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The Top 5 Cheap Fancy Restaurants in Houston

The Top 5 Cheap Fancy Restaurants in Houston Homepage

Our Criteria 

Budget Prices: Opting for the cheapest restaurant doesn’t always mean a good meal. We considered restaurants that provide fine dining for a reasonable budget-friendly price that anyone can afford.
Service: As important as the food is in a restaurant, customer service affects everyone who visits a restaurant. When selecting these restaurants, we familiarized ourselves with the experience of local customers and closely examined the customer service at these restaurants as they assisted their customers in any way possible. 
Food Quality: Nobody likes to eat stale food. Therefore, we considered restaurants that aim to provide delicious, high-quality food for a reasonable price.
Cleanliness: We examined the hygienic level and whether the selected restaurants met all the health standards. This is important because no one wants to get food poisoning—no matter how cheap the food is.

1. Zydeco Louisiana Dine

Zydeco Louisiana Dine Homepage

Menu: Shrimp, Oyster, Catfish, Crawfish, Stuffed Shrimp, Crab Patties, Jambalaya, Fried Oyster Salad, Shrimp Salad, Grilled Chicken Salad, Gumbo, Veggies, & Dessert

Website: https://www.zydecolouisianadiner.com

Address: 1119 Pease St., Houston, TX 77002, United States

Contact Details: 713-759-2001  [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday: 11:00AM-2:00PM

         Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Google Reviews Score4.6/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.8/5
Total Reviews4.7/5
Score Consistency4.5/5
Budget Prices4.8/5
Food Quality4.5/5


  • Serves chicken fricassee 
  • Delicious fried chicken
  • Flavorful jambalaya


  • Jambalaya contains bones/shells
  • Salty red beans and fries
  • Stale french fries 

Zydeco Louisiana Diner, a Cajun kitchen in the heart of downtown Houston, has stolen the hearts of the customers we talked to. 

Many claim every meal is prepared fresh from the owner’s family recipes, which were handed down through generations. This makes sense as Zydeco Louisiana Diner started providing customers tasty home Louisiana cooking in 1988.

Despite its long-lasting reputation amongst the people in Houston, we tested out whether the menu items are genuinely fresh and measure up to the standards of southern Cajun-style food.

The interior of Zydeco Louisiana Diner proudly displays its history. For fine dining, the atmosphere is homey and welcoming. 

Moreover, everyone on the staff that we met treated us kindly and always had a smile. 

We were also impressed to find chicken fricassee on their menu, which is not often found in other Cajun-style joints. By the way, we recommend ordering this with their fried chicken—it was delicious. 

While their flavorful jambalaya was the perfect portion to fill us up, we found ourselves gritting our teeth because of the leftover bones and shells in the seafood jambalaya. 

Furthermore, the red beans and rice were salty, and their french fries tasted like they were days old, so we would not recommend ordering their fries.

On the other hand, the pork chops at Zydeco Louisiana Diner were tender and seasoned well. The smokey taste was seared into the pork. 

2. Mandola’s Deli

Mandola’s Deli Homepage

Menu: Fried Lasagna Bites, Mandola’s Italian Meatballs, Fried Mozzarella Sticks, Bruschetta, Italian Sausage & Faccia Di Vecchia, Italian Sausage with White Bean Soup, Tomato Basil Soup, Garden Salad, Caesar Salad, Wop Salad, Romaine Wedge, Chef Salad, Trio Salad, Deluxe, Turkey Deluxe, Muffaletta, Turkey Club, Meatball with Cheese, Mandola’s Italian Sausage with Cheese, Chicken Mandola, Italian Roast Beef w Cheese, Deluxe Roast Beef, Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan, Veggie, Italian Grilled Cheese, Fried Shrimp, Grilled Chicken, Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, Sicilian Style, Spaghetti & Marinara, Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan, Pasta Mandola, Pasta Thomas, Pasta Brocato, Giovanni, Chicken Marsala, Giuseppe, Frank’s Fish, Sides & Desserts 

Website: http://mandolasdeli.com

Address: 4105 Leeland St, Houston, TX 77023

Contact Details: (713) 223-5186

Operating Hours:  Monday – Friday: 10 AM to 6 PM

          Saturday: 11 AM to 3 PM

                    Sundays: Closed 

Google Reviews Score4.6/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.8/5
Total Reviews4.7/5
Score Consistency4.5/5
Budget Prices4.8/5
Food Quality4.8/5


  • Cannolis for $6 or less 
  • Delicious muffaletta 
  • Tasty chicken parmesan 
  • Quick service


  • Weakly seasoned marinara sauce

Mandola’s Deli is associated with the iconic Mandola family restaurants throughout Texas. While its iconic sister restaurants are expensive, Mandola’s Deli brings reasonably priced Italian classics to the people of Houston.

