Are you looking for good quality food that is delicious and affordable on a student's budget? Melbourne has many foodie spots that can satiate your cravings without breaking the bank.
However, the rising cost of living makes it hard to find the best cheap eats around town to help you save your hard-earned pennies.
To simplify your job, we have listed the top 15 venues in Melbourne CBD for an affordable and tasty feed for under $10.
1. Vegie Tribe
The restaurant offers plant-based healthy cuisines at low prices, seven days a week, from 11 am to 9 pm. You can find a selection of delicious vegan and vegetarian delicacies that are hard to find anywhere else in CBD.
Some popular and cheap eats in Melbourne under $10 include nutritious homemade Mediterranean lentil soup @$5, premium barista-made coffee @ $2 and more.
Under their happy hour scheme (from Monday to Friday between 3.00 pm t 6.00 pm), they offer an extra 25% discount on dishes. Moreover, students get an additional 10% discount on the price, which makes it super affordable.
Craving traditional Chinese street food snacks with authentic flavours? FooDao Express can be the perfect place to end your hunger pangs. Their range of dishes with exciting new tastes and a modern twist will make you return for more.
Be sure to try the house specialty –oven-baked fooshao wheat pastries stuffed with spicy Korean chicken and cheese or black pepper beef at just $7. More treats under $7 include steam buns, dim sim, congee, chicken cutlet, spring rolls, tofu soups, and sour plum tea.
The cheap eats CBD restaurant offers take-home food delivery services for Melbourne residents. You can order from their mouth-watering menu of gastronomic delights via popular food delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Doordash, Deliveroo, etc.
3. Sushi Monger
Want to relish authentic Sushi and Sashimi in Australia? There is no better place to find a better deal than Sushi Monger. Sushi-roll joints are a dime a dozen in the Melbourne CBD. Enjoy three sushi rolls and a steaming cup of miso soup at just $6.80.
You can also try a small and large sushi box, Donburi (bowl), Bento (Lunch Box), Udon (Noodle), Curry, and various soups and salads for under $10. Order at lunchtime, and get your favourite meals delivered to your home.
Shp17/ 309 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia
10.30 am to 3.30 pm (M-F), 11 am to 1 pm (Weekends)
Hot Star Chicken brings delicacies from Shih Lin Night Market in Taipei in Melbourne. Made from 100% fresh chicken breasts, the oversized fried chicken coated with a secret recipe is not to be missed.
Available at just $8.5, these tender and luscious chicken pieces with the right seasoning and crispness are a treat for hungry chicken lovers on the go.
Whatever your hunger level, you get small-sized to large-sized meals between $6 to $9. Make sure you don't forget to try their specialties, including hot star chicken, crispy wings, chicken pop, and a range of salads and beverages. The restaurant offers both take-home and click-and-collect meals at their Melbourne premise.
233 Swanston St Melbourne 11 am-10 pm (7 Days)
321 Swanston St Melbourne 11 am-8 pm (7 Days)
429 Elizabeth St Melbourne 11.30 am-1 am (7 Days)
33B Buckingham Avenue Springvale10am-7pm (M-F)
5. Delhi Rocks
Delhi Rocks is an award-winning family restaurant that gives you the experience of authentic Indian taste. Enjoy traditional veg and non-veg Indian meals made with fragrant and warm spices and delicately blended in meticulous proportions.
Whether you are looking for typical Indian sweets like gulab jamun and motichoor ke laddu, mouth-watering street food like Aloo-Tikki and Samosa Chaat, or all-time favourite aloo paratha, butter chicken, curries, Delhi Rocks is a great pick to discover fresh and homemade delicious Indian cuisine under $10.
205 King Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Takeaway Only: Monday to Friday, 11:30 am-11 pm, Saturday to Sunday, 4 pm-11 pm.
The restaurant serves cute little authentic French Crepes in the heart of Melbourne. Handmade daily, with fresh and simple ingredients, it gives you the feel of eating at a Paris restaurant.
All doughs and batters are cooked on professional French crêpe waffle irons and hotplates. You get varied sweet and savoury toppings and fillings to craft your crepe and beverages.
Swanston St CBD, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
8.00 am to 10 pm (Monday to Thursday), 8.00 am to 11 pm (Friday), 10:00 am - 11:00 pm (Saturday), 10:00 am - 10:00 pm (Sunday)
7. Udon Yasan
This Melbourne's cheapest Japanese noodle bar offers multiple food options for less than $5.
Make sure to try their popular food options such as noodle soup bowls and rice priced merely at $9.40, deep fried chicken (Karaage) at $4.60, Tempura at $6.0, a delicious Standard Udon at $4.80, with varieties of complimentary noodle toppings to make your dish more delectable.
Don't miss their free drink station to relish a range of teas. It is hard to find a better deal than this anywhere in the heart of Melbourne CBD!
