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12 Affordable Houston Restaurants for Family Night

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Sometimes a night off from cooking is exactly what a parent needs to feel with-it again. Although the metrics for what makes a restaurant “family-friendly” have shifted somewhat in the past few months — your kids might not be touching communal game pieces or dispensing free soft serve any time soon — it’s still clear that some Houston restaurants are just downright better at serving families, even when it comes to takeout. Whether you’re looking for cheesy enchiladas, a half-price pizza night, or an Indian spread that could feed a family reunion, these are the local restaurants that offer affordable, reliable meals for your crew all week long.

Be sure to check each of these spots before you go, as the state continues to adapt to new guidelines and regulations. A number of Houston restaurants have resumed dine-in service at full or 50% capacity, and this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit houstontx.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Hughie's

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Because of its fun vibe and progressive Vietnamese-American eats — you’ll have the spring rolls and country fried steak, thank you very much — this raucous tavern is a favorite among everyone in the family. Although it’s currently takeout-only, kids will love the baskets of buttermilk chicken tenders and waffle fries as much as parents do the steaming plates of shaking beef. Don’t forget to add some steamed pork dumplings, eggrolls, and sweet chile wings for sharing.

Dish Society

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Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are a cinch when you order Dish Society’s family meals, which easily feed two adults and two children. From traditional breakfasts to chicken pesto pasta, the farm-to-table empire has an array of affordable options to browse. Start your weekend with 10 breakfast tacos loaded with eggs, bacon, and cheddar on flour or corn tortillas for just $25, and end it with a Family Farmer’s Plate — a large helping of chicken, brisket, or shrimp, and two sides (make sure one is the Brussels sprouts) — for just $35.

Luna Pizzeria

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This casual pizzeria is from the beloved Barnaby’s Café team, so you know ordering dessert is a must. But first, the main attraction — picky eaters can roll with classic cheese-only or build-your-own pizza, and the jalapeno-kick of an already-spicy Andouille slice might dare an adventurous kid to try a bite. Pints of gelato will cool the tongue after, thank goodness.

FM Kitchen and Bar

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Whether you post up at one of the shaded, socially distanced picnic tables on the spacious patio or go for takeout, you’ll want to get one of the eatery’s gourmet odes to fast food: the FM burger, with its soft potato bun, melty American cheese, tangy “shh sauce,” and just enough lettuce and tomato — or, the juicy fried chicken sandwich. The takeout-only Family Meal for 4 lets you choose which one to devour, along with house-made tots, fries, or onion rings (again, a tough call), Cokes for the kids, and cocktails for you, all for just $48.

A tray of fried chicken and biscuits from FM Kitchen and Bar in Houston.
Courtesy of FM Kitchen and Bar

Huynh Restaurant

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From crispy shrimp and pork egg rolls to homemade wonton soup, little ones can find a lot to love at this Vietnamese icon in EaDo. Takeout portions of popular charbroiled beef ribs, shrimp stir fry, and bok choy come in plentiful family-sized portions on the cheap, but true loyalists know to always order a bowl of the signature spicy beef stew, bun bo hue — it’s the best in town. If you’re planning to fire up your own grill anytime soon, Huynh also sells marinated meats.

Local Foods

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For some, it’s all about the healthy options at Local Foods, like vegan grain bowls and salmon poke — but kids are all about the popular Crunchy Chicken sandwich (just don’t tell them it’s breaded in nuts and seeds along with those crushed chips). When the weather dips, the Upper Kirby location’s big, shady patio is ideal for dining al fresco, but the takeout game is strong. Since Local Foods actually added a market during the pandemic, you can order groceries online along with your meal.

Courtesy of Local Foods

Mia's Table - Upper Kirby

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Kids love this humble chain of eateries because they have free ice cream and the most extensive kids’ menu in town — corn dogs, nuggets, grilled cheese, and then some. While the complimentary ice cream isn’t available for takeout, order the large carry-out portions of the chicken strips, queso and chips, and a dozen fudgy brownies or chocolate chip cookies for dessert, and maybe the kiddos will forget about it. Don’t forget a Green Goddess salad for the adults, and however many to-go Cokes it takes to keep the family smiling.

