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


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Photo by Troy Fields
Come to our No. 3 pick for some of the city's best Latin American fare.
3. Macondo Latin Bistro

Come to this petite cafe for fantastic Latin American fare -- like fresh Gulf Coast Ceviche Purano ($10) dressed with cilantro-lime and hints of habanero, which is a meal in and of itself with the side of crisp plantain chips; or the Colombian Pollo Guisado ($8), chicken legs drenched in rich yucca-creole sauce and served with rice, beans, and green or sweet plantains. Tilapia- and mango-stuffed tacos are just $8, while a classic Cubano sandwich, loaded with roast pork, ham, pickles and mustard, will run you $7.

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Photo by Troy Fields
Ultra-crisp saag paneer pizza at this No. 2 spot makes for the perfect lunch.
2. Bombay Pizza/Fusion Taco

Both of these downtown spots show just how good fusion cuisine can be.

Head to Bombay Pizza for thin-crust naan-like pizzas topped with spicy Bombay tomato sauce, tandoori chicken and saag paneer. Pies are just $9 for an 8", and a few are even available by the slice. Come with friends so you can try a little of everything.

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Photo by rob2smith
You may want to try a couple of tacos at this No. 2 pick.
Taco-truck-turned-Market-Square-hot spot Fusion Taco is the place to go for an extraordinary fast-casual lunch. The tacos -- priced around $3 and $4 -- blur the boundaries of global cuisine, fusing tempura shrimp with jalapeño and wasabi; or char siu-glazed pork with black beans and corn salsa. We can't tell which we love more, those or the short rib vindaloo taco, piled high with 24-hour braised beef, cucumber relish and creamy raita.

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

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

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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. 

JohnKiely
JohnKiely

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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