It's one of the age-old questions: Where can we eat good food without breaking the bank? If you are on vacation, or merely stepping out for a quick bite during lunch, eating on a budget is usually paramount.
In Austin, Texas, quick-stop "food trailers" have appeared in the past few years and these cheap, walk-up restaurants are popping up all over the city. If you are looking to get great food for a low price, these trailers fit the bill.
Below we've compiled a list of the top five best and most unusual food trailers in Austin. Don't worry about your wallet, because none of these places will cost you more than $5.
Man Bites Dog, 1311 South 1st Street
The hot dog: one-third of the Holy American Triumvirate (apple pie, hot dogs and baseball). It's a classic food you can eat with your hands, anytime, anywhere. You want them, Man Bites Dog has them. Their menu consists of 12 different dogs, ranging from the "Old School Dog" with mustard or ketchup to the "Abe Froman," a Chicago-inspired hot dog that pays homage to "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
Owner Jeremiah Allen opened the trailer in November of last year after a trip to Chicago left him craving hot dogs back in Austin. The menu comes from countless nights he spent combining different toppings, sauces and hot dogs -- with some successes and some that didn't quite make the menu. Each of the hot dogs packs its own unique flavor combinations, but the real secret is the toasted Kolache bun, which Allen buys hand-made from a local vendor. Eat just one and you'll never want a regular bun again.
Our Recommendation: The Buffalo Hottie. Buffalo sauce and melted blue cheese gives this dog the classic kick of hot wings without all the mess.
Gourdough's, 1219 South Lamar Blvd.
Known as the Doughnut King of Austin, Gourdough's is the perfect place to eat a late breakfast or a post-2 a.m. snack. But these giant doughnuts are anything but traditional. With a consistency closer to a funnel cake or beignet, Gourdough's doughnuts melt in your mouth like butter.
Owner Ryan Palmer opened Gourdough's in October 2009 with the simple idea of making the most decadent snack food possible.
There are 23 unique doughnuts on the menu, such as the Mother Clucker, topped with chicken strips and honey butter, and the Heavenly Hash, which has a chocolate fudge and marshmallow toping. If you want, you can make your own, but just try not to get overwhelmed by the 50-plus topping choices.
Our doughnut recommendation: the Funky Monkey. A perfectly fried doughnut topped with cream cheese icing and grilled bananas with brown sugar. You may not want to know how many calories it has, but hey, at least you get some fruit, right?
Old School BBQ & Grill, 2907 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin is crowded with barbecue restaurants, but it's a gutted-out school bus that gets our nod as the must-visit barbecue joint in the city. Old School BBQ and Grill owner Dan Parrott, a Cordon Bleu-trained chef, started smoking brisket, ribs and sausage in the back of the old yellow bus at the start of this year. Parrot and his crew don't waste your time with fancy slogans or upscale décor; it's all about hefty servings of juicy barbecue.