basically have identified my lunch rotation. 

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