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Lunch from Trace
Lunch from Trace
Trace/Facebook

Where to Find 34 Lunch Specials Under $12 in Austin

Best midday meal deals for any budget

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Lunch from Trace
| Trace/Facebook

Austin makes it easy for those who don’t want to settle for the same sad desk lunch day after day. Instead of bringing in food or visiting the same nearby restaurant all the time. Eater gathered the best of Austin’s lunch specials available throughout the city. There’s a special for all budgets, with deals starting at $6.

There are easy lunches for every taste and palette, from sandwich soup combos at Walton’s and Forthright to pizza deals at The Grove to tacos specials at Tacodeli, . Those who need to take working lunches can take advantage of Pinthouse Pizza’s Wi-Fi and pies, while Trace offers a full meal perfect for courting clients. There are late lunches at The Steeping Room, and Forthright and a lunch buffet from Taste of Ethiopia.

For more lunch inspiration, check out Eater’s lunch guide to Austin’s neighborhoods. For the best work spots with caffeine, take advantage of coffee shops with Wi-Fi.

Everything below is listed in geographical order from north to south. If a favorite lunch spot isn’t on the map, let Eater know on the tipline or in the comments below.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Papalote Taco House

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Papalote embraces taco Tuesday with its weekly lunch deal, where customers can choose any two savory tacos and get white rice, black beans, and iced tea for $8.50. It’s available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Tacos from Papalote
Tacos from Papalote
Papalote Taco House/Facebook

Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q.

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Ho Ho Chinese BBQ has over 20 options during lunch, with choices between proteins like Hunan chicken, Sichuan beef, shrimp, and more, served with an egg roll, fried rice, and choice of soup. Prices range from $6.45 to $7.50. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..

Lunch from Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q.
Lunch from Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q.
Iowa W./Yelp

The Steeping Room

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The Steeping Room is known for its extensive menu of teas and treats. Try one of the several combos for a light lunch at the Rosedale or Domain locations. Soup/salad and soup/scone deals begin at $6.75, and soup/tea sandwich combinations begin at $8.75. The deals are available until 9 p.m. on weekdays, for those who look for late lunches.

Lunch from the Steeping Room
Lunch from the Steeping Room
The Steeping Room/Facebook

The Domain’s Copper is perfect for a bite to go or a sit-down lunch. The lunchbox deal includes a starter, a half sandwich or salad, and one of its famous cake balls for $11.95. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m.

Copper’s cake balls
Copper’s cake balls
Copper/Facebook

Shu Shu's Asian Cuisine

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Chinese spot Shu Shu’s lunch specials offer samplings of everything. It comes with one entree with protein, rice, and a side starting at $7.45. Lunch goes from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..

A meal from Shu Shu
A meal from Shu Shu
Shu Shu’s/Facebook

Suzi's China Grill

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This Allandale restaurant offers up sushi and Chinese lunch deals. All sushi rolls come with miso soup and the house salad. Prices start at $11 and lunch begins at 11 a.m..

Sushi from Suzi’s
Sushi from Suzi’s
Suzi’s China Grill/Facebook

The Frisco

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For classic diner fare, try The Frisco. The lunch specials come with a cup of soup and a half sandwich for $8.00 and it runs all day.

Soup and sandwich from Frisco
Soup and sandwich from Frisco
James F./Yelp

Arpeggio Grill

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Check out Arpeggio Grill for gyros, hummus, falafel, and everything in between. The lunch special includes Greek salad, choice of three sides, choice of one meat, and a drink for $7.95. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m..

The array from Arpeggio Grill
The array from Arpeggio Grill
Arpeggio Grill/Facebook

Way South Philly

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The Philly cheesesteak spot offers up tater tot lunch specials. One sandwich, tater tots, and a drink will run for 50 cents less than the sandwich price.

Way South Philly’s lunch special
Way South Philly’s lunch special
Braden F./Yelp

Pinthouse Pizza

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The brewpub has wifi, outlets, and roomy tables for working lunches. The lunch special includes a 10-inch personal pizza, salad, and a drink for $10.50. Or opt for a pizza roll and get a full salad and drink for the same price. This combo deal runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Pinthouse Pizza’s pizza, salad, and beer
Pinthouse Pizza’s pizza, salad, and beer
Pinthouse Pizza/Facebook

La Cocina de Consuelo

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For a filling Tex-Mex lunch, Consuelo’s is the answer. The specials change everyday but come with enough food for leftovers. It always includes with tortillas, two sides, and tea for $7.99. Lunch runs until close at 3 p.m..

A plate from La Cocina de Consuelo
A plate from La Cocina de Consuelo
Coco M./Yelp

The Japanese restaurant’s teishoku-style lunch comes with entrees like katsu, grilled mackerel, and even steak skewers, as well as salad, clear soup, rice, and Japanese pickles. It begins at $8 and lunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Salmon from Kome
Salmon from Kome
Kome/Facebook

Tacodeli

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All locations of Tacodeli offer a blue plate special during lunchtime. It comes with two tacos, organic rice, and beans for the price of the tacos, plus $2. Lunch tacos are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tacodeli tacos in a red basket
Tacodeli tacos
Tacodeli/Facebook

Bao'd Up

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Austin’s dedicated bao restaurant features three lunch combination specials, which range from $7.25 to $10.95. There’s a vegetarian option, Taiwanese burgers, and bao combinations. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.