Melbourne VIC 3000 186 Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia, 187 Elizabeth St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
11.30 am to 7 pm (Monday - Saturday), 11.30 am to 3 pm (Sunday)
8. Seoul Toast Bong
Bong Seoul Toast is a popular restaurant chain with over 200 food outlets in Korea. If you like Korean cuisine, visit their Melbourne CBD outlet, famous for its breakfast and brunch food items.
With a tonne of menu items priced below $10, including the signature range of egg-K sandwiches, it is one of the best affordable restaurants in Melbourne CBD.
Combine your meal with Seoul Chips at $7.50, Hash browns at $2.50, and a delicious ICED Matcha Latte at just $6.5.
551 Little Lonsdale Street, Shop 6, Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000
10 am to 5.50 pm (Monday – Friday), 10 am – 3.00 pm (Saturday)
9. Coppe Pan
Do you find gourmet sandwich stations pricey? You should try Coppe Pan. It is one of the best cheap eats in Melbourne for under $10. Their thick, luscious cuts of crumbed chicken breast stuffed in freshly baked bread will set you back $6.
You can also jump straight to dessert and relish a matcha custard-filled cube puff for $9, a vanilla/matcha cream bun for $5, or a loaf of fluffy Japanese shokupan for $10.
211 La Trobe St, LG07, Melbourne, VIC 3000
10 am to 3 pm (Monday – Friday), Saturday and Sunday – Closed.
Looking for cheap lunch in Melbourne CBD? The restaurant is undoubtedly one of the best places for students to enjoy vegetarian, wheat-free, vegan Indian cuisines.
Each week, they serve different types of meals that comprise rice, curries, mixed vegetables, dessert, and a drink at a concessional price of $7.5 (for students). If you are there, do not forget to try their delicious Custard Halva Dessert.
147, Swanston St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
11.30 am to 8 pm (Monday – Saturday) Sunday-Closed
If you love Pizzas, this colourful spot could be your best cheap eats in Fitzroy. It serves a flavourful range of freshly baked pizzas with veg, meat, and seafood fillings all day, every day, at $5. It is fun, filling, and exactly what you will love to eat after a few fresh cocktails.
376 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
4.00 pm – 11.30 pm – Wednesday, 12.00 pm to 11.30 pm – Thursday – Saturday, Monday – Tuesday – Closed
12. Om Vegetarian
Yet another popular destination for Indian food lovers that serves mouth-watering meals, street-food snacks, drinks, and desserts, at budget-friendly prices.
You will surely love their Thali plate, at $9.90, which comprises basmati rice, two types of curries, and freshly baked soft bread or naan with a spicy pickle that gives you an authentic Indian taste.
Complete your meal with various extras /sides from $3, sweets from $4 onwards, and drinks at $3. Overall, a great place worth considering for cheap eats in Melbourne CBD for dinner.
28 Elizabeth St Level 1, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
11 am to 9 pm (All seven days a week)
This is another most visited and exotic restaurants for those who love Indonesian delicacies.
It's under $10 menu comprises an excellent range of dishes from popular provinces of Indonesia, Beef Rendang, Pempek, Mie Goreng, Soto Betawi, Nasi Goreng, and Sate Padang, to satiate your spice cravings.
265 Swanston St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
11.30 am to 8.30 pm
14. Don Don
This Japanese fast-food centre is a favourite haunt among Melbourne university students and city workers. Be prepared to battle for a table for its unbelievably quick and cheap service and many delightful Japanese dishes.
You could eat in or takeaway meals, varying from Japanese Curry, Bento boxes, Don Box, Niku Soba, Sukiyaki Don, and an array of Udon noodles.
198 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
Daily 11 am–9 pm
15. Soi 38
looking to save a few dollars on eating out in Melbourne? This Asian and Thai restaurant is another popular cheap eats near Melbourne among university students and locals. You will find a selection of noodle soup bowls on your targeted budget, $10.
Decent portion sizes make it one of the best affordable restaurants to eat out cheap in the heart of the town. Don't miss out on their specialties, such as boat noodles with pork, beef, and veg Thai laksa. Regardless of your hunger levels, this place will satisfy that hunger.
38 Mcilwraith Pl, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
11 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How To Live on Cheap Food?
Living on affordable food requires proper budgeting and smart grocery shopping. We have a few practical tips to help you survive on cheap food without sacrificing nutrition or taste.
Plan your meals and prepare a list of required grocery items. It prevents impulse buying and ensures that you stick to your needs.
Bulk buying at grocery stores is another great way to save money on food. You can buy non-perishable items in larger quantities to avail of higher discounts.
Look for discounts and sales - Check weekly/festive online coupons and offers for discounts on food items. Stock up on food items when they go on sale.
Buy generic brands or store-brand products that are primarily available at a lesser price than name-brand products and can be of comparable quality.
