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Cheap & Good Eats: Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Clear Lake

Expect spiced lamb and authentic tandoori chicken at our No. 5 pick.
Expect spiced lamb and authentic tandoori chicken at our No. 5 pick.
Photo by Dawn M. Simmons

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).

This week, we're moving toward the shores to the Clear Lake/NASA area. With plenty of old-time favorites and a couple of newer spots in the mix, here's our list of the best cheap (less than $10) lunch spots that this area has to offer:

Honorable Mention: Soups and sliders at Seabrook Classic Cafe and large-enough-to-split wood-fired pizzas at Boondoggles.

5. Cuisine of India

Clear Lake is clearly (see what we did there) divided when it comes to Indian lunch buffets. You're either a Cuisine of India person, or you're loyal to Mogul. Fortunately for us, we don't have to choose sides, because only Cuisine of India's lunch buffet meets our $10 criteria.

For $9.99, enjoy a lunch buffet featuring a variety traditional Indian fare -- like tandoori and masala chicken, freshly baked naan, fish curry, saag paneer, basamati rice and more.

Find boudin, crawfish etouffee, gumbo and more at our No. 4 pick.
Find boudin, crawfish etouffee, gumbo and more at our No. 4 pick.
Photo by Dawn M. Simmons

4. Abe's Cajun Market

This family-owned meat market and cafe has been serving Houstonians authentic Cajun cuisine for more than 13 years. Get a fat link of Abe's spicy pork boudin ($1.99) along with a side of mac and cheese ($2.99), a cup of creamy and buttery corn-and-crawfish bisque ($4.75cup; $7.50/bowl), or smothered, meaty pork chops over rice ($8.50). The casual eatery also has plenty of salads, gumbos, burgers, and po' boys in addition to a killer Cajun meat market.

This story continues on the next page.

 

The adorable outdoor patio at our No. 3 pick is the perfect afternoon getaway.
The adorable outdoor patio at our No. 3 pick is the perfect afternoon getaway.
Photo by Dawn M. Simmons

3. Mediterraneo Market & Café

Mediterraneo not only has excellent food; it also has a stocked Middle Eastern market and one of Clear Lake's most charming patios to boot.

Relax on the colorful patio and nosh on hummus and pita, tabouleh salad, and fried falafel. Pita wraps with souvlaki, kofta kebabs, and baba ganoush are $5.49 and under, while large entrée salads with feta cheese, tuna, and grilled shrimp range from $6.99 to $10.99. Traditional Greek dishes like moussaka and pastitsio are also standouts at just $8.99 before lunch ends, at 5:00 p.m.

2. King Chicken

This fast and cheap Peruvian-style rotisserie joint is just what you need to cure the midday hump.

The moist and tender expertly-spiced chicken ($6.79 for a quarter with two sides, $8.49 for a half) is just one of the many reasons to come try it out. Handmade corn pupusas ($1.89), packed with rich ground pork paste, refried beans, and quesillo, are pleasantly thick and fluffy. Burgers and sides of fried yucca or sweet plantains are popular options as well.

Order at the counter, but consider taking your food with you. While it's certainly clean inside, the decor leaves a bit to be desired.

This story continues on the next page.

 

The char-grilled pork salad at our No. 1 pick is a homerun.
The char-grilled pork salad at our No. 1 pick is a homerun.
Photo by Troy Fields

1. Nobi Public House

Though Nobi may not have been around long, this unexpected gem in the middle of a strip mall has quickly become a fan-favorite. That's because the pub, with its craft brews and Vietnamese-Tex-Mex grub, feels wholeheartedly Houston.

Come for a local pint and a few $2 tacos. Or get a basket of butter garlic wings ($6.50 for 8), a banh mi topped with fried egg ($5.50), or a sriracha-mayo-drizzled hot dog ($6).

If you come with friends (or want nachos for lunch), go ahead and order what is perhaps the most perfect example of Nobi's Vie-Tex-Mex fare, the pork nachos ($6). The crisp triangles of freshly fried flour tortilla are topped with a mess of Vietnamese char-grilled pork, nacho cheese, onions, salsa, and some pickled jalapeño for good measure.

See our other Top 5 Budget Lunch Lists:

Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Montrose Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in River Oaks Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Midtown Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Upper Kirby Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in EaDo Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Rice Village Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in the East End Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in the Galleria Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in The Woodlands Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Old Downtown Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Pearland Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in the Heights Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in Lazybrook/Timbergrove

Use Current Location

Related Locations

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Nobi Public House

241 E. NASA Parkway
Webster, TX 77598

832-932-5111

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Cuisine of India
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Abe's Cajun Market

1080 Clear Lake City Blvd.
Houston, TX 77062

281-480-2237

www.abescajunmarket.com

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Mogul

1055 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058

281-480-3097

www.mogul-restaurant.com

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Mediterraneo Market & Cafe

18033 Upper Bay Road
Houston, TX 77058

281-333-3180

www.mediterraneomarket.com

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Boondoggle's Pub & Pizzeria

4106 Nasa Road One
Seabrook, TX 77586

281-326-2739

www.boondogglespub.com

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Seabrook Classic Cafe

2511 NASA Parkway
Seabrook, TX 77586

281-326-1512

www.seabrookclassiccafe.com


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