The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (2023)

By Cordelia Williamson
7th Feb 2023

The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (1)

Sometimes you spend money. And then keep on spending money. And then you get hungry.

Thankfully,Sydney has some seriously good cheap eats; think of this list as Sydney’s most affordable food tour, filled with gigantic schnitzels, deli sandwiches, $1 dumplings, banh mi, and big bowls of pasta.

Hungry? Read on for our top cheap eats in Sydney to help see you through till payday.

Durga Paan & Falooda House

Harris Park

Durga’s Indian street food anddessert barpays homage to Mumbai’s bustling street food eateries. Here, you won’t find much over $10, which should be enough to sway you. The standout on the menu is the vada pav—a veggie beauty that’s essentially Mumbai’s moreish version of the good ol’ burger—and you’ll only need $4.90 on you to scoff this bad boy down. The patty is made up of a masala-soaked potato mash that gets deep-fried in a turmeric-based batter. Once fried to golden perfection, it gets placed in a buttered pav (a square-shaped bun), then covered with a heap of butter and garlic before being served with tamarind and cilantro chutneys on a thali plate. Drooling yet?

Mr.Chen Beef Noodle


The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (2)At Mr. Chen Beef Noodle, chef Gary Yuen heads up the kitchen armed with a casual 40 years' experience in traditional Chinese cooking and, yes, he is also a dumpling master. Dumplings are made to order, so brace yourself for generously stuffed pork morsels either boiled, pan-fried, or steamed. You can grab 12 dumplings for as little as $11.80 (that’s less than a dollar apiece) with pork and cabbage, pork and egg, beef and shallots, beef and carrots and chicken and corn variations.



Temasek serves up some of the best laksa in Sydney. So, lucky are the people who live within comfortable distance of this gem and its cosy bowls of noodle soup. Chock-full of egg noodles and delicious, juicy meat,Temasek’ssignature laksa is exactly what you need on those nights when you need a bit of noodly goodness in your life. Pro tip: head in at lunchtime to take advantage of its lunch specials, when you can get signature laksas for just $16, vegetarian fried noodles for $15, andHainanese chicken and rice for $16.

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The Sunshine Inn


The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (3)If pasta is the key focus of your bargain food-hunting, look no further than The Sunshine Inn's Tuesday special: a $10, plant-based pasta special that is sure to hit the spot. Past specials look likehand-rolled orecchiette with butter beans, cherry tomatoes, rocket, and herb butter,creamy tomato mushroom rigatoni with a herb pangrattata, and penne alla Norma, so it's guaranteed to be a good time.

Out Of The Blue


Out Of The Blue is a legendary takeaway joint known for burgers, fish and chips, and its breezy beachy location. Hit the chicken schnitzel stack (sitting at $12), which is loaded with Out Of The Blue’s iconic garlic mayo, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, and carrot for a classic Aussie-style burg with all the trimmings. You can also pick up a $6.50 bacon and egg roll, a seriously good tofu burger for $11, andchips for$3.

Tamaleria & Mexican Deli

Dulwich Hill

The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (4)While munching down the odd taco and burrito is nice and all, if you want the real deal, Dulwich Hill’s Tamaleria & Mexican Deli is where it’s at. Headed up by Rosa Cienfuegos, what once started as a homesick foodie'spop-up venture has now escalated into a one-stop-deli forauthentic Mexican essentials. Here, you’ll be loading up on chilli, tortillas, spices, antojitos, and frozen Mex meals. If you’re afterready-to-eat food, then you have to go for Cienfuegos' famous hot tamales ($9). Still hungry? You can also feast on empanadas, street tacos, and nachos for a steal.

And in good news for inner-city dwellers, sibling venue Itacate in Redfern is also dishing up A-class Mexican fare without the hefty price tag. Result!

Hot Star


Who needs a knife and fork when it comes to tackling a perfect slab of chicken schnitzel? That's pretty much the idea at Tawainese takeaway joint Hot Star. Here, the main event is essentially a crumbed chicken steak that's fried to order and served up hot in a paper bag. It's crunchy, juicy, delicious, and only $10.50. Hot Star is also open late, making this our number one late-night cheap feast.

Black Ginger


Good pho needs a nice and light, aromatic broth loaded with beefy flavour that is well balanced by the spices. It takes a long time to get right, andBlack Gingerin Newtown isa good example of how to do that. Their 12-hour bone broth has an excellent depth of flavour and creates a solid foundation for all their pho dishes. Thankfully they also do a great vegan broth too so everyone can share the joy. Best of all, the pho here clocks in at as little as $14.80. Score.

Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches


The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (5)Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches is filled with retro charm and mammoth sangas packed with all the trimmings. This '50s-style American diner meets nostalgic Aussie milkbar whips up mega stacks of the good stuff with the ultimate fluffy sandwich bread. You’ll want to try the epic bacon and egg roll loaded with a fried egg, crispy bacon, and barbecue sauce. On her own, she’ll only set you back a cruisy $9, or you can start your day right with the Brekkie Combo, which involves the roll in question and a coffee for just a tenner. Heading at lunchtime? Get the classic ham sambo($13) or one of its chook rolls—you won’t regret it.

Marrickville Pork Roll

Marrickville, Darling Square, and Circular Quay

This takeaway Vietnamese spot is a popular lunchtime go-to. The crew at the OG shopfront in Marrickvillehave been churning out one of Sydney’s best banh mi for years, and the staple pork roll here remains unchanged. Created with a crunchy house-made baguette, some pate, mayo, generous slabs of BBQ pork, fresh herbs, a healthy hit of chilli, and tangy pickles, you’ll need less than a tennerto be able to dig into one of these.

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Pastizzi Cafe


Ask any Maltese person about pastizzi and they'll spill into a misty-eyed recollection of childhood memories and family anecdotes heavily featuring the small flaky, diamond-shaped pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas. Yes, they really are that good. And one of the best spots for pastizzi in Sydney is Newtown's Pastizzi Cafe, where there are around 20 flavours to choose from, ranging from sweet to savoury, each priced between $3.50 and $4.80.

Bar Reggio


The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (6)Rounding up the crew for a night out but you don’t want to stretch the budget? Our answer: Bar Reggio. The Darlinghurst institution has been serving up cheap Italian fare to students, lunchtime office crowds, and thrifty localsfor decades. Not only do you save money on booze thanks to itbeing BYO-friendly, but the carb-fuelled menu is reasonable too—think $20 pizzas and $15 pastas.

Hong Ha Bakery


Banh mi is a staple when it comes to cheap eats. But, over the years, the Vietnamese roll has been on the rise—price-wise, we mean. Thankfully, atHong Ha Bakery, you can still get your fix without forking out a fortune. Here, everything slides in under the $10 mark, which means dim sum for $1.50 each, a meatball salad box for $8.50, and its signature barbecue pork roll for $6. You’re welcome.


Haymarket and Chatswood

Chinatown bolthole Mamak is a Malaysian eatery renowned for its roti menu. The flaky flatbreads come with two curry dips of your choice as well asa spicy sambal sauce and, while all the savoury roti dishes are winners, the OG roti canai is hard to pass up—particularly as it costs a reasonable tenner. More of a sweet tooth? Don’t despair, there are four delicious dessert options, including roti with sliced banana and one with pandan and coconut. Other well-priced dishes include the nasi lemak ($13) and satay skewers at $2.50 a pop.


Kingsford andDulwich Hill

The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (7)Aki and Kathy Daikos' local food hallof modern Greek cuisine, Alevri, is a must when it comes to Mediterranean delights on a budget. At any of its stores, you’ll find homemade Greek pastries like peynerli, tsoureki, and a cheeseburger pita. They also blend new and old world together, like inthe Aussie moussaka pie using eggplant, potato, and Greek-style beef mince. The sweet selection is where it really heats up, though, with chocolate-coated eclairs and a show-stopping, glistening baklava cheesecake. Dreamy.

Ryo’s Noodles

Crows Nest

Some say that Ryo's Noodles is the only establishment in Sydney to serve authentic Tokyo-style ramen. Others will debate that but, in any case, the noodles here are damn good. The no-fuss, in-and-out restaurant on bustling Falcon Street is open for lunch and dinner every day. The ideal cheap eat here is the salty pork ramen coming in at $15; however, all noods here will cost you $18or less, so it’s a matter of loose change. Three are a few other non-ramen dishes, too, including gyoza ($8), karaage chicken ($10), and a katsu chicken curry ($18).

Emma’s Snack Bar


Emma’s is the kind of place you want to head to for a group catch-up when you want good food atreasonable prices. The quality here is second to none, andit’s BYO which certainly helps keep the bill down. You’ll undoubtedly want to fill up ondips, but you shouldsave room for the falafel, kibbe, and fried cauliflower. We strongly recommend you makea booking at thisInner West favourite, too.

