“Every story deserves a great beginning and let’s start yours with a taste of Austin’s local food scene.” As budding foodies, seasoned gastronauts, or mere culinary dabblers, serving such an innovative city whose slogan is literally “Keep Austin Weird” serves up an exciting challenge. Within Austin’s thriving social fabric, the city’s kitchens courageously play host to a gastronomic patchwork of aromatic tastes, textures, tradition, and culinary trailblazing.

Every day Austin’s hospitality scene crafts a distinct and inviting mosaic of foods as diverse, vibrant, and engaging as the city’s dynamic populace themselves. The best part of it all? Dining out in Austin doesn’t have to put an irrevocable dent in your wallet. We invite you to indulge your senses and cravings as we usher you into the world of Austin’s top ten entrancing, most appetizing, and incredibly affordable eating spots.

1. Churro Co.: A Sweet Haven

Founded brightly in a humble food truck, Churro Co. is a culinary testament to an underdog turned superstar. It has magically revolutionized the classic Spanish churro dessert into a gastronomic revelation in Austin’s affordable food scene. You won’t just find your run-of-the-mill churro at Churro Co.

Nah, this dessert haven takes you on a tantalizing journey of innovation and culinary creativity, constantly altering their menu to elevate the modest churro beyond your wildest dreams. Smooth caramel, decadent S’mores, and other indulgent flavors are crafted with love, imagination, and novelty – painting Churro Co. as so much more than just an ordinary dessert parlor.

Delighting your senses starts at the mind-blowing price of just 5$. Churro Co.’s budget-friendly menu offers:

  • Classic Churros
  • Churros Gourmet Editions
  • S’mores Churros
  • Churros topped with Nuts

2. Kerbey Lane Café – A True Austin Classic

How can you say you’ve truly visited Austin without a pit-stop at the legendary Kerbey Lane Café? Open 24 hours to appease the breakfast-at-any-time crowd, Kerbey Lane Café offers an astounding array of pancakes. From traditional breakfast stacks to gingerbread pancakes and even vegan and gluten-free options, all under 10$!

Kerbey Lane Café’s affordable menu offers:

  • Gingerbread Pancakes
  • Vegan Pancakes
  • Gluten-free Pancakes
  • Traditional Breakfast Menu
  • Timeless Texan Fare

3. El Primo – Breakfast Taco Heaven

Austin locals swear by the breakfast specials at the remarkable ‘El Primo’ food truck. United in their praise, locals commend their breakfast tacos which are stuffed with flavorful eggs, cheese, and chorizo – a divine gastronomic trinity dancing together harmoniously on your tongue! You can effortlessly check breakfast off your day’s agenda by spending just 2$ per taco.

El Primo’s breakfast taco menu offers:

  • Egg, Cheese, and Chorizo Tacos
  • Vegetarian Taco Options
  • Generous Salsa and Guacamole Sides
  • Deliciously Cooked Meats

4. Bánh Mì from Tam Deli and Café

Welcome to a culinary haven where feasts under 5$ are the norm, and the aroma of exotic affairs calls you. Tam Deli and Cafe offer ‘Bánh Mì’, an iconic Vietnamese sandwich. This irresistible symphony includes a crunchy baguette filled with delicately grilled pork, spicy jalapeños, and perfectly pickled veggies. The locals call Tam’s version of this crunchy delight “the best in town”.

Halting by Tam’s, the menu offers:

  • Classic Bánh Mì Sandwich
  • Variation of Bánh Mì with Different Proteins
  • Authentic Vietnamese Coffee
  • Collection of Northern and Southern Vietnamese Dishes

5. Cazamance – An African Treat

For the adventurers seeking a more exotic flavor-experience, Cazamance offers a unique culinary peek into the world of West African food – right here, in Austin. The Lamb sausage roll served with a spicy peanut sauce and the Yassa Chicken, both under $10, are crowning jewels of this exotic assortment.

Cazamance’s West African menu offers:

  • Lamb Sausage Roll
  • Yassa Chicken
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Options
  • A Range of African Dishes

6. Dirty Martin’s – Over Nine Decades of Deliciousness

Positioned as Austin’s veritable oldest restaurant, Dirty Martin’s maintains its unfaltering reputation for crafting timeless, juicy burgers whilst retaining affordable prices. A large sect of the city swears by the legendary ‘Dirty Burger’ – a double meat extravaganza for 7$. This classic could rightly be the secret sauce that keeps Austin weird and loved.

Dirty Martin’s classic menu offers:

  • ‘Dirty Burger’
  • Various Customizable Burgers
  • Traditional Milkshakes
  • Choice of Classic Side Orders

7. Fricano’s Deli & Catering – Sandwich Scene Extraordinaire

Fricano’s extraordinary handmade sandwiches make any visit worthwhile. With meat-packed fillings and names as deliciously tempting as ‘Paul’s Spicy Reuben’, Fricano’s guarantees the satisfaction of not only your tummy but also your pocket; with prices ranging from $6.50 – $9.

Fricano’s impressive sandwich range includes:

  • ‘Paul’s Spicy Reuben’
  • A Variety of Named Sandwiches
  • Fresh Salads
  • Some Classic Deli Favorites

8. The Soup Peddler – Wholesome Goodness

For the health-conscious and mindful eaters, Soup Peddler provides a selection of fresh nourishing soup, salad, and smoothie options. Their unwavering commitment to ‘Real Food’ ensures you’ll enjoy seasonal recipes crafted from locally sourced ingredients that taste just like home.

Soup Peddler’s healthy menu includes:

  • A rotating selection of wholesome soups
  • Fresh salads and sandwiches
  • Variety of flavor-packed smoothies
  • Seasonal recipes

9. East Side King – Delicious Affordable Asian Fusion

Hailing from the inventive mind of an “Iron Chef America’’-winner, East Side King boasts a menu exploding with Asian flavors that have been roguishly shaken up and uniquely fused. Make it a point to try the ‘Thai Chicken Karaage’ – an unforgettable gastronomic experience that costs about 8$.

East Side King’s Fusion Menu includes:

  • Exciting Adaptation of ‘Thai Chicken Karaage’
  • Brisket Fried Rice
  • An Array of Interesting Asian Fusion Creations

10. China Family – Awesome, Affordable Asian Cuisine

Finally, a foodie’s tour within Austin won’t be complete without a bite into the exquisite hand-pulled noodles at China Family all under $10. Unleashing an authentic and flavourful experience, China Family ensures you leave with a delighted palate without a heavy heart.

China Family’s savory menu includes:

  • Fresh and Authentic Hand-Pulled Noodles
  • Conveniently Customizable Options
  • Traditional Chinese Dumplings
  • Menu items served with a side of House Chili Oil

A city’s culinary culture provides a window into its soul. In Austin, that culture buzzes with innovation, abundant flavors, and a strong sense of community. From the hearty breakfast tacos to impeccable pancakes, Austin’s affordable food scene is a reflection of this encompassing spirit. The world of mouth-watering treats promises both locals and visitors a memorable ‘Taste of Austin.’ So, strap on your foodie adventure belts, and get ready to flip a new page in your Austin story. All that’s left for you is to immerse yourself in and savor the flavorful array of top affordable eats in Austin. Happy eating, y’all!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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