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:
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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