Banh Mi Bay Ngo


The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (8)Yes, another banh mi place has made its way onto the list. But this is another one that’s hard to beat when it comes to cost, serving up some of the best Vietnamese rolls in the entire city. At Banh Mi Bay Ngo, you have the choice of pork, pork skin, chicken, meatball, fish patties, and, most vitally, the hard-to-find fried egg roll. The bread here is fresh and crispy, and the rolls are so stuffed that you will certainly feel full after one. For a $5 note, you really can’t get better. Like all good banh mi joints, things move pretty fast and can get a bit chaotic in front and behind the counter.

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Yang’s Dumplings

Burwood and Enmore

Yang’s Dumplings comes to usstraight from Shanghai, where the chain has been serving up tasty handmade treats for more than 20 years. The fame it has garnered in Shanghai is not lost in Sydney, either, where Yang’s has venues in Burwood and Enmore. The must-try dish is the sheng jian bao, a soupy mince-pork dumpling with a crispy bottom that costs $9.80 for six pieces—just be cautious, these things are HOT.

Cairo Takeaway


The Best Cheap Eats In Sydney To Track Down When You're Waiting For Pay Day (9)Cairo Takeaway is pimped-out takeawayfood, without all of the regrets that come from a trip to your local kebab shop. You can eat in, or as the name suggests, take your feast away and perhaps enjoy a picnic in the nearby Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. The corner restaurant dishes up plates inspired by Egyptian street food—thinkpita pockets, koshari (lentils and rice), mixed veggie plates, and shakshouka baked eggs. The real steal is the $13 charcoal lamb kofta pita pocket—or you can turn it into a plate for an additional $3.



ThisVictoria Street hole-in-the-wallhasbeen serving Euro-style schnitzels since the late '60s. The menu features authentic German Jägerschnitzel, a pork cutlet-style schnitty that’s drenched with creamy mushroom sauce, rosti and cabbage salad. There’s the GyspySchnitzel with spicy tomato sauce and all the trimmings and, of course, a good old staple chicken schnitzel for anyone wanting to stick to their guns. And while the mains here cost just over $20, they are absolutely massive—so, sharing is more than doable.

Ayam Goreng 99


Ayam Goreng 99 is an Indonesian restaurant located on the busy Anzac Parade restaurant strip. Popular with university students, locals and Indonesian food fans, the restaurant is known for its delicious food at excellent prices. Don't leave without trying one of their famous chicken dishes, with the enormous Ayam Goreng Mentega ($19) being one of our faves.

Keen for more of the city's best? Check these out:

Best restaurants Sydney
Best cafes Sydney
Best bars Sydney

Image credit: Draling Harbour (Marrickville Pork Roll), Mr. Chen Beef Noodle, The Sunshine Inn, Tamaleria & Mexican Deli, Harvey’s Sandwiches,Bar Reggio, Alevri, Banh Mi Bay Ngo, Cairo Takeaway

(Video) TOP 10 CHEAP EATS UNDER $10 in SYDNEY | Sydney MUST TRY Food Guide 2019


How to eat cheap in Australia? ›

Communal eating is cheaper – and more fun! Organise regular meals with your friends or, if you have housemates, take turns cooking for everyone – this saves on the essentials like oil and spices (and electricity). You can cook in big batches and keep leftovers for later.

How much does it cost to eat in Sydney restaurants? ›

A main meal in a mid-range restaurant is around $25 - $35. Upper mid-range averages around $35 - $45. At the real top-end places a dinner for two with wine can run up to $400-500 and beyond.

How can I live off $50 a week in Australia? ›

Here are some of my tips for surviving and thriving on a $50 a week budget:
  1. Use a shopping list. Perhaps you think this is a no-brainer, but many people routinely go shopping without a shopping list. ...
  2. Meal plan. ...
  3. Eat less meat – and cheaper cuts. ...
  4. Eat fruit and vegetables in season – preferably homegrown. ...
  5. Cook from scratch.

How much is a cheap meal in Australia? ›

An average basic meal can cost anywhere between AUD 15 and 20. A good meal at a nice restaurant will cost at least AUD 40, while a McDonald's value meal will cost between AUD 8 and 11. Half a litre of domestic beer can cost a little over AUD 5 when purchased at a supermarket.

What is the main meal in Australia? ›

Roast lamb has been declared Australia's national dish in a major poll that shows we're still a country of meat eaters at heart.

What is Australia's famous meal? ›

A typical Aussie barbecue is with sausages, burgers, steak, fresh seafood, bread and tomato or barbecue sauce, they sometimes include salad but it's mainly about the meat and fish (and of course a few stubbies – that's beer to the non-Australians). Australians will literally have a barbeque anywhere, not just at home.

