Dining Deals

10 Best Cheap Eats in Houston’s Bay Area

Check out this meaty six-inch sub with a side of potato salad and a drink for only $9 at Antonini's.
Check out this meaty six-inch sub with a side of potato salad and a drink for only $9 at Antonini's. Photo courtesy of Michael Antonini
This time of year, with new routines and new schedules in place for most families, things can get pretty hectic. Sometimes cooking just isn’t an option. Good news. It’s possible to save a little time, dine out, and not break your budget. The Houston Press has done a little research and found some great deals around town. Here’s a list of a few cheap eats in and around the Clear Lake area.

Antonini’s Subs and Steak, 17314 Highway 3, 3509 Palmer

Antonini’s Subs has been family owned and operated since opening in Webster in 1984. Known for their meaty, overstuffed cheese steak sub, this local establishment uses only fresh ingredients, with meats prepared every morning. With everything on the menu under $10, this sandwich shop should be on everyone’s restaurant rotation. The famous cheese steak sub is a foot-long and loaded with 100 percent USDA Certified top round sirloin, with your choice of grilled onions, cheese, sauce and peppers for only $9.85. Six inches of this monster runs you only $5.95. If you’re into the new keto-craze, Antonini’s will turn any sub into a salad for you. Wraps are also available. Other scrumptious subs are the hot sausage and peppers sub or the cold Italian sub piled with genoa salami, Capriola ham, cooked ham, peppered ham, and choice of lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, peppers, provolone cheese and Italian seasoning, only $5.15 for a six-incher. A burger and a burger wrap are also available for only $6.60. Antonini’s also has a bangin’ lunch special. For only $9, grab a sub, a side, and a drink. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

click to enlarge Chicken fajita enchiladas at Los Ramirez. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TOBY PHILIPS
Chicken fajita enchiladas at Los Ramirez.
Photo courtesy of Toby Philips
Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant, 16330 El Camino Real, 660 FM 571

If you’re looking to fill your belly and your billfold, Los Ramirez is the spot. Every item on the dinner menu is under $10, with the exception of some seafood and fajita dishes. The Juarez dinner comes with a taco, tamale, cheese enchilada, guacamole, rice and beans for only $6.59. The Burrito dinner comes with two burritos topped with a rich chili gravy and melted cheese, served with rice and beans, for only $6.99. Those are dinner prices, but lunch prices are even lower. All lunch entrees range from $4.59 to $6.49 with over 20 options, from fajita enchiladas to fajita quesadillas to a big plate of pollo con mole comprised of a chicken breast topped with mole sauce and white cheese, served with rice, beans and flour tortillas. Los Ramirez has two locations, one in Clear Lake and one in Dickinson. Open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

click to enlarge Get this Cuban sandwich for only $6.95 at The Cuban Cafe in Baytown. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FULLER
Get this Cuban sandwich for only $6.95 at The Cuban Cafe in Baytown.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller
The Cuban Café, 4234 Decker, Baytown

People in the mood for good Cuban food might want to make a little drive over to Baytown to try this local gem. The Cuban Café has been open for about three years. Florida native, Melissa Scott, missed the Cuban food from her home state of Florida, so she decided to open up a restaurant. Scott even has the bread used for the sandwiches shipped here from Florida, making the sandwiches even more authentic. These stuffed, meaty Cuban sandwiches are only $6.95 anytime. The size and the flavor of this sandwich make that a steal. Available sides are plantains, yuca, rice or black beans. Other entrees include a plate of picadillo for $8.95, a chicken plate with a large leg quarter seasoned with a Cuban sofrito and cooked until tender for $9.95, or ropa vieja - tender shredded beef served with rice, black beans, plantains and yuca for $9.99. Rich Cuban coffee and café con leche are also available. Open Monday to Friday, 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

click to enlarge Grab a burger for $5 at Cabo on Wednesday nights. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CABO CLEAR LAKE
Grab a burger for $5 at Cabo on Wednesday nights.
Photo courtesy of Cabo Clear Lake
Cabo Clear Lake, 2513 NASA Parkway, Seabrook

One of the best patio spots in the Clear Lake area also serves up a juicy burger for only $5 on Wednesday. The Cabo burger comes with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles and your choice of french fries or tater tots. Additional toppings are an extra charge. Wednesdays also happen to be the night Cabo holds its Geeks Who Drink trivia from 8 to 10 p.m. So with $3 "U Call It" drinks and $5 burgers, you’re in for a fun evening on the lake. Open Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

click to enlarge Check out this big plate of food for only $8.99 at dinner. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FULLER
Check out this big plate of food for only $8.99 at dinner.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller
Joe Lee’s Seafood Kitchen,1108 Marina Bay Drive, Clear Lake Shores

Joe Lee’s has a great selection of seafood plates and has been mentioned before in the Press. Besides their great fish tacos, Joe Lee’s offers a Blue Plate special for $7.99 at lunch and $8.99 for dinner. For the Blue Plate special, pick one entrée of either popcorn shrimp, chicken fried steak, catfish strips or chicken fried chicken. Then choose two of their hearty sides which include mashed potatoes, hush puppies, french fries, Cajun rice and more. You also get a crispy deep-fried dinner roll. Joe Lee’s offers counter service, so you’ll save a bit on a tip too. Open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Jennifer Fuller is a freelance writer for the Houston Press. Jennifer grew up in Clear Lake and currently resides in League City where she spends her time enjoying seafood, salty air and sunshine.