Zabak's Mediterranean Cafe

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Long considered the best falafel in Houston, the Zabak family’s deep-fried version rocks a crunchy exterior and steaming hot, fluffy interior, its vibrant green color thanks to the addition of fresh parsley and jalapeño. Order it as a large pita sandwich, which can feed two. In fact, all the portions here are pretty generous, considering most dishes are less than $10. And don’t worry: Kids will be covered with the hummus and chicken kebab alongside a kid-sized Sprite.

Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine

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Although the popular buffet at this Westchase Indian staple is currently off-limits, you can still get a great bang for your buck when you order takeout from the sweeping menu. With heaping portions at forgiving prices, it doesn’t take much to feed a family, whether you go with the safe bets — lamb biryani, chicken butter masala, mango lassis — or order like folks in the know, who swear by the mutton chettinad (pepper goat), the marinated and fried Chennai-style Chicken 65, and the gargantuan dosa.

A chicken dish with rice from Houston’s Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine.
Courtesy of Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine

Molina's Cantina

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This longtime Tex-Mex favorite knows what the people want: family-sized takeout meals of cheese and beef enchiladas, charbroiled beef and chicken fajita packs, and taco kits (so the whole fam can make their own), each served with Mexican rice, refried beans, chips, and salsa. Because it’s Molina’s, you definitely need to add in an iconic Jose’s Dip, the meatiest of all quesos, and an ice-cold Coke.

Courtesy of Molina’s Cantina

The Pit Room

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Folks in Montrose swear by the brisket, slow-cooked over post oak in custom-made offset smokers. You can try it with a cold Coke and the wildly creamy mac and cheese when you order the Feast for Five, which gets you two and a half pounds of meat, two and half pints of sides, and all the fixins (slices of white bread, sauce, onion, jalapenos and pickles) — a steal when it comes to legit Texas barbecue. Do throw in a smoked chicken verde and charred garlic tacos for the adults in the room.

Asahi Sushi

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The fresh fish is an obvious “yes,” but don’t sleep on this sushi outpost’s atmosphere. Hanging lights and decor make for a relaxed weeknight go-to for any family craving authentic Japanese. For adults, the happy hour gets you a Japanese beer and a hot sake for $5, while kids can enjoy fried rice and calamari (you know, the fun kind of fish). The Asahi team is known for remembering their clientele, and with these noteworthy deals, the chances of you becoming a regular are quite high.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Hughie's

Because of its fun vibe and progressive Vietnamese-American eats — you’ll have the spring rolls and country fried steak, thank you very much — this raucous tavern is a favorite among everyone in the family. Although it’s currently takeout-only, kids will love the baskets of buttermilk chicken tenders and waffle fries as much as parents do the steaming plates of shaking beef. Don’t forget to add some steamed pork dumplings, eggrolls, and sweet chile wings for sharing.

Dish Society

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are a cinch when you order Dish Society’s family meals, which easily feed two adults and two children. From traditional breakfasts to chicken pesto pasta, the farm-to-table empire has an array of affordable options to browse. Start your weekend with 10 breakfast tacos loaded with eggs, bacon, and cheddar on flour or corn tortillas for just $25, and end it with a Family Farmer’s Plate — a large helping of chicken, brisket, or shrimp, and two sides (make sure one is the Brussels sprouts) — for just $35.

Luna Pizzeria

This casual pizzeria is from the beloved Barnaby’s Café team, so you know ordering dessert is a must. But first, the main attraction — picky eaters can roll with classic cheese-only or build-your-own pizza, and the jalapeno-kick of an already-spicy Andouille slice might dare an adventurous kid to try a bite. Pints of gelato will cool the tongue after, thank goodness.

FM Kitchen and Bar

A tray of fried chicken and biscuits from FM Kitchen and Bar in Houston.
Courtesy of FM Kitchen and Bar

Whether you post up at one of the shaded, socially distanced picnic tables on the spacious patio or go for takeout, you’ll want to get one of the eatery’s gourmet odes to fast food: the FM burger, with its soft potato bun, melty American cheese, tangy “shh sauce,” and just enough lettuce and tomato — or, the juicy fried chicken sandwich. The takeout-only Family Meal for 4 lets you choose which one to devour, along with house-made tots, fries, or onion rings (again, a tough call), Cokes for the kids, and cocktails for you, all for just $48.

