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Sunday, April 14, 2024 — Houston, TX

Dining on a budget near campus

Photo courtesy Morgan Gage

By Sydney Park     10/19/21 10:20pm

By this point in the semester, it’s understandable to begin lacking emotional excitement for servery food. We’ve all had our fair share of grilled chicken, caesar salads and fries, which have become somewhat repetitive for the palate. Luckily, Houston is a culinary extravaganza for lovers of all cuisines. If you’re looking for new, fresh bites, take a look at four affordable restaurants close to campus for your next meal.

Pho Saigon

Craving authentic soup for the soul? A 10-minute Metro trip from Rice’s campus, Pho Saigon sits in Midtown proving that sometimes classics never get old. Offering a range of traditional Vietnamese items from bánh mì to vermicelli bowls to the almighty Pho Bò (beef pho), the restaurant boasts great value, as most items fall in the price range of $8 to $10. 

Pho Saigon sells both beef and chicken pho in small and large sizes, accompanied by a plate of standard pho toppings: bean sprouts, lemon slices, cilantro, basil leaves and spicy green peppers. Of course, hoisin and sriracha sauces are already sitting on the table upon arrival. If you’re not a big pho person, try your hand at the house spring rolls or charbroiled pork chop rice plate. 

Agnes Café & Provisions

In the mood for brunch near campus? At Agnes, you’ll find both typical breakfast foods and modern twists on classics, such as baklava granola with Bulgarian yogurt priced at $6. About a 20-minute walk from campus, the self-described “loosely Mediterranean” restaurant also boasts a $9 avocado toast on sourdough topped with sunflower seeds, as well as a $10 lamb sausage stuffed flatbread if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. 

Being a cafe, Agnes offers a number of caffeinated drinks and baked goods to help start your morning — including a $4 daily homemade scone as well as Americanos and other espresso drinks for about $3. Head over to this new, fun space for a reasonably priced modern breakfast. 

Oishii Japanese Restaurant

Any self-proclaimed sushi connoisseur will appreciate the $1 priced nigiri and sashimi offered at Oishii — surprising, considering the high quality of their plates. Notable menu items include agedashi tofu with bonito flakes for $3.50, tempura udon for $7.50 and Hokkaido hotate (scallop nigiri) for $2.50. Oishii is a 15-minute Metro ride away, a small price to pay for $4 rolls and $8 chicken katsu. 


Located on the other side of Hermann Park, Fadi’s is a Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant about a 4-minute Metro ride away from Rice’s campus. The owner, Fadi Dimassi, has been serving family recipes for 25 years in Houston and has received many impressive culinary awards for his work along the way. 

Between their lamb kabobs, gyro wraps, house chicken curry and Greek salad with feta, Fadi’s has something for everyone. Vegetarian options include a falafel plate, veggie wrap and pomegranate eggplant, and most main plates are reasonably sold for $8.99. Be sure to end the meal on a sweet note with their baklava or rice pudding.  

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