Cheap Eats

The Best Things to Eat and Drink in Houston For $1 (or Less)

It’s all about the Washingtons.

By Joanna O'Leary September 10, 2014

Shipley Do-nuts: a Houston tradition for only $1. | Photo via Flickr

Image: Mark Nye

In Houston’s rapidly expanding culinary scene, there’s no shortage of high- (or over-) priced fare to be found. But you can still get a bang for your buck—literally, in fact, at several dining establishments that offer items costing 99 cents or less. And while the idea of a dollar menu may conjure unsettling images of tasteless fast food, there’s actually a number of appetizing as well as affordable options.

Breakfast-oriented joints, as one might expect, are an especially good source of cheap comestibles. At The Hot Bagel Shop in River Oaks, a single warm chewy bagel (in flavors ranging from sesame to jalapeño to whole wheat cinnamon raisin) is only 85 cents. For just four pennies more you can get a “bagel dog,” a hot dog enveloped in buttery plain bagel dough. Ring-shaped—though slightly less healthy—frugal fare is also available at Shipley Do-nuts in the form of its glazed, iced, and cake donuts, which range from 75 to 80 cents each.

At Oishii in Greenway Plaza, early diners and late lunchers are rewarded with $1 sushi Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. A fistful of dollars is also all you need for dinner on Tuesdays at Pistolero's in Montrose and Saint Dane’s in Midtown, both of which offer $1 tacos all evening long. And you don’t have to descend to the depths of White Castle for cheap mini-burgers thanks to the happy hour at Midtown hotspot Reef, where chef Bryan Caswell's beef sliders with caramelized onions are $1 (shrimp shooters are also $1). Finally, in addition to boasting occasional specials on “99 cent original Coneys,” James Coney Island also regularly features a delightful chocolate-dipped soft serve cone for just under a dollar.

Prefer to liquidate your dollar? Buck drinks in Houston exist in unexpected forms (re: not plain old soda, coffee, juice, etc.). See the martinis at Midtown mainstay Brennan’s, which are 25 cents on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the purchase of an entree at the bar, which means you can have lunch and get day drunk—and try all four martini varieties Brennan's makes—for just one dollar in the process.

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