Both their classic spaghetti and meatballs, as well as their deluxe muffuletta, can be savored for less than $10. Not to mention their house-made cannolis that can be bought for under $6. 

It’s no wonder most customers we talked to raved about the authentic Italian food at Mandola’s Deli for a killer deal. As for our observations, the hype around Mandola’s Deli is valid in some areas. 

While it may be authentic Italian food, we did not like the limited serving size. For example, the garlic bread was only three little pieces—hardly enough for us. 

The marinara sauce lacked basic Italian seasonings in their classic spaghetti and meatballs, such as thyme, oregano, etc. Moreover, the meat in their sandwiches is thinly sliced and not filling enough. 

On the other hand, we did enjoy the muffaletta—full of delicious flavors. Their chicken parmesan also had us wanting to lick our plates clean. 

Besides this, all the staff at Mandola’s Deli treated us with the utmost respect and kindness and served our food quickly.

While Mandola’s Deli is not an exact replica of fine Italian dining, it managed to create a warm atmosphere and deliver Italian classics.

3. Tarka Indian Kitchen

Tarka Indian Kitchen Homepage

Menu: Vegetable Samosas, Samosa Chaat, Vegetable Pakoras, Chicken Pakoras, Paneer Pakoras, Mulligatawny Soup, Madras Soup, Lamb Kabob Salad, Green Salad, Naan, Garlic Naan, Plain Roti, Tikka Masala, Korma, Saag, Coconut, Vindaloo, Mirch Masala, Chicken Kabob, Lamb Kabob, Combo Kabob, Chicken Biryani, Lamb Biryani, Shrimp Biryani, Veggie Biryani, Paneer Biryani, Malai Kofta, Mattar Paneer, Tarka Daal, Channa Masala, Aloo Gobi, Beyond Keema, Mango Cheesecake, Ras Malai, Gulab Jaman, Lassi, Wine & Beer, Other Beverages 

Website: https://tarkaindiankitchen.com

Address: 721 W 19th St Suite #7, Houston, TX 77008

Contact Details: (346) 802-2096

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday 11 AM to 9 PM

Google Reviews Score4.3/5
Yelp Reviews Score4/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.5/5
Total Reviews4.3/5
Score Consistency4.3/5
Budget Prices4.8/5
Food Quality4.7/5


  • Large servings
  • Flavorful curry and masala
  • Vegetarian options available
  • Indoor and outdoor seating


  • Not authentic 
  • No window shades
  • Lacking in customer service

Tarka Indian Kitchen claims to bring authentic Indian street food to the residents of Houston. With multiple restaurants within the town, it is no wonder why many we talked to raved about the heaping delicious platters of food for under $10. 

We wouldn’t call Tarka Indian kitchen authentic; it appeared to be more like Indian fast food. Still, we did like the large amount of biryani served to us. 

Moreover, their curries were reasonably priced—varying from nine to twelve dollars. Of course, they have meatless options available as well.

We liked how Tarka Indian kitchen provided indoor and outdoor seating making it quick and easy for us to enjoy a meal and hurry on with our day. Additionally, the music they played in the background made us feel as if we were in LittleLittle India. 

Inside, the sun shines through because there are no window shades, so we recommend being prepared to sit in the sun, whether inside or outside. While the service was okay, Tarka Indian Kitchen is more quick counter service than a personal waiter checking in on you often. 

True to the claims of customers, the biryani we ordered was piling out of the platter like mountains. Both the coconut curry and the tikka masala were full of flavor, and they definitely did not hold back on the spices. 

The garlic naan and the plain roti were crispy and paired well with our masala. By the time we were done eating, we were wiping sweat off our foreheads and unbuttoning our trousers!

4. Tamashi Ramen & Sushi

Tamashi Ramen & Sushi Homepage

Menu: Beverages, Chicken Karaage, Edamame, Fried Shrimp Shumai, Gyoza, Ika Geso, Salmon Don, Seaweed Salad, Takoyaki, Curry Tsukemen Ramen, Shoyu Ramen, Tamashi’s Menn Ramen, Miso Ramen, Miso Mild. Miso Hot, Tonkotsu Ramen, Tonkotsu Mild, Tonkotsu Hot, Chirashi, Sushi Platter, Sushi Sashimi, Caterpillar Roll, Crunchy Roll, Hot Papa, Houston Roll, Mt. Fuji, New Moon, Rainbow Roll, Raku Roll, Rockets Roll, Shaggy Dog, Sky Diver, and Tiger Roll 


Address: 5901 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057 United States

Contact Details: +1-832-991-8461

Operating Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM

                    Friday: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

         Saturday: 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

                    Sunday: 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Google Reviews Score4.6/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score5/5
Total Reviews4.5/5
Score Consistency4.5/5
Budget Prices4.8/5
Food Quality4.5/5


  • Specialized sushi rolls
  • Variety of appetizers
  • Tons of ramen toppings
  • Tender ramen noodles
  • 12 dollar ramen


  • Limited parking
  • Cold ramen

Tamashi Ramen & Sushi boasts that they serve the best ramen in all of Houston. Various customers also claimed their ramen is authentic and true to the Japanese expectations of delicious ramen. 