Bao from Bao’d Up
Bao from Bao’d Up
Bao’d Up/Facebook

The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen

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The Grove is known for its variety of appetizers and rich entrees, from bruschetta and cheese plates to burgers and pizza combinations. The soup and side salad costs $9.50, the grilled cheese and tomato shrimp bisque at $10, and two slices of pizza with any side house salad and a cup of soup are $10. These lunch specials run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Pizza from Grove
Pizza from Grove
The Grove/Facebook

Dirty Martin's Place

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Dirty Martin’s has been a campus favorite since 1926. The Kum Bak Special includes one of its famous burgers, any $3 side, and a drink for $7.95. Top it off with one of the old fashioned shakes. Lunch goes until 4 p.m.

Dirty Martin’s burger
Dirty Martin’s burger
Dirty Martin’s/Facebook

Fricano's Deli

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The campus favorite is the place for an easy to-go lunch. The deli is known for its hearty sandwiches and offers half a sandwich and a side for $8.75. It’s available until closing.

A sandwich from Fricano’s
A sandwich from Fricano’s
Fricano’s/Facebook

Song La

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For Taiwanese, head to Song La where its Bian Dang (lunch box) offers a taste of everything the trailer makes, like fried pork chops or chicken bites, for $8. This deal is good through 3 p.m.

Song La’s lunch box
Song La’s lunch box
Song La/Facebook

Irene’s

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Check out the casual downtown restaurant’s lunch special, which includes a composed salad or sandwich with mug of soup and iced tea for $10. Lunch hours run from 11 am to 3 p.m. 

Meal from Irene’s
Meal from Irene’s
Irene’s/Facebook

Walton's Fancy & Staple

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Walton’s fancy deal lunch comes with a half sandwich and cup of soup or salad for $10.50. This special runs until close at 7 p.m. on weeknights. Don’t forget to pick up a cupcake or macaron on the way out.

Wrap and soup from Walton’s
Wrap and soup from Walton’s
Walton’s/Facebook

Easy Tiger

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While Easy Tiger might be known for its baked goods and meats, don’t miss out the potato salad and sauerkraut that comes with the sandwich special. Half a sandwich comes with one side and a drip coffee or iced tea for $9, available until 4 p.m.

Sandwich from Easy Tiger
Sandwich from Easy Tiger
Easy Tiger/Facebook

Swift's Attic

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Enjoy a hearty meal at Swift’s Attic with the choice of half a sandwich, like the green chile chicken or pig-laden Porkstrami, along with half a salad, cup of soup, or fries for $10. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Swift’s Attic’s lunch
Swift’s Attic’s lunch
Swift’s Attic/Facebook

For a sit-down lunch fit for clients, try out Trace’s lunch deal for $12. Lunch on the Fly not only includes an entree like duck confit grilled cheese sandwiches and omelettes, side, and dessert, but complimentary valet as well. Get the special from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Trace’s burger
Trace’s burger
Trace/Official

For a midday feast, check out Nasha India’s thali platter, with comes with the curry of the day, two veggies, basmati rice, naan, and dessert. It ranges from $9 to $11 and starts at 11 a.m.

Forthright

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Forthright’s downtown location makes it an easy lunch spot for an office break. The midday special includes soup with either half a salad or sandwich for $10.50. Lunch is served until 5 p.m..

El Alma

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El Alma boasts contemporary flavors of Mexico and an extensive list of cocktails, margaritas, and dips. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. choose from five different lunch specials, like tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and open-faced pork sandwiches, beginning at $12.

Chips and dip from El Alma
Chips and dip from El Alma
El Alma/Facebook

Bombay Dhaba

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Enjoy Indian cuisine at a low price with Bombay Dhaba’s variety of lunch specials. Choose from three different combo plates that all come with rice, dessert, and a variety of curry options for $8.99. The food truck is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.

Bombay Dhaba
Bombay Dhaba
Craig B./Yelp

Enoteca Vespaio

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The Italian eatery has daily lunch specials. While the selection changes, it always includes cheese, soup, salad, pizza, pasta and dessert, starting at $7 beginning at 11 a.m.

Enoteca Vespaio’s pasta
Enoteca Vespaio’s pasta
Camille G./Yelp

Bouldin Creek Cafe

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The vegetarian cafe's lunch specials range from soup and salad to sandwiches to the quinoa and vegetable-filled Buddha bowl, from $4.50 to $10, available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekdays.

Bouldin Creek’s sandwich
Bouldin Creek's sandwich
Bouldin Creek/Facebook

Papalote

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Papalote's lunch special comes with two tacos, white rice, black beans, and iced tea, all for $8.50. It runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Tacos from Papalote
Tacos from Papalote
Papalote/Facebook

Deckhand Oyster Bar & Seafood

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Deckhand's seafood lunch specials range from crawfish etoufee to fried oysters to po’ boy, all for $8.99 available from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the weekdays. Most dishes come with cups of gumbo, fries, and hush puppies.

Fish and fries and hush puppies from Deckhand
Fish and fries and hush puppies from Deckhand
Tina S./Yelp

Eurasia Sushi Bar & Seafood

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The Oak Hill restaurant's lunch deals is a mish-mash of influences, from the grilled chicken pesto to the teriyaki to sesame beef. Each entree is served with soup for dine-in customers. Prices begin at $11, and it's available on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

A dish from Eurasia Sushi Bar and Seafood
A dish from Eurasia Sushi Bar and Seafood
Eurasia/Facebook

Taste of Ethiopia

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The lunch buffet at Taste of Ethiopia’s South Austin location is just $10, which includes vegetarian and meat dishes, bread, and fruit. It's available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekdays.