Sign in


Forgotten your Password?

Enter your email address below and we'll send instructions and a link to reset your password


Unlock Melbourne's Hidden Gems

The hottest new places to eat, drink, stay and play.

By signing up, you agree to periodic email marketing from Sitchu to the email address you provided. Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy.

The Best Cheap Eats in Melbourne for a Frugal Food Fix

For delicious food without the hefty price tag, be sure to try these purse-friendly cheap eats in Melbourne.

La Tortilleria (Image Credit: Visit Melbourne)

If your penchant for fine dining has taken a toll on your bank account, never fear. Savvy Melburnians know that some of the best eats in this city are also some of cheapest (and most cheerful). Whether it’s juicy handmade dumplings or flavourful falafel pitas these are the best cheap eats in Melbourne serving up delicious food that won’t break the bank.

Pellegrini's Espresso Bar

Pellegrini's Espresso Bar 

A Melbourne institution serving up old-school friendly service, strong coffee, and honest Italian food at a super affordable price? Count us in! Pellegrini's is a must-try cheap eats in Melbourne. Especially considering it's one of the few places in the city where pasta costs less than $20 - practically unheard of these days!

You've simply got to get their lasagne with a glass of Chinotto or watermelon juice alongside - best paired with the traditional bread and butter they serve up free of charge. Finish with an espresso and call it a day. Quintessential Melbourne dining at it's most low-key. 

66 Bourke Street, Melbourne 

Ras Dashen

Ras Dashen

Acquaint yourself with the rich, spicy and colourful cuisine of Ethiopia at Ras Dashen, a beloved cheap and cheerful Footscray restaurant that’s been delighting locals for over a decade. Cover your table in earthenware bearing slow cooked beef stews, saucy lamb tibs (addictively seasoned diced lamb) and a range of vegetarian and vegan stews that will renew your belief in the tasty potential of lentils and fava beans. It’s all scooped up with paddles of injera, the staple flatbread of Ethiopia that’s pillowy, chewy, nutty and gently sour from fermentation. One of our favourite cheap eats in Melbourne. 

247 Barkly Street, Footscray 



You know the drill: $5 pizzas all day every day. And if you don't know - run, don't walk. Kewpie dishes out some of the best cheap eats in Melbourne. Because hey, it's pizza. But there's also heaps of vegan options and tasty snacks to enjoy, all with a stellar price point.

These modern pies offer a sometimes blasphemous take on the classics. We're big fans of their Caesar Salad pizza. It’s all made to eat with one hand while your other holds your beer; to sum up, it's hard to go wrong here. 

376 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 

Hi Chong Qing (Image Credit: @girlaboutmelb)

Hi Chong Qing

Super delicious, quick and affordable bowls of noodles await at Hi Chong Qing, a favourite cheap eats destination for RMIT students in Carlton. The signature noodles are great here - chewy, bouncy and plentiful, with a well flavoured, rich broth that soaks up into your choice of protein (we recommend the tofu or beef brisket). The Chinese snow cabbage hiding underneath adds an extra dimension of texture and fun - and the chilli pepper gives the whole bowl a soulful burst. A must try cheap eats in Melbourne, these tasty noods are an absolute steal at $10.80. 

The mince and chickpea noodles are also a must at $13.80. Drag a friend along and get both! 

UniLodge, D2/26 Orr Street, Carlton


The Lunch Menu at Yakimono

Leave your lackluster office salad behind and follow your lunchtime cravings to Yakimono, to discover their latest lineup of affordable specials, available from 12.00pm Monday through Friday.

We recommend digging your chopsticks into one of their cult-favourite Bento Boxes, featuring your choice of Tokyo chicken, Sake salmon or charred cauliflower. Each Bento clocks in at a very reasonable $29.50, with accompaniments like kingfish sashimi, gyoza, edamame and wasabi dip. Delish!

80 Collins Street, Melbourne

Pho Thin

Pho Thin

There's no more soul-nourishing a cheap eat in Melbourne quite like pho...and Pho Thin is serving up some of the tastiest. The Melbourne CBD branch of a tiny Hanoi phở shop was the first outside Asia and only the second outside Vietnam - how cool is that?! Step inside and be comforted by the aromas that waft around its sweet little set-up. 

The trick to delicious pho here? They're known for stir-frying their beef in garlic before adding it to the broth - and trust us, it was a good decision. Aside from this OG bowl, you can also choose from beef brisket or poached chicken, even a red wine pho. All bowls are just $16.00. 

Each bowl comes with flat rice noodles, plus heaped serves of coriander and chopped spring onion. For an extra $3.00, make sure to add a Chinese doughnut to your order; this long, crunchy and savoury baton is the perfect vessel for soaking up all of that nutritious goodness. 

Shop 3/399 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 

Shop 25&51/ 268-274 Springvale Road (enter via, Buckingham Avenue, Springvale

Rocco's Delicatessen

Rocco’s Delicatessen 

Rocco’s Deli is a westside institution – and we don’t say that lightly. This beloved Italian delicatessen has been shaving prosciutto and slicing parmesan since 1977, and they’re going as strong as ever. Loyal regulars and far-flung visitors come for the Rocco Roll, a fresh deli sanga which you can fill with any of the salty meats, cheeses and antipasti on display. Choose from soft white rolls or crusty ciabatta, then go crazy with salami, mortadella, sopressa, grilled eggplant, artichokes and much, much more. The result is an epic sandwich that will sate you all day, with an affordable price point to boot. A prosciutto and hot salumi roll clocks in at just $10.50, depending on what extras you add to it, of course. A steal! 

122 Roberts Street, Yarraville 



Big bowls of chewy hand-pulled noodles are beautiful - and boy do Bowltiful know it! One of the CBD's highly-frequented hot-spots, these noodles are typically found inside a bowl of rich broth, usually with chunks of all-halal tender beef, topped with zingy chilli oil and a bunch of fresh herbs. The best part? For a Melbourne CBD venue, these noodles are a steal, with all bowls under $20. The menu boasts multiple tempting dishes alongside their popular brisket noodle soup, like dry noodles with stir-fried tomato, egg and soybean paste sauce, and the super cheap Lanzhou-style lamb burger. At $8.80, it's stuffed with a spicy braised beef brisket and sits pretty as the perfect side dish. Other excellent sides include the shredded potato salad and spicy chicken. Filling, with vibrant flavours and a fun atmosphere, this is one of the best cheap eats in Melbourne for a frugal food fix. 

249 Swanston Street, Melbourne 

382-384 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

595-597 Station Street, Box Hill

CDMX Brunswick East


The best new tacos and quesadillas in town just so happen to be some of the best cheap eats in Melbourne. Say hello to CDMX; it's the top spot to go for true Mexican fare, that's been introduced to the city by the same husband and wife team behind Superchido. Artisanal tacos are the name of the game, straight from the heart of Mexico City, or as the Mexicans call it: Ciudad de México/CDMX, hence the name. From a super successful pop-up in Melbourne Central to a spacious permanent taqueria in Brunswick East, make a date and don't be late to enjoy some of the excellent (and very reasonably priced) eats. The vibes are sky high but the prices are low; we love the fish tacos, three for $21. The quesadillas in particular are a steal, with both the carne asada and gringa (grilled pork) under $20...and extremely satiating to boot. Plus, guacamole and the crispiest totopos for $11 a pop? Count us in!

315 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

The Left Handed Chef

The Left Handed Chef

If we could keep this one a secret, we would. But it's simply too good not to share. Say hello to The Left Handed Chef, one of the best cheap eats in Melbourne that will keep you coming back for more! With a lot of thought and emphasis for nutritional, balanced meals for your body, it's the love that goes into the dishes that will 'talk' to your soul...and your wallet. Made fresh and on-site, every plate that leaves this kitchen has its own unique touch and personality. Seriously, everything is extremely tasty. Israeli street eats have never looked better - and the value for money is golden! You'll get the biggest serving of the creamiest, most lip-smacking hummus imaginable for only $16. But the humble falafel, sabich and chicken shawarma pitas are where it's at, all well under $20. 

108 Bank Street, South Melbourne

Soi 38

Soi 38

One of Melbourne’s not-so-well-kept-secrets, Soi 38 seems to be on everyone’s must try list at the moment, and for very good reason. Previously a pop-up, and now here to stay, the Bangkok street food style eatery is situated in an above ground concrete car park, just off Bourke Street. Open for both lunch and dinner sittings, expect to dig into steaming hot bowls of noodle soups with Thai flavours that pack a punch, fresh salads and grilled meats. With a friendly price tag to compliment the delicious eats and unique location, visit only once and you’ll absolutely understand the hype.

