The Best Eats For Under $20 in Melbourne

The nature of living in a big city sometimes means running out of cash. It’s just how it is. It can be frustrating when you love good food and being social, but you’re in those few days before getting your pay check and you can’t really afford to go out and splash $40+ on a main.

Although people always claim Melbourne to be super expensive when it comes to eating out, there are actually heaps of cheap food joints that goddamn delicious eats. We’ve put together our favourite spots for an under $20 feed.

The Best Cheap Eats at The Fork Festival

Get up to 50% off your food bill at participating restaurants across Melbourne from March 1 to April 2.

  • Ferdinand- 40% off
  • Ish Restaurant – 30% off
  • Bouzy Bar Armadale – 50% off
  • Bay City Currito St Kilda -50% off
  • MPD Caulfield – Set menu $50
  • Le Feu Springvale- 50% off
  • Tulum Restaurants – Set menu $55
  • Lord Lygon – Set menu $40
  • Kaya Izakaya – 50% off
  • Tuscany Cafe – 50% off
  • Boujee by Zero95 – 50% off
  • Blossom Thai – 50% off
  • Jishan Garden – Set menu $60
  • Kahaani- 50% off
  • Chez Misty – 50% off
  • Mr Ryu – 50% off
  • Naught Distilling – 50% off

Good Gnocchi

Carlton North
Good Gnocchi is best known for its takeaway (that saved many a soul during 2020’s lockdowns), but you can also dine in. They have four different flavours of gnocchi: Aglio Olio, Butter Sage, Vegan Cashew Pesto, Bolognese and Napoli. Every gnocchi is $20 and all the gnocchi is homemade and gluten-free.
You can order through Uber Eats or walk-in.

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Soi 38 / Facebook

Soi 38

Soi 38 is situated under the Wilson’s Carpark on Mcllwraith Place, just off Little Collins Street. It’s a pop-up style, Bangkok street food joint with an uncomplicated menu of boat noodles and tom yum soups. There are lots of cheap noodle soup places in Melbourne, but Soi 38 is by far the best. Everything is under $20 and is super authentic and delicious.
Walk-ins welcomed, or you can call 0403 547 144 to make a booking.

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Bimbo / Facebook


Bimbo has been around forever, as a pub/bar/club on Brunswick Street with a sunny rooftop perfect for recovery sessions. They also serve $5 pizza, all day every day and it’s bloody yum. They have pizzas with prosciutto, prawns, mushrooms, spiced lamb, three-cheese… you name it.
Again, no booking necessary.

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Sushi Ten / Facebook

Sushi Ten

Owned and operated by the cutest husband and wife duo, Sushi Ten is an underrated gem on Rathdowne Street. They open from midday to 3 pm and then 5 pm to 9 pm almost every day, and serve up all the classic faves; sashimi, sushi, gyoza, miso soup, ramen and katsu curries. Their most expensive main is $16 and are super generous. They serve up free tea in roaming flasks, the gyoza is $6.90 and it’s ideal if you’re waiting on a paycheck but still want to eat lush and authentic Japanese.
No bookings, walk-in only. 

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Butcher’s Diner / Facebook

Butcher’s Diner

Bourke Street, Melbourne
Melbourne CBD’s ultimate 24-hour American diner-style eatery. They take cash only, but don’t worry, there’s an ATM in the venue. With an all-day menu perfect for shift workers or anyone that loves a burger or waffles at any time of the day, you can get yourself a feed for under $20 easy. Expect everything from a Blood Sausage & Devilled Egg Roll, to an Egg & Maple Bacon Burger, to Berkshire Pork Tongue Skewers, to Spanish Doughnuts and Tiramisu. 
You can find their full menu here. No bookings necessary.

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Lentil As Anything / Facebook

Lentil As Anything

Abbotsford & Thornbury
For just a gold coin donation that goes towards homeless communities, you can have a delicious feed as Lentil As Anything. They started the pay-as-you-feel movement, which was designed to eliminate social and financial barriers, bringing people together from all walks of life and supporting struggling communities. They have restaurants in Abbotsford and Thornbury, with Thornbury churning out vegan treats and Abbotsford catering to all. The cuisine is multicultural, with consistent elements of Moroccan, African and Asian flavours. 
No bookings required, just walk-in or order online.

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