Cheap & Good Eats: Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Old Downtown

goroandgunramen.jpg
Photo by Troy Fields
You'll find this delicious ramen and more at our No. 5 pick.
We've been rounding up our favorite budget lunch spots in different neighborhoods around town. (See the complete list at the end of the post.)

Today it's old downtown that gets a closer look. With plenty of bars and restaurants popping up around Market Square Park and the expansion of the METRORail, we have high hopes for the area's continued success.

Though there are tons of great dining options, here's our list of the best cheap (less than $10) lunch spots that this area has to offer:

Honorable Mention: Treebeards, for Cajun classics like red beans and rice, gumbo, and jambalaya; and Niko Niko's Market Square, for falafel and gyros in the park.

5. Goro & Gun

Though the ramen and wing joint started offering lunch service just a few months ago, it has quickly become one of our downtown go-tos. Come in for standouts like the bonito-flake-topped seared tuna salad, a pulled short rib and brie grilled cheese, or their signature pork belly ramen, all just $10. The menu is constantly changing, but we think that's all the more fun.

Phoenicia Downtown 032.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Warning: Come to our No. 4 spot and you may accidentally eat a bowl of Lebanese queso for lunch.
4. Phoenicia Specialty Foods

It's worth the trip to Phoenicia's downtown market just to see the custom pita bread conveyors, which transport piping hot, freshly baked bread around the store all day long. Stop by the shawarma station for fried falafel or succulent chicken, beef, lamb or sausage pitas ($6), and don't forget to ask for the spicy tahini. Seasonal soups are just $3.50 to $5, and freshly made salads and sides (we love their baba ghanoush and walnut beet salad) are all sold at the salad bar. Dining at the upstairs MKT Bar may cost you a couple of extra bucks, but the hip wine and beer cafe's unique pizzas, sliders and small plates are worth it.


Location Info

Hubcap Grill

1111 Prairie St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bombay Pizza Co.

914 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Fusion Taco

801 Congress St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Macondo Latin Bistro - CLOSED

208 Travis, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goro & Gun

306 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Phoenicia Specialty Foods

1001 Austin St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Phoenicia Specialty Foods

1001 Austin St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Niko Niko's Market Square

301 Milam St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Treebeards

315 Travis, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
brookeviggiano
brookeviggiano

I suppose its more Historic downtown around Market Square park but then I extended the area. In the end, I should have probably just called it Downtown. 

jberlat1
jberlat1

Phoenicia not in Old Downtown. Bombay Pizza might be borderline....

jberlat1
jberlat1

None of these places are cheap. Go to Supreme Sandwiches next to 2 Shell. Sandwich, chips and a drink for $3. THAT IS CHEAP. Chipotle is just as cheap. Flying Saucer is just as cheap. Treebeards is cheap. What is considered not budget? Mortons? Vic and Anthony's? Budget is $5 or less, not $10.  You can easily spend $10 at lunch all over Downtown. 

Mr505
Mr505

I'm pleased to hear that Goro & Gun's food is improving, but it wouldn't't matter if it didn't. It's just a magical place to hang out.

Joshua Justice
Joshua Justice

Did you just make up "old downtown"? The boundaries of downtown haven't changed in almost 100 years. There certainly isn't a "new" section.

EvaGhib
EvaGhib

I have never heard of Fusion Taco...are they that new?

I like Batanga!

Danielle Stephens
Danielle Stephens

I've lived in Houston for almost 30 years and I've never heard the term "Old Downtown".

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

The upstairs MKT Bar, eh? Also, what is Old Downtown?

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