A tray of fried chicken and biscuits from FM Kitchen and Bar in Houston.
Courtesy of FM Kitchen and Bar

Huynh Restaurant

From crispy shrimp and pork egg rolls to homemade wonton soup, little ones can find a lot to love at this Vietnamese icon in EaDo. Takeout portions of popular charbroiled beef ribs, shrimp stir fry, and bok choy come in plentiful family-sized portions on the cheap, but true loyalists know to always order a bowl of the signature spicy beef stew, bun bo hue — it’s the best in town. If you’re planning to fire up your own grill anytime soon, Huynh also sells marinated meats.

Local Foods

Courtesy of Local Foods

For some, it’s all about the healthy options at Local Foods, like vegan grain bowls and salmon poke — but kids are all about the popular Crunchy Chicken sandwich (just don’t tell them it’s breaded in nuts and seeds along with those crushed chips). When the weather dips, the Upper Kirby location’s big, shady patio is ideal for dining al fresco, but the takeout game is strong. Since Local Foods actually added a market during the pandemic, you can order groceries online along with your meal.

Courtesy of Local Foods

Mia's Table - Upper Kirby

Kids love this humble chain of eateries because they have free ice cream and the most extensive kids’ menu in town — corn dogs, nuggets, grilled cheese, and then some. While the complimentary ice cream isn’t available for takeout, order the large carry-out portions of the chicken strips, queso and chips, and a dozen fudgy brownies or chocolate chip cookies for dessert, and maybe the kiddos will forget about it. Don’t forget a Green Goddess salad for the adults, and however many to-go Cokes it takes to keep the family smiling.

Zabak's Mediterranean Cafe

Long considered the best falafel in Houston, the Zabak family’s deep-fried version rocks a crunchy exterior and steaming hot, fluffy interior, its vibrant green color thanks to the addition of fresh parsley and jalapeño. Order it as a large pita sandwich, which can feed two. In fact, all the portions here are pretty generous, considering most dishes are less than $10. And don’t worry: Kids will be covered with the hummus and chicken kebab alongside a kid-sized Sprite.

Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine

A chicken dish with rice from Houston’s Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine.
Courtesy of Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine

Although the popular buffet at this Westchase Indian staple is currently off-limits, you can still get a great bang for your buck when you order takeout from the sweeping menu. With heaping portions at forgiving prices, it doesn’t take much to feed a family, whether you go with the safe bets — lamb biryani, chicken butter masala, mango lassis — or order like folks in the know, who swear by the mutton chettinad (pepper goat), the marinated and fried Chennai-style Chicken 65, and the gargantuan dosa.

A chicken dish with rice from Houston’s Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine.
Courtesy of Sangam Chettinad Indian Cuisine

Molina's Cantina

Courtesy of Molina’s Cantina

This longtime Tex-Mex favorite knows what the people want: family-sized takeout meals of cheese and beef enchiladas, charbroiled beef and chicken fajita packs, and taco kits (so the whole fam can make their own), each served with Mexican rice, refried beans, chips, and salsa. Because it’s Molina’s, you definitely need to add in an iconic Jose’s Dip, the meatiest of all quesos, and an ice-cold Coke.

Courtesy of Molina’s Cantina

The Pit Room

Folks in Montrose swear by the brisket, slow-cooked over post oak in custom-made offset smokers. You can try it with a cold Coke and the wildly creamy mac and cheese when you order the Feast for Five, which gets you two and a half pounds of meat, two and half pints of sides, and all the fixins (slices of white bread, sauce, onion, jalapenos and pickles) — a steal when it comes to legit Texas barbecue. Do throw in a smoked chicken verde and charred garlic tacos for the adults in the room.

Asahi Sushi

The fresh fish is an obvious “yes,” but don’t sleep on this sushi outpost’s atmosphere. Hanging lights and decor make for a relaxed weeknight go-to for any family craving authentic Japanese. For adults, the happy hour gets you a Japanese beer and a hot sake for $5, while kids can enjoy fried rice and calamari (you know, the fun kind of fish). The Asahi team is known for remembering their clientele, and with these noteworthy deals, the chances of you becoming a regular are quite high.

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