38 Mcilwraith Place, Melbourne

Half Moon Cafe. Image credit: kjpdavid

Half Moon Cafe

Pumping out delicious Egyptian style falafel since 2003, Half Moon Cafe is a hot spot in Melbourne's north for people looking for a low fuss and budget friendly lunch option. Vegetarians rejoice - the options are endless and with so many made-to-order falafel pita combinations on offer, you’ll find yourself coming back time and time again. For around the $10 mark you’re almost certain to be left feeling full and satisfied, but if not, be sure to grab some homemade baklava for the road.

13 Victoria Street, Coburg

N. Lee Bakery

N. Lee Bakery 

Let the queues of people simultaneously snaking down Smith Street and Collins Street at around 12pm every day of the week speak for themselves... but don’t worry, they move fast! It’s hard to beat a good Bánh mì when you’re looking for a quick work lunch option, and with N. Lee, you’re in very capable hands - they’ve been at it since 1991 after all. For a mere $10, the freshly baked crunchy bread rolls, luscious pate and crisp veg (plus all the usual trimmings), will leave you feeling smug (and covered in crumbs) on your walk back to the office.

220 Smith Street, Collingwood

4/61 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Good Times. Photo credit: Kelsey Harrington

Good Times

$9 pasta, need we say more? Throw in friendly staff, a vibey courtyard and a great drinks selection (hello $9 Negronis and $9 carafes) and you have yourself the perfect spot to pull up for dinner Thursday through Saturday, 4pm til late. Here you’ll find the old classics like bolognese and puttanesca, along with a vibrant, seasonal specials menu that will have you calling yourself a regular in no time. Low fuss, high value = guaranteed Good Times.

214 St George’s Road, Fitzroy North

The Orrong Hotel

The Orrong Hotel

Armadale's The Orrong Hotel is plating up wallet-friendly pub lunches and dinners, including a classic kids-eat-free and Sunday roast specials. On Wednesday’s you’ll fine a $20 Pot and Parma, and on Thursday’s it’s steak night with a $24 rump, chips and choice of sauce. Snag a seat by the cosy open fire and tuck into gastro takes on classics, including panko-crusted chicken schnitzel, beer battered or grilled King George whiting and their signature Angus beef burger with smoked bacon and double cheese.

709 High Street, Armadale

Shanghai Village. Image credit: Kelsey Harrington

Shanghai Village

A cheap and cheerful Melbourne institution, Shanghai Village has hungry hoards queuing up outside its iconic red lacquered doors at all hours. The chief domain of dumpling fans, here you’ll happily leave with change from your $20 after indulging in what’s sure to be a boisterous meal. While it might be low on frills, Shanghai Village more than makes up for it in both taste and atmosphere.

112 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Laksa King

Laksa King

The original Laksa King in Flemington is adored by Melburnians, and it’s the recommendation that many share when asked where to find the city's best laksa. The same recipe is used in the shiny outpost in Glen Waverley, where day and night you'll see an endless rotation of hungry diners dropping in for bowls for their spice-rich, coconut-creamy noodle soup. However, there's more to this diner than just the namesake dish, with plenty of other Malaysian and Singaporean favourites on offer, you'd be remiss to not stay and try a couple of extras such as fragrant Hainanese chicken rice to punchy sambal seafood stir-fries.

6-12 Pin Oak Cres, Flemington
3/39 51 Kingsway, Glen Waverley

Göz City

Göz City

A simple and tasty offering of traditional Turkish fare, Göz City is renowned for its fresh authentic lunches and delicious coffee. From Gozleme and Borek to healthier bites with a Turkish twist, this bustling café is perfect for lunch on the go or a quick midday break when you’re a little stretched for cash.

502 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Delhi Streets

Delhi Streets

This bright CBD eatery dishes up a serving of nostalgia with vintage Bollywood posters on the walls and addictive street food snacks that’ll transport you straight to a bustling Delhi market. Start with their signature pani puri – crispy lentil balls stuffed with potatoes, chickpeas and tamarind chutney – into which you pour spiced water before popping in your mouth for a burst of freshness. From there, load up on fusion naan pizzas or steer traditional with dosas, biryani and tandoor cooked meats.

