Free Eats in Houston for the Enterprising Souls Among You

Photo by Catherine Gillespie
Food Samples from H-E-B.

It is tough to complain about the cost of living in Houston. Housing is fairly affordable and there is usually a food truck around the corner willing to sell you a filling taco dinner for $5 or less.

That being said, there are always those days when a meal out -- any meal out anywhere -- is out of your budgetary league. And that's where we step in. It is possible to fill yourself up here (and not by asking your more generous dates or friends to treat) for free. Eating out without your wallet can be a fun exercise too, but especially at the bars we recommend bringing a friend who might actually buy something or leaving before a half-hour is up.

If you have a membership, Costco or Sam's Club should be your first stop. I started my culinary scavenger hunt at the Costco on Richmond, where the portions -- though still served in Dixie cups -- are more generous than at your neighborhood grocery. The range is also staggering. There are food stands around the store promoting everything from frozen empanadas to lemon meringue cookies. I challenge you to make yourself a three-course meal.

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Location Info


3838 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Houston Dairymaids

2201 Airline Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

French Country Wines

2433 Barlett St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Poison Girl

1641 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Spec's Warehouse

2410 Smith St., Houston, TX

Category: General

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With a name like Catherine I guess you can be exused for overlooking the most rife source of free food: topless clubs. Almost all have a free lunch or dinner buffet.


....and a lot of places will provide free meals if you claim, and can sorta prove, that you're a food blogger. Eric Sandler sometimes takes this route, as well as a few other Houston blogging luminaries

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