March 18, 2023

Austin is a city known for its eclectic culinary scene, which means there’s no need to break the bank when dining out. In this blog post, we’ll share our favorite restaurants in downtown Austin that are perfect for budget-minded diners. From hole-in-the wall joints to high-end establishments, we’ve got you covered. So whether you’re looking for a quick bite or an entire dinner, read on and get started on your budget-friendly night out in Austin.

What to Eat

When dining out in Austin’s downtown area, keep in mind that you can save money by opting for tapas-style meals instead of full courses. Here are our best tips for eating on a budget in Austin’s vibrant downtown:

1. Start your meal with an appetizer or small salad. This will help control costs and give you a taste of what you’ll be ordering later on.

2. Ask the server about specials or chef’s specials. These offer substantial discounts on regular menu items and can be quite affordable.

3. Order drinks and dessert to share. This will cut down significantly on your bill and allow you to save even more money.

4. Know the prices for wine, beer, cocktails, and mixed drinks before ordering anything alcoholic. These drinks are often expensive, so it’s worth knowing ahead of time how much you’ll be spending per drink.

5. Use online menus and apps to scout out deals before dining out in Austin’s downtown area. Numerous websites offer pre-made meal plans that include all the food and drink items you’ll need to order at a fraction of the cost of going out straightaway. Apps like Groupon also offer great deals on selected restaurants found in the downtown area (just be sure to read the fine print!).

What to Drink

There are a lot of great restaurants in Austin’s downtown area that are affordable and provide excellent food. Here are our top money-saving tips for eating out in Austin’s downtown:

1. Stick to the classics. Most of Austin’s budget-friendly restaurants offer delicious versions of classic dishes, like burgers and pizza. Don’t try to be fancy or experimental; stick with what you know is good.

2. Order drinks separately. Many of Austin’s restaurants offer inexpensive drinks, like beer and wine. It’s worth ordering your drinks separately from your meal to save money.

3. Avoid lunch specials. Lunch specials at many downtown restaurants are often expensive and not very filling. Opt for a regular menu item instead!

4. Plan Ahead! Restaurants in downtown Austin tend to get crowded during peak times, so it makes sense to make reservations ahead of time if you can. And don’t forget about happy hour – many bars offer great deals on food and drinks during designated hours..

Where to Stay

If you’re looking to explore Austin’s downtown core without breaking the bank, we’ve got some great advice for you. Here are our top five tips for staying within your budget while dining in Austin’s bustling downtown:

1. Start your meal at a local coffee shop. Many of these shops offer inexpensive breakfast and lunch menus that are well worth exploring. Try out Caffeine Underground, Common Grounds, or Java Daddy for an excellent start to your day or afternoon!

2. Head to the grocery store before dinner. Stock up on groceries before heading out to eat so that you don’t have to waste any time trying to find a restaurant that will take your reservation. This can be especially helpful if you’re planning on dining in a busy area like Sixth Street.

3. Consider eating at one of Austin’s many food courts. These convenient options offer quick and easy access to a variety of delicious food choices without having to sit down at a table. Try The Domain Food Court or Whole Foods Market Central Kitchen for an extensive menu selection and comfortable seating options.

4. Don’t forget about street tacos! These simple but tasty eats are perfect for budget-minded diners who want something hearty and filling without breaking the bank. Try El Paisano, Taqueria Del Rio, or Los Perros Cantina for some delicious street tacos without spending a fortune!

5. Beware of high prices in popular restaurants near the Capitol Building and State Capitol grounds.

How Much to Spend

If you’re searching for a delicious meal without breaking the bank, look no further than downtown Austin restaurants. Here are our best money-saving tips:

1. Start your meal with an appetizer or salad. These can be very affordable and will help to fill you up before your main course.

2. Order small portions of your favorite dishes and share them among friends or family. This way, you’ll get to try more delicious items without spending too much money on each individual dish.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask the waitstaff for recommendations. They are likely to be familiar with some of the best deals in town, and they will be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.

4. Skip dessert and save yourself some dough! Most restaurants offer discounted prices on desserts during lunch and dinner hours, so take advantage of these offers before hitting the cash register.

What to eat in Austin Downtown

Looking for some delicious eats in Austin’s downtown area without breaking the bank? Here are our best money-saving tips:

1. Head to the Central Market District for a wide variety of affordable and organic food options. From fresh produce to prepared foods, you’re sure to find something to fit your needs.

2. Try one of Austin’s many independent restaurants. These establishments tend to be more affordable than chain restaurants and often feature unique dishes not found at larger venues.

3. Don’t forget about fast food joints! Many of these restaurants offer budget-friendly meal options that will still satisfy your hunger pangs. Just be aware that some chains offer less-than-stellar food quality at a fraction of the cost compared to their higher-end counterparts.

4. Consider dining out on special occasions rather than trying to stick to a tight budget all the time. Sometimes splurging on a nice meal outside of normal eating hours can save you big bucks in the long run.

Where to find affordable restaurants

If you’re looking for affordable restaurants in Austin’s downtown area, chances are you’ll be spending less than $25 per person. Here are our best money-saving tips:

1. Try the food truck scene. There are several food trucks stationed in and around the downtown area that offer delicious, affordable meals.

2. Explore the city’s hidden gems. Many small, local restaurants offer fantastic dining options that often go unnoticed by tourists. Head out of your comfort zone and give these restaurants a try!

3. Join Groupon or Living Social. Both Groupon and Living Social regularly offer great deals on restaurant reservations, making it easy to get a delicious meal without breaking the bank.

4. Check out Yelp reviews before making a reservation. Not all restaurants are created equal, and some may be better suited for casual dining than others. By reading through recent reviews before making a reservation, you can avoid disappointment and get an idea of what to expect from the restaurant itself as well as its menu items.

How to save money at restaurants in Austin Downtown

When dining out in Austin’s Downtown area, keep these tips in mind to save money:

1. Ask for a menu without wine or cocktails. This will help you save on your tab.
2. Order appetizers and sides instead of an entire meal. This will help you avoid pricey entrees and desserts.
3. Check the daily specials online or ask your server if they have any current deals going on.
4. Skip the dessert altogether and take home some savory snacks to tide you over until the next meal.
5. Ask your server for recommendations based on what you’re ordering and your dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, etc).


Austin is notorious for its pricier restaurants, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good meal without breaking the bank. Here are our best tips for eating out in Austin’s downtown area on a budget: 1. Ask your server about specials or daily deals. Many places offer discounts during happy hour or certain nights of the week. 2. Order food à la carte instead of relying on pre-packaged items and salads. You’ll get more variety and control over the ingredients and preparation, which will usually be cheaper too. 3. Skip appetizers and cocktails; they’ll add up quickly and won’t give you much nutritional value aside from maybe some alcohol content. Stick to water or low-calorie beverages to start off your evening before diving into heavier fare later on in the night.

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