22 Katherine Place, Melbourne

New Jaffa

New Jaffa

If you're thinking of eating at New Jaffa, be prepared to sit elbow-to-elbow with new friends, given two large communal tables dominate the front room, while chowing down on some of the best cheap eats in Melbourne. There'll be plenty to bond over, however, with the kitchen's moreish Middle Eastern cuisine sure to elicit mutually appreciative sighs of delight and appreciation. Silky bowls of hummus, meat-filled pitas and the eatery’s famous Tunisian fricassee sandwich, along with a budget-friendly price point, have won New Jaffa fans from every corner of the city.

32 Stanley Street, Collingwood

Butcher's Diner

Butcher's Diner

This late-night butcher-cum-café joint on Bourke Street is always packed full of hungry revelers hankering for some of the best cheap eats in Melbourne. The space is reminiscent of a ’50s American diner with checkerboard tiles on the floor, a long communal bench and a shiny meat cabinet. Head here for a classic cheeseburger or plate of steak and eggs, or maybe opt for something different like the ‘french dip roll’ - wagyu, sweet onions and comte served with dipping jus. You’ll be able to grab yourself a simple bite for under $10, or settle in for something more substantial for under $20.

10 Bourke Street, Melbourne

La Tortilleria

La Tortilleria

This pocket-rocket diner is just the place to kick back and enjoy traditional Mexican fare. The team is devoted to making tortillas from scratch so don’t expect your standard Tex-Mex here. Standouts include pork al pastor with pineapple-habanero salsa, slow-cooked beef cheeks with green tomatillo salsa or refried beans with crispy rice, and, of course, the quesadillas, tostadas and tacos draw a crowd.

72 Stubbs Street, Kensington

A1 Bakery

A1 Bakery

A local institution, crowds have been flocking to Brunswick’s A1 for over 25 years to pick up fresh out-of-the-oven Lebanese baked goods. Open seven days a week from 7 am, you can get your hands on the house-made flatbread scattered with za'atar, pillowy halloumi-filled pies and juicy chicken tawouk wraps overflowing with crunchy pickles and garlic sauce pretty much whenever you want. Best of all, A1’s famously creamy dips also come in take-home packs.

643- 645 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Andrew's Hamburgers

Andrew’s Hamburgers

What started as a humble burger joint in leafy Albert Park back in 1939 has since turned into one of the city’s most-talked-about hotspots, and arguably, serves up some of the best cheap eats in Melbourne. The eatery is now a spacious, sleek CBD diner with booths, neon lighting and minimalistic white tiling. Forget gourmet toppings and fancy brioche buns – Andrew’s is all about good, honest burgers. The Andrew’s Burger comes with egg, bacon, double cheese, tomato and grilled onions – burger traditionalists rejoice. Whenever you’re in the mood for an old-school burger (hopefully that’s between 11 am to 9 pm!), it’s got to be one from Andrew’s

144 Bridport Street, Melbourne

Heartattack and Vine

Heartattack and Vine

A sophisticated Carlton wine bar that is easy on the wallet, Melbourne’s Heartattack and Vine offers something a little different to your stock standard cheap eats in Melbourne. Alongside an impressive drinks list, this charming eatery serves an ever-changing roster of cicchetti, Italian-style snacks inspired by the bars of Venice. Expect the likes of tomato-drenched meatballs, pickled veggies and loaded crostini. Indulge in delectable eats from breakfast into the evening, Heartattack and Vine’s old-world Italian hospitality and cosy ambience will have you feeling like you are dining in Rome.

329 Lygon Street, Carlton

Mr Ramen San

Mr Ramen San

When you’re after a warm hug in a bowl, this cult Melbourne cheap-eat spot is hidden inside a Bourke Street arcade. Mr Ramen San may be easy to miss but it always impresses with some of the best soup this side of Tokyo. With noodles made onsite daily and the eatery’s signature meat stewed for hours to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth sweetness, you’ll really have no problem ordering anything off the menu.

Shop 12A/200 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Looking for more of the best cheap eats in Melbourne? From pizza and burgers to healthy snacks and theatrical cakes, there are so many cheap eats in Melbourne to try!

Stay in the loop