9 of Melbourne’s best cheap eats

These nine Melbourne restaurants serve up quality food that won't break the bank. 9 of Melbourne’s best cheap eats
Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!

9 of Melbourne’s best cheap eats

These nine Melbourne restaurants serve up quality food that won't break the bank.


By Ellie Schneider

Melbourne is renowned for its dining culture, and for those travelling on a budget there is plenty of good food that's also friendly on the wallet. We've scouted the streets of Melbourne to bring you nine of our favourite, fuss-free eateries.  

HANOI HANNAH EXPRESS LANE, WINDSOR

Avoid the queues at Hanoi Hannah and head to its no-frills eatery next door. The space is dedicated to Hanoi Hannah's takeaway operations, but a tiny communal table indoors lets you watch the chefs whip up their hawker-style Vietnamese fare. You can order favourites from the restaurant menu such as vermicelli salad with char grilled chicken or tender beef pho, or try something different such as pork belly banh mi or lemongrass beef stir fry. Best bit? You can get it all for less than AUD$20.

JIMMY GRANTS, RICHMOND

Chef George Calombaris (of MasterChef Australia fame) set up this string of souvlaki restaurants that has stolen the hearts and stomachs of Melburnians. At Jimmy Grants fluffy pita is packed with tender meats, prawns or falafels, and there’s even a GFS, or gluten-free souva, with chicken and tahini yoghurt. If you're really hungry “eat like a Greek” (AUD$35 for two), which includes your choice of lamb or chicken, side salad, dips, chips and pita. Don't leave without sampling Calombaris's famous loukomades – Greek doughnuts with walnuts, honey and cinnamon.  

8BIT, MELBOURNE

Burger-loving locals need not head far to get their fix. 8bit, which started out in the westside suburb of Footscray, has set up shop smack bang in the middle of the city centre on the corner of Swanston and Little Bourke streets. Order the towering Double Dragon (double beef, double cheese and double bacon) or the Golden Axe (crispy fried chicken, sriracha mayo and slaw), with a side of crispy onion rings or beer battered fries. To finish, try the salted caramel milkshake.  

BELLES HOT CHICKEN, FITZROY

This retro diner in Fitzroy is giving Colonel Sanders a good run for his money by taking the humble southern-style fried chicken to greater (and spicier!) heights. At Belles you start by choosing your protein – chicken tenders, drumsticks, wings, fish or mushroom – then choose from five levels of heat, ranging from mild to extremely hot. Throw in your favourite sides, such as collard greens or Old Bay fries, and slather with sauces. Our pick is the Belles blue cheese.  

LENTIL AS ANYTHING, ABBOTSFORD

Lentil as Anything is a non-profit vegetarian restaurant that allows customers to pay what they feel the meal is worth, offering nutritious meals to all members of the community. There is a strong focus on Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine and most dishes are vegan and gluten-free. This Abbotsford outpost is a loud affair, attracting backpackers, students and creatives from breakfast till dinner. The menu, which changes daily, features everything from curried coconut laksa to crunchy fried onion pakora and Nepalese halwa with cashew, cardamom and coconut cream.

MISS KATIE’S CRAB SHACK, MELBOURNE

Hidden within the live music venue Ding Dong Lounge in Chinatown, Miss Katie’s Crab Shack has become the go-to spot for crustacean cravings. The roving restaurant, headed up by chef Katie Marron, offers an authentic take on southern soul food. Think pots of prawns, fried chicken and waffles, fish tacos and a build-your-own Louisiana-style boil in Old Bay seasoning. Bibs are supplied in case things get messy. 

SMITH & DELI, FITZROY

The brains behind Latin-inspired Smith & Daughters in Fitzroy have opened an all-vegan delicatessen, Smith & Deli, around the corner on Moor Street. This takeaway-only business offers a hefty menu of sandwiches, such as the Friend Zone, a vegan take on the classic ham and grilled cheese toastie, and the Reubenstein, made from mock pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and Russian dressing. They're so delicious that carnivores frequently need to be reminded they're meat-free. There's also a good selection of pies, soups and baked goods such as Twix tarts and challah sticky buns.  

TINA’S NOODLE KITCHEN, MELBOURNE

If you’re not afraid of a little Sichuan spice (or a queue of people) head to Tina's Noodle Kitchen on Swanston Street. Owner Tina Li's giant bowls of noodle soup are legendary in Melbourne and arrive at your table still simmering with a fiery layer of chilli oil on top. The menu covers all bases, from chicken, wagyu and fish, to the more acquired flavours of intestine and pork kidney. The level of spice for each dish is indicated on the menu – only order a three-chili dish if you're really game.  

BIGGIE SMALLS, COLLINGWOOD

Named after late American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., this New York-style diner is turning out some of the tastiest kebabs in Melbourne, courtesy of Maha Restaurant chef Shane Delia. Slide into a booth at Biggie Smalls and tuck into an East Coast, which packs pork, raw slaw, crackling, coriander and spiced peanut mayo into a round of pillowy pita bread. With a soundtrack of old-school hip-hop and drinks including the Brooklyn Shake (cherry, bourbon and white chocolate) and Root Beer Float (root beer, vanilla vodka and ice-cream), you’ll want to stay a while.

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

Melbourne

Melbourne

Discover Melbourne's secret laneways and rooftops, the cultural hub of Federation Square, buzzing bars, boutiques and eateries, and the iconic MCG. Experience St Kilda, the Royal Botanic Gardens, bohemian Brunswick Street and the nation-stopping excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival. Join world class events such as the Australian Grand Prix. Day trip to the Mornington Peninsula or to Phillip Island for fairy penguins.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
St Kilda

St Kilda

Just six kilometres from the CBD, St Kilda is Melbourne's seaside playground. St. Kilda is part of the City of Port Phillip which includes the suburbs of Port Melbourne and South Melbourne.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Fish and Chips in Australia

Fish and Chips in Australia

Whether your idea of a good meal includes tablecloths and attentive service at a fine dining restaurant, or a take-away package wrapped in newspaper from the local fish and chips shop, the star of the show is the same: Australia’s fresh and flavourful seafood. Our island nation has a well-deserved global reputation for fronting up some of the biggest, juiciest and tastiest seafood on the planet, with hundreds of native species to choose from at any given time of the year. As a result, many restaurants can literally supply the ‘catch of the day’ – fish caught in local waters only hours earlier – much to the delight of local and visiting ‘seafoodies’ alike!

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Melbourne's hidden laneways

Melbourne's hidden laneways

You never quite know what's in store when you wander off Melbourne's grid of city streets into the maze of gothic laneways behind them. Even the locals find surprises here, where the venues for food, fashion and art are small, quirky and sometimes hidden. Discover a late-night jazz bar or watch the world go by from a tiny trattoria, browse the boutiques and check out urban art. You can unlock the city's real secrets in these distinctively Melbourne streets.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite

MAKE YOUR TRIP HAPPEN

Property Type
Hotel Class
Price Range
Type
Main Course

Prices are indicative

Liquor Licence
OOPS! The search results for your query are currently unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience. Please try again later.
loading