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The 5 Best Casual Lunch Spots in Houston 

The 5 Best Casual Lunch Spots in Houston

How We Picked

Atmosphere: We selected casual lunch spots that have a laid-back atmosphere perfect for a solo lunch or a quick lunch with the family. 
Prices: When considering the selected restaurants, we took prices into consideration because casual lunch spots should be cheaper than eating at a normal restaurant. 
Menu: We picked restaurants that offered a wide selection of cuisines as well as meals that can be eaten quickly or on the go for lunch. 
Food Quality: No matter how quick the service is at a casual lunch spot, if the food isn’t edible, it takes away from the experience. Hence, we took into consideration the quality of the food we ordered at the below lunch spots. 

1. Pho Binh

Website: Pho Binh

Address: 10928 Beamer Rd, Houston TX 77089

Contact Info: 281-484-3963

Hours: Monday: Closed

             Tuesday – Sunday: 8 AM to 4 PM

Google Reviews Score4.6/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.8/5
Total Reviews4.7/5
Score Consistency4.6/5
Menu 4.7/5
Food Quality4.7/5


  • Bittersweet Vietnamese coffee
  • Flavorful pho broth
  • Fresh and firm noodles


  • Cash only 
  • Overcooked tendon
  • Limited chicken in chicken pho 

Pho Binh Trailer may not be the most aesthetically pleasing restaurant, but its namesake dish, Pho, is among the best in the world. At least, that’s what we’ve been told. 

After our visit to Pho Binh, we can state that they use the finest and freshest ingredients, and their serving sizes are generous. 

Since they only prepare one batch a day, we recommend coming before the lunch rush hour to guarantee a fresh bowl of Pho. 

First of all, the al dente glass noodles and clear, flavorful broth stood out about their chicken and tendon Pho. The broth wasn’t salty in the slightest. 

Unlike some other restaurants, Pho Binh doesn’t overwhelm the noodles with salt or oil. The noodles are fresh and firm without being mushy. 

The Pho was elevated by the addition of fresh basil, cilantro, jalapenos, and bean sprouts that they provided for free. 

While we enjoyed the flavors of the chicken in the chicken pho, only three small pieces were included. As for the tendon pho, the tendon was overcooked and tough to chew. 

Even better than the food was the Vietnamese coffee. It’s not too bitter and not too sweet; just right. 

By the way, this place is cash only

2. Fat Bao 

Website: Fat Bao

Address: 3419 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098, United States

Contact Info: 713-667-0341

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11 AM to 9 PM 

 Friday & Saturday: 11 AM to 10 PM 

             Sunday: 12 PM to 9 PM 

Google Reviews Score4.5/5
Yelp Reviews Score4/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.5/5
Total Reviews4/5
Score Consistency4/5
Menu 4.5/5
Food Quality4/5


  • Quick customer service
  • Tasty Bulgari bao 
  • Variety of sauces


  • Bland tofu bao
  • Oily crab bao
  • Tasteless thai bao 

From what we’ve observed, many people flock to Fat Bao for their baos, which make quick lunches or the perfect snack to keep hunger away. 

There was plenty of parking, and we noted that the service at Fat Bao’s quickly kept up with ongoing customer demands. The decor was adorable, and the facilities were well-kept. 

But, we didn’t like how no prices were posted, and you don’t get multiple baos. The cost each person pays is for one bao only. 

Still, there are plenty of options so that you can try more than one bao without overspending. 

The best baos were the Bulgari, the Pork Katsu, and the Fried Fish. All of these dishes were not too spicy and were well seasoned. 

Both the Memphis and Thai baos were edible, but they were lacking in taste. The Thai Bao was just a chicken nugget inside a simple bao, nothing special. 

However, we didn’t care for the tofu and the crab baos the most. The Crab Daddy’s bun was slathered in oil and wasn’t appetizing because of it. The tofu bao was bland and had no flavor at all to it. 

For all of their baos, they had a selection of sauces not limited to their spicy habanero sauce that, when added to the baos, gave it more kick and flavor. 

3. Rice Box

Website:  Rice Box

Address: 1111 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77019, United States

Contact Info: 713-294-4549

Hours: Monday – Thursday & Sunday: 11 AM to 10 PM 

             Friday & Saturday: 11 AM to 12 AM

Google Reviews Score4.5/5
Yelp Reviews Score4/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.4/5
Total Reviews4/5
Score Consistency4/5
Menu 4.5/5
Food Quality4.3/5


  • Nitrogen bubble Thai tea
  • Tasty General Tso Chicken 


  • Undercooked bell peppers
  • Flavorless Mongolian beef

At Rice Box, you can get trendy Chinese-American food for cheap and quick. We ate under the patio’s roof, where there was space for a few small groups to dine. 

Inside Rice Box, though, you’ll find nine metal bar stools and a permanent picture booth with the Rice Box logo in neon blue and red. 