As certified ramen fanatics, we needed to test the quality of ramen Tamashi Ramen & Sushi offers. With various branches throughout Houston, we selected the one closest to us on Westheimer Road. 

The parking at Tamashii Ramen and sushi was limited. So, we had difficulties parking. 

At first glance, the menu also appeared limited, but they provide all the classic essential Japanese dishes. Such as specialized sushi rolls, a variety of appetizers, and of course, we can’t forget what we came to Tamashi Ramen & Sushi for—their 12 dollar ramen. 

We started off sampling their takoyaki, which was delicious. As well as their caterpillar roll which was jam-packed with a mouthful of flavors. 

Furthermore, our server was attentive and quick with serving all the dishes we ordered and catering to our needs. We did note, though, that their staff is limited at this branch of Tamashi Ramen and Sushi. 

Additionally, we were disappointed when we received our bowl of hot tonkatsu ramen—half of the broth was missing. Moreover, our ramen was cold, and the broth was not thick nor creamy. 

On the other hand, the noodles in the ramen cooked at Tamashii Ramen & Sushi are tender and firm. We liked the piled-up toppings on our ramen, including hard-boiled eggs, seaweed, multiple pieces of chashu pork, etc. 

Still, for a place that claims to offer the best ramen in Houston, good ramen should not be served up cold.

5. Oishii Restaurant 

Oishii Restaurant Homepage

Menu: Lunch Specials: Chicken Teriyaki, Salmon Teriyaki, Curry Don, Shrimp Tempura Udon, Vegetable Tempura Udon, Chicken Fried Rice, Shrimp Tempura, Shrimp Teriyaki, Nine Piece Sashimi, Nine Piece Sushi, Sushi and Maki Combo, Maki Combo,  Maki and Temaki Combo, Bento Box, Vegetarian and Sushi Combo

Dinner: Beer & Wine, Appetizers, Salad, Soup, Special Sashimi, Special Sushi, Sushi and Sashimi, Team Maki, Maki, Special Maki, Customer Maki, Bento, Teriyaki, Nabemono, Merui, Donburi Mono, A La Carte & Desserts 


Address: 3764 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77046

Contact Details: (713) 621-8628

Operating Hours: Monday – Friday: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

           Saturday: 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

            Sunday: Closed

Google Reviews Score4.6/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.0/5
Total Reviews4.5/5
Score Consistency4.5/5
Budget Prices5/5
Food Quality4.9/5


  • Reasonably priced sushi
  • Variety of Japanese staples
  • Helpful servers


  • Salty miso soup 
  • Limited indoor seating
  • No outdoor seating
  • One hour wait

Oishii, a family-owned restaurant, claims to provide customers with the finest Japanese entrées such as soba noodles, teriyaki, tempura, and sashimi. Their specialty is their reasonably priced sushi, which makes sushi night affordable for anyone. 

Offering Wi-Fi, dine-in, and take-out, this restaurant has quickly become a favorite among customers we spoke with. To find out why their customers continue to return back for more, we chose Oishii as our restaurant for our last sushi night. 

True to the claims, they provide dine-in, but their spacing is limited. Unfortunately, there is no outside seating either; hence the wait can be up to an hour long, even on a Monday. 

We recommend booking a reservation in advance to avoid the long wait. 

Still, the atmosphere of Oishii was warm and comfortable. Moreover, Oishii provides all the classic Japanese staples a person needs to make the best of their sushi night. 

Customers can enjoy a glass of sake while munching on flavorful fried gyozas or agedashi. Additionally, the sushi is 2 dollars a piece and is as fresh as it can be. 

The immense variety of sushi offered made it difficult for us to choose. Thankfully, the waitstaff was kind enough to help us select the best-tasting plates of sushi. 

We also tried the miso soup, but we found it to be too salty for our liking. The customer service at Oishii impressed us by replacing our miso soup with a different appetizer. 

With helpful servers, and an excellent quantity of sushi, Oishi holds true to the claims of customers, stating it’s a chill Japanese restaurant. Yes, the prices are low, so you will not break the bank.


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