Whether you live in Austin or you’re just visiting for a couple of days, you don’t always want to spend the big bucks when looking for a bite to eat. However, you also don’t want to sacrifice taste – especially in a city known for its varied cuisines. Fortunately, there are a number of budget restaurants, so you can indulge and still have some spare change to go out and enjoy the nightlife.
Enjoy coffee with a South American twist at Café Nena’i
What better way to start the day than with coffee and pastries? Whether you’re enjoying them for brunch or lunch, don’t expect any traditional offerings at Café Nena’i. Instead, choose from a plethora of South American drinks and pastries that pack a powerful punch of flavor. Plus, pretty much everything on the menu is under $4.
Grab a breakfast taco at Juan in a Million
Juan in a Million is famous around Austin for its breakfast entrées, which are served all day long. It has been open since 1980 and has become an iconic breakfast stop in the area due to its generous portions and cheap prices. Come with a hearty appetite and an empty wallet, and you will find yourself in breakfast taco heaven at Juan in a Million.
Discover family traditions at Tamale House East
Family-run Tamale House has been Austin for years, with the first incarnation opening in 1959. The restaurant’s east-side eatery launched in 2012, and endeavours to cater to the spirit and culture of the area. Expect hints of Cajun melded together with the citrus of Peruvian cuisine, all delivered in the guise of Mexican food.
Fill up on vegan cuisine at Citizen Eatery
For those with dietary restrictions, Citizen Eatery is the place to go. This vegan spot serves up some delicious alternate foods that everyone can enjoy, regardless of whether you eat meat and dairy. Plus, the portions are substantial and there are even gluten-free options.
Enjoy spicy dishes with a side of politics at Texas Chili Parlor
This longtime Downtown staple is a favorite haunt for politicos of all stripes, so whether you’re interested in what is going on in the state legislature or you’re just stopping by for a bowl of traditional Texas chili, you’re not going to be disappointed. Choose from tiny portions to Texas-size bowls and get things as spicy as you can handle them.
Tuck into a slice of sweet tea pie at Lucy’s Fried Chicken
Since 2012, Lucy’s Fried Chicken has expanded to include three more locations in the city. The made-from-scratch sweet tea pie might have something to do with this. Sweet tea pie is a classic Southern dessert, and Lucy’s is doing its part to keep the tradition alive and well. Enjoy your slice with a dollop of home-made whipped cream for the perfect light addition to the thick custard filling.
Share antipasti at Culinary Dropout
While admittedly not the cheapest place to go on a date, if you’re looking for a happy hour, this is one of those places that needs to be on your list. Gourmet cheese plates, antipasti, nachos and bruschetta complement a great beer and wine selection, and all for under $5. If you’re really hungry, come at five for sandwiches and salads that are under $20.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.