We ordered various things off the menu and tested the tastiness level of each one. 

First of all, their General Tso chicken style was served hawker-style, straight from the steaming, flaming kitchen through a little window. The chicken had the right amount of meat to batter, and the sauce wasn’t too heavy or sugary. 

Moreover, it included a Chinese egg roll, and steamed rice was buried beneath the chicken. 

As for their kung pao chicken, the green and red bell peppers were chunky and undercooked. But the charred bits of the soy-marinated chicken were tasty. 

Although slivers of cabbage, sambal chili paste, peanuts, and fresh green onion topped the stir-fry, we still thought the kung pao chicken lacked any unique stand-out flavors. 

Furthermore, we didn’t like their Mongolian beef or the pepper steak. Both dishes lacked flavor in both the meats and the sauces.

As far as drinks go, we tried their Thai Iced Tea. Instead of being prepared with milk, it uses nitrogen bubbles. 

We liked the creamy sweet taste of the Thai Iced Tea due to using nitrogen bubbles, which gave the tea a smoother taste. 

 Of course, we didn’t leave without our fortune cookie.

4. Urban Eats

Website: Urban Eats

Address: 3414 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007, United States

Contact Info: 713-522-9555

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 AM to 9 PM 

 Sunday: 10 AM to 3 PM

Google Reviews Score4.5/5
Yelp Reviews Score4/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.3/5
Total Reviews4/5
Score Consistency4/5
Menu 4.3/5
Food Quality4/5


  • Large portions
  • Flavorful chicken wings
  • Accommodating hostess


  • Stale fries
  • Wilted lettuce in sliders
  • Limited parking

Urban Eats is a hybrid restaurant and market serving creative takes on American classics. At least, that’s what they claim to do. 

When we arrived at Urban Eats, there was a severe shortage of parking spaces outside the restaurant. We had to drive around the block to find parking. 

Inside Urban Eats, the interior is reminiscent of a stylish hipster coffee shop. On the walls, there is artwork displayed by local Houstonians. 

Although we had to wait a bit to be seated due to the overwhelming crowd of people during lunch hour, the hostess compensated us with a free appetizer.

We liked how accommodating our hostess was, constantly checking on our table to answer any questions we had about their menu. Their menu was extensive, with a variety of options. 

We ended up choosing their wings, sliders, and fries. The starter wings we received were completely coated in buffalo sauce and paired well with the ranch Urban Eats offered on the side. 

When we received the sliders, it was a large portion enough to share. While the beef patties in the sliders were tender and flavorful, the lettuce on top was not fresh. 

Moreover, the fries tasted stale. Almost as if they had been sitting out for a while and were refried. 

5. Niko’s Niko’s 

Website: Niko’s Niko’s

Address: 301 Milam St, Houston, TX 77002, United States

Contact Info: +1 713-224-4976

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10 AM to 9 PM

Google Reviews Score4.4/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.6/5
Total Reviews4.5/5
Score Consistency4.4/5
Menu 4.6/5
Food Quality4.6/5


  • Delicious chicken avgolemono soup 
  • Well-seasoned gyros 
  • Pleasant customer service
  • Dog-friendly


  • Hard to find parking 
  • Overwhelming buffalo chicken sandwich
  • Long line

Many people we spoke to about Niko’s Niko’s raved about it being a Houstonian classic that offers legit Greek food made with fresh ingredients. But, they did warn us that there could be a line during lunch hour. 

First of all, we had to circle around the park a few times before finding parking for Niko’s Niko’s. When we did find a spot, it was a short walk away. 

True to the claims, though, there was a line going down the curbed street of the park when we arrived at Niko’s Niko’s quick parkside location for a casual lunch. We didn’t have to wait too long in line as this location of Niko’s Niko’s is more take and go. 

Although their menu is not as vast as their other locations, the surrounding park area was nice, and as a bonus, the bathrooms were clean. 

We also liked how there’s covered outdoor seating on their patio, and we saw a few furry friends with their owners, so it’s dog-friendly too. 

Furthermore, we liked how the cashier answered any questions we had about the menu and kept a pleasant attitude while doing so. On the menu, they have quite a few vegetarian options, and for vegans, you could ask for substitutes. 

We ended up ordering their gyros plate, buffalo chicken sandwich, chicken avgolemono soup, and roasted potatoes. We liked how quickly the food came out, and it was aesthetically pleasing. 

First, the chicken avgolemono soup was delicious. It had a combination of dill and lemon to complement the chicken broth. 

The broth wasn’t salty, and the slices of chicken breast were plentiful and big. As for the gyros plate, we thought it was well-seasoned too. 

However, the flavors of the buffalo chicken sandwich were overwhelmed by the buffalo sauce. We had to soak some of the sauce off with napkins just to taste the actual sandwich.


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