Is tipping customary in Sydney? ›

As anywhere else in the world, tipping in Australia is entirely voluntary, and no one should feel obligated to tip. Australian tourist establishments are generally quite honest and will not add anything to a bill that is not clearly specified.

What time is dinner in Sydney Australia? ›

Australians eat their meals earlier than usual, especially in the recent years so as to spen more time with family after dinner, as per reports. Most restaurants are the busiest in service between 6pm to 7pm, but are open till later.

Do you tip in restaurants in Sydney Australia? ›

Etiquette expert Anna Musson says tipping in Australia is not essential, but certainly appreciated. If the budget allows, she recommends tipping up to 10 per cent of the bill, especially when in a group setting where more items are ordered and extra service is required.

Can one person live off of $1000 a month? ›

Getting by on $1,000 a month may not be easy, especially when inflation seems to make everything more expensive. But it is possible to live well even on a small amount of money.

How to survive on $25 dollars a week? ›

Here's what you can do to spend just $25 a week on groceries:
  1. Make a list of your favorite budget-friendly meals and eat those.
  2. Pack lunches for work or school instead of eating out.
  3. Make your grocery list and menu plan focused on the food that is on sale and what you already have in your kitchen.

How to spend only $100 a week on groceries? ›

  1. Log what's in your freezer. ...
  2. Ditto for your fridge and pantry. ...
  3. Start your meal planning with a bag of rice. ...
  4. Make a strategic shopping list … and stick to it. ...
  5. Shop farmers markets toward the end of the day. ...
  6. Shop the freezer section for produce. ...
  7. Buy the store brand. ...
  8. Only buy meat when it's on sale.
May 22, 2022

How much is a gallon of milk in Australia? ›

1 pint of beer will range $4 – $8 USD. Gallon of milk is about $4 USD, a dozen eggs is around $3.50 USD. It is easy to see how the quality of life, sunshine and months of beach weather, makes Australia a dream destination for travelers around the world.

How much is rent in Australia per month? ›

Overall, Canberra remains the most expensive capital city to rent a house in, with median weekly rents sitting at $690. Sydney takes second place at $650 per week, followed by Darwin ($620 per week), Hobart ($550 per week), and Brisbane ($550 per week).

Are things cheaper in Australia than the US? ›

Australia is 4.6% more expensive than United States.

United States vs. United States vs. United States vs.

What do Australians call flip flops? ›

The shoe known in Australia as a "thong" is one of the oldest styles of footwear in the world. Worn with small variations across Egypt, Rome, Greece, sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, Korea, Japan and some Latin American cultures, the shoe was designed to protect the sole while keeping the top of the foot cool.

What do Australians call chips? ›

Definition. In Australia, chips can refer to 'hot' chips; fried strips of potato. Chips also refer to what are known in other countries as crisps.

What is the most unpopular food in Australia? ›

10 Worst Rated Australian Foods
  • Sandwich. Continental Roll. Western Australia. Australia. ...
  • Spread. Vegemite. Melbourne. Australia. ...
  • Cookie. Iced VoVo. AUSTRALIA. ...
  • Snack. Chiko Roll. Bendigo. ...
  • Breakfast. Spaghetti on Toast. AUSTRALIA. ...
  • Game. Crocodile Meat. AUSTRALIA. ...
  • Chicken Soup. Chicken and Corn Soup. AUSTRALIA. ...
  • Hot Dog. Dagwood Dog. AUSTRALIA.
Mar 14, 2023

What is a typical Australian lunch? ›

Common dishes served at counter lunches and counter meals are steak and chips, chicken parmigiana and chips, a mixed grill (an assortment of grilled meats), and roast lamb or beef with roast vegetables.

What do Australian eat for breakfast? ›

The traditional Australian breakfast is very similar, unsurprisingly, to a typical British or American breakfast, with a whole fry-up made up of smokey bacon, eggs in various ways, grilled mushrooms, and tomatoes, with the optional addition of hash browns, beans, pork or beef sausages.

What is Australia's most popular drink? ›

Australians boast about their selection and variety of alcohol. The most famous drink in Australia is vino. The most consumed drink in this country is red wine.

Can you tip in US dollars in Australia? ›

Tip in the local currency

Whenever you tip during your trip to Australia it is important to use the local currency, that is - Australian dollars. Otherwise you'll leave your service providers with cash they can't use without paying high fees on currency exchange.

