6 of the Best Eats in Melbourne You Can Get for Under $20

best cheap eats melbourne

Living in a bustling metropolis often comes with the occasional financial pinch, especially when you’re a fan of good food and social outings. It can be a tad vexing, particularly in those few days leading up to payday, when forking out $40 on a main course is out of the question.

While Melbourne sometimes gets tagged as an expensive dining destination, the truth is there are plenty of wallet-friendly eateries serving scrumptious fare. We’ve curated a list of our preferred spots where you can enjoy a satisfying meal for under $30.

best cheap eats melbourne
Photo: Soi38

Soi 38, CBD

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.

best cheap eats melbourne
Photo: Sushi Ten

Sushi Ten, Carlton

Owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Sushi Ten is an underrated cheap eats gem on Rathdowne Street. They open from midday to 3 pm and then from 5 pm to 9 pm almost every day and serve all the classic faves: sashimi, sushi, gyoza, miso soup, ramen and katsu curries. Their most expensive main is $16, and they 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.

best cheap eats melbourne
Photo: Liana Hardy

Maalu Maalu, Brunswick

For just $23, you can indulge in a hearty Sri Lankan buffet here, featuring a wide array of meat and vegetable curries, rice, sambal, and more. On weekends, it’s only $25, and you can add unlimited hoppers for just an extra $5. Plus, during the day, you can grab a takeaway meal for just $10.

best cheap eats melbourne
Photo: Just Falafs

Just Falafs, Fitzroy North

While the name might suggest otherwise, this place offers much more than just falafels. However, it’s tough to resist their falafel pita pockets priced at just $14. Each one comes generously filled with hummus, pickled cabbage, Israeli salad, sumac pickled onion, pickles, and a drizzle of tahini. When it comes to cheap eats in Melbourne, this one is a favourite at lunch time.

best cheap eats melbourne
Photo: Kate Shanasy

Kewpie, Fitzroy

In a delightful twist, this vibrant eatery consistently offers $5 pizzas, a deal that’s available every day, all day long. It’s one of Melbourne’s best cheap eats. While it may not adhere strictly to Italian traditions, these pizzas are delightful, hearty, and just what you’ll crave after sipping a couple of their refreshing cocktails.

best cheap eats melbourne
Photo: Good Gnocchi

Good Gnocchi, Carlton North

Good Gnocchi is best known for its takeaway, 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.

Related: 34 of the Best New Restaurants and Bars in Melbourne Right Now

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