Cooking at home is usually more economical than eating out. Get essential cooking equipment and learn some easy recipes to save money on food.
Focus on affordable, nutrient-dense, filling foods that meet your body's nutritional requirements. These include vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins. Thus, living on cheap food is feasible if you are mindful of your budget and prioritize healthy, affordable food choices.
Which Food Is The Cheapest In Australia?
In Australia, food costs vary based on various factors such as season, location, and availability. However, some foods are usually less pricey in Australia.
Rice – Being the staple food in Australia, it is pretty affordable. You can buy 1kg of rice for just $2.
Bread – Like rice, bread is another staple food in Australia. You can buy one loaf of bread for around $1.50.
Pasta – This is another cheap food in Australia. A 500g packet of pasta is available at around $1.50.
Lentils - Lentils are a good protein source and are usually cheaper than meat. You can buy a 500g packet of lentils for just $3.
Potatoes – Cheap and versatile, potatoes are a common addition to many dishes. A 1kg bag of potatoes will cost you around $2.
Canned Tomatoes – This is another versatile ingredient that you can use to prepare several nutritious and budget-friendly meals. A 400g can of tomatoes costs around $1.
Frozen Vegetables – Last but not least, frozen vegetables are an excellent way to obtain your daily dose of vegetables. They are more affordable than fresh vegetables. You can buy a half kg pack of frozen vegetables for just $2.
How To Eat on a Budget In Melbourne?
Melbourne has an exciting and diverse food scene; however, eating out can be costly. We have listed a few ways to eat on a budget in Melbourne without sacrificing the food quality.
Find Restaurants and Cafes That Offer Lunch Specials at Lower Prices - These deals are primarily available during weekdays.
Visit Food Markets – Several food markets in Melbourne offer a range of economical cuisines. Great food options are South Melbourne Market, Prahran Market, and Queen Victoria Market.
Cook at Home – You can save money on food by cooking at home. Buy ingredients from supermarkets and local markets, and cook your meals at home.
Eat Street Food - Melbourne has a lively street food scene. Fitzroy, St. Kilda, and Brunswick are areas where food stalls and trucks offer various cuisines at reasonable prices.
Happy Hour Specials - Visit pubs and bars in Melbourne during happy hour, as many offer happy hour specials. It can be a great way to relish a drink at discounted rates.
BYO Restaurants – Find restaurants that permit you to bring your beer or wine. This way, you can save money on drinks.
Join Loyalty Programs - Restaurants and cafes offer loyalty programs to reward customers with free and discounted meals. Joining such programs would help you save a few bucks on food.
Where Can You Find Cheap Eats in Melbourne Under $20?
If homemade sandwiches or packed salads are not on your agenda, consider the following foodie spots to pick up lunch in the city without hitting your weekly budget.
Miznon - Vegetarian pitas, $14
Yoi - Beef rendang with roti prata, $15
Atiyah – Vegetable and cheese manakish, $14
Queensmith – Salad or Soup of the day, $12
Greta - Folded egg, rocket, and provolone sandwich, $13.50
N. Lee - Crispy pork banh mi, $11.70
Cinnamon's - Curries and sides, from $13
The Borek Shop - Cheese, lamb, or potato borek, $4.50
Nico's - Salad sandwich, $13
Dainty Sichuan Noodle Villa - Beef noodle soup, $13.80
Tim Ho Wan - Chicken wonton noodles, $9.20
Bar Bombay - Pork vindaloo sausage roll, $14
Pure Pie - Savoury pastries starting at just $7
Betty's Burgers - Betty's classic $11.50
Master Lanzhou - Signature beef noodle soup, $14.90
Lulu's Char Koay Teow - Signature char kwai teow, $15.90
What Are The Cheap Eats in Melbourne Under $5?
Melbourne is a vibrant city with options for cheap eats under $5, so you can relish a quick and filling meal without breaking the bank. Here are some suggestions:
Mi Goreng Noodles - Mi Goreng instant noodles are a popular quick and cheap meal option. In most supermarkets and convenience stores, you can find packs of Mi Goreng instant noodles for less than $5.
Dim Sims - Dim Sims is another favourite snack among Melbourne residents. You can find it in several food courts and Chinese restaurants for below $5.
Vegemite on Toast – It is again a famous Australian spread, with many cafés serving under $5.
Pies and Sausage Rolls – Several cafes and bakeries serve these classic Australian snacks for below $5.
Bahn Mi - A Vietnamese-style baguette filled with tofu or meat, herbs and vegetables, and sauce that several Vietnamese bakeries and cafes serve for under $5.
Falafel - A veg Middle Eastern snack prepared from chickpeas and varying spices, you can find it in various Middle Eastern food courts and eateries for under $5.
Melbourne might be among the costliest cities worldwide, but low-priced lunches and dinners are everywhere if you know where to look.
Hope our cheap favourites help you make your dollars last a bit longer.
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