Looking for some cheap places to eat in Melbourne? Do you need to save your dollars but don't know where to go? Then come and discover the best places to eat right here, right now!
For those of you who are on a budget and want (or need) a good meal at a cheap price, I have a treat for you. Here you will find some of the best bargain in and around Melbourne's city centre.
1. The Victoria Markets: If you don't mind cooking, or if you can con someone into cooking for you, then this is a must. It is located on the north side of the city centre and has an AMAZING selection of fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses, fish, meat and much more. The quality is better than you'll find in the supermarkets, and it is cheaper. It is your one-stop-shop for any meal you can image cooking.
Hint: If you can find 3 other people, and all put in just $5 each, you can feast like kings and queens! Or go just before closing time as often the prices are heavily discounted!
Open: Tuesday & Thursday: 6am - 2pm, Friday: 6am - 5pm, Saturday: 6am - 3pm, Sunday: 9am - 4pm
2. Backpacker Hostels and pubs/bars: Yes, that's right. Many of them run "cheap eat" nights where they serve a meal and a beer for around $5 - $12. So make sure you keep your eye out for hostels as you're walking around the city - you never know, your next cheap meal and new travel buddy could be just around the corner!
Hint: If you really are on a tight budget, don't get caught up in the drinking that will be going on all around you. These hostels can afford to run "cheap meals" because most people stay and drink a lot. Your cheap meal could turn into a very expensive night if you're not disciplined.
3. Lentil as anything: Ever had a meal that just wasn't up to par, yet you still had to pay? Yeah, I know, it sucks! But not at this place. You wouldn't believe it, but their philosophy (and business model) is "pay what you think it was worth"... Amazing hey! If you think it is rubbish, pay 'em a nickel (not that we have nickels in Australia anymore, but you get the idea).
However, I seriously doubt that that will happen! As it turns out, this brave and brash business has been so successful that they have recently opened their third store. Congratulations lentilasanything, I salute you! Anyway, if you don't mind skipping meat for a meal (the entire menu is vegetarian), it is great food!
Locations: St Kilda, Abbotsford, and Footscray
4. Do you like sushi? If so, then you're in luck. The city centre (and just about every shopping centre, mall and shopping strip) is littered with decent quality sushi bars. At $2.20 - $2.50 per roll, you can fill your belly up for a maximum of... well, that depends on if you're the world sushi roll eating champion... but most people max out at 3 rolls.
5. Little Vietnam: Check out Victoria St in Richmond (just a short tram ride from the city). The street to busting with so many Vietnamese restaurants that you're guaranteed to find a cheap (and great) meal. Many of the places are BYO (bring your own alcohol), so bring your own beer or wine and make it a really cheap night out!
6. Chinatown: Right in the heart of the city, on Little Burke St, you'll find Chinatown. It is bustling with many a fine restaurant that does high quality food for a really good price. Again, many of them are BYO.
7. Fish'n'Chip shops: You're unlikely to find any in the city centre, but outside of the centre you'll find them scattered about. For around $10 you'll be able to pick up a hamburger with the lot (leaves McDonalds, Hungry Jacks/Burger King, KFC and the other fast food outlets for dead!) and a grilled or deep fried piece of fish - a meal to fill even the biggest of eaters.
8. Where to stop??? The city centre has so many Asian restaurants that do good cheap food often between $6 - $10. You'll also find noodles in a box in pretty much any food court in the shopping centres for somewhere between $4 - $8. Various cafes do great deals and it is not uncommon to find a "breakfast deals" for around the $10 price range (perfect way to start recovery after partying the night before).
Another good resource is www.themelbournecheapskate.com.au. It's got a large number of other listings and ideas for cheap places to eat in an around Melbourne, fully worth checking out.
That's not even to mention Indian restaurants who are typically renowned for spicy and cheap dishes. Or what about Italian, or Greek, or African, or Lebanese, or Sri Lankan, or, or or... there is good quality cheap food everywhere!
It is really not that hard to find a great meal for $10 or less in Melbourne. The trick is to keep a look out as your getting around the city, and don't forget to ask people! Ask reception at your hostel, they'll know of anywhere good close by, ask your fellow backpackers, even ask a nice looking person on the street and they'll point you in the right direction, most Australians are very friendly and are happy to help you.
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