Do you tip hotel housekeeping in Australia? ›

Tipping in hotels is considered a kind gesture but is not expected. The bellman or porter at your hotel will not expect a tip, but are generally pleased with AU$2 per bag in more expensive hotels. Housekeeping will not accept a tip nor will the concierge.

Do you tip taxi in Australia? ›

Taxi drivers won't expect a tip, although it's common to round up the fare to the nearest dollar. Hairdressers, beauticians and hotel staff do not expect tips.

What time do people go to bed in Sydney? ›

The average Aussie goes to bed just after 10:45pm, which is more than an hour earlier than the late night Spaniards, the University of Michigan's global sleep pattern research found. As well as the early nights, Australians are the first to rise along with Americans who both get up just after 6:45am.

How much is a Big Mac meal in Sydney Australia? ›

The price of Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) in Sydney is AU$14. This average is based on 11 price points.

Do they call dinner tea in Australia? ›

Some people in Britain and Australia refer to their main evening meal as "tea" rather than "dinner" or "supper", but generally, with the exception of Scotland and Northern England, "tea" refers to a light meal or a snack.

Is it rude not to tip in Australia? ›

No Hard and Fast Rules

Generally, Australians and New Zealanders say tipping is not only unnecessary but also a practice to be avoided since it encourages service staff to pay better attention to those who seem like 'good tippers,' or so the argument goes.

Do Australians tip Uber drivers? ›

People might round up to the nearest $10 or $20 at a restaurant but tipping is not required or generally expected.

What is the best tip in Sydney? ›

Plan to tip around 10-15% in Sydney restaurants. However, the exact tip amount when eating out in Sydney depends on the place, occasion, and order size.

Which food is cheapest in Australia? ›

McDonald's, Hungry Jack's and KFC are the cheapest fast food chains in Australia, by average monthly spend, with Aussies paying no more than $70 a month to eat on the cheap (or $840 per year), according to our survey.

What is the average cost of a meal in Australia? ›

Average Daily Costs

While meal prices in Australia can vary, the average cost of food in Australia is AU$53 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Australia should cost around AU$21 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.

Can you live off $50 dollars a week? ›

If you haven't already been shopping for yourself and don't know where to begin, try a weekly budget of $50. This is half of what many frugal families with children spend, so it should be high enough for a single person to eat nutritiously even if you don't make every single meal from scratch.

Is $50 a week enough for food? ›

By the end of this blog post, you will see that a 50-a-week food budget is 100% possible. While it is far from an elaborate weekly food endeavor, my meal plan and cheap grocery list for a week is totally doable – plus it's delicious and nutritious.

What brands are cheaper in Australia than the US? ›

  • Pandora. If you're looking for a gorgeous souvenir to bring home, Pandora bracelets and charms make a great gift. ...
  • Billabong. This fashion brand has been a favourite to bring back from Australia for years! ...
  • Quiksilver. ...
  • Roxy. ...
  • Seafolly. ...
  • Uggs. ...
  • Cotton On.
Mar 13, 2020

How much cash should I bring to Australia? ›

Bring roughly at least $500 per week for costs like food, transport and essentials. Always bring a little more cash than you think you'll need in case you forgot to pack something or need some emergency supplies!

How much does it cost to travel to Australia from USA? ›

Australia Travel Cost Overview

Generally, you can expect to spend around AU$1,400 (USD $945) for a 7-day trip to Australia, including the cost of accommodation, transportation, food, sightseeing, and car rental.

Are clothes expensive in Australia? ›

Australians spend an average of just $6.50 a garment.

How much is $50 dollars a week for 30 years? ›

If you were to save $50 each week, that would result in an annual savings of $2,600. Over the span of 30 years, that's $78,000.

Can you survive a month with $1,000 dollars? ›

Getting by on $1,000 a month may not be easy, especially when inflation seems to make everything more expensive. But it is possible to live well even on a small amount of money. Growing your income.

How to live on $100 a week for groceries? ›

  1. Log what's in your freezer. ...
  2. Ditto for your fridge and pantry. ...
  3. Start your meal planning with a bag of rice. ...
  4. Make a strategic shopping list … and stick to it. ...
  5. Shop farmers markets toward the end of the day. ...
  6. Shop the freezer section for produce. ...
  7. Buy the store brand. ...
  8. Only buy meat when it's on sale.
May 22, 2022

Is $300 a month enough for food for one person? ›

You might ask, “is $300 a month enough for food?” With pre-planning and small kids, the answer is YES.

Is $200 a month enough for food? ›

* YES! It is possible to eat healthy for $200 a month. 30 Days on $200 shopping list is intended for one person.


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