Melbourne is the food capital of Australia. With a plethora of choice, we know travellers can be overwhelmed and there’s nothing worse than making a classic food “faux-pas”. Further, some of us don’t have the pennies to dine out at Rockpool or Meat & Wine Co (if you do have the pennies then these two places are highly recommended). So, we thought we’d share our 6 favourite cheap eats in Melbourne for you to start ticking off.
1. Tom Phat
184 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Monday to Friday: 11am – 10pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 10pm
Tom Phat is a Thai-inspired Brunswick institution. During the week you can get a main dish and a coffee for $15. Next door you can roll into their sister joint, Bah Phat which offers a great $5 beer & wine Happy hour.
Asian omelette with prawns, pork, bean shoots, herbs & toasted baguette. Interesting take on the #vietnamese #banhxeo; love the fresh slaw and herbies. Delicious but eating it with bread was strange cos at home we eat banh xeo with lettuce leaves. #brunswick #sydneyrd #tomphat #brunch #lunch #fusion #weekends #thechefsline
2. Don Don
198 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Every day: 11am – 9pm
This Japanese place has popular with students in the CBD for years. They dish out delicious Don curries (Japanese rice bowls) for around $8. Bring cash as they don’t accept eftpos. It can get real busy around lunch time so try to avoid the lunch hour rush if you can.
31 Tattersalls Ln, Melbourne
Sunday to Thursday: 4pm – 1am
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 1am
Polish hot dogs your jam? This place is precisely why Melbourne has become known for its hidden bars. Head up the unassuming stairs on Tattersalls lane and you’ll find this cosy bar with intimate seating. Any day during the week from 4pm – 7pm and you can score yourself a hotdog and a beer for $10. Bargain city!
11a/60 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
Monday to Wednesday: 5pm – 10pm
Thursday to Sunday: 11am – 10pm
This St Kilda joint is well-known and well-frequented by all the locals. Why? Because they not only make some of the best burgers in town, they stack them higher than the Eureka Tower. Further, they’ll only charge $14 for pure fried heaven (burger, fries & drink combo). The vast array of sauces are an added plus. Inside Tip: Try their milkshakes and doughnuts if you’re a sweet-tooth.
5. Twirled Pasta Bar
2 Waterview Walk, Docklands
Monday to Thursday: 8am – 6.30pm
Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Walking around the Docklands is a great way to explore a different side of Melbourne. But all that walking makes you hungry, right? If you happen to be there on a Monday or Tuesday between 4.30 – 6.30 you can get a big bowl of freshly made pasta for $12. This place is without doubt some of Melbourne’s best pasta, making this deal irresistible. Buon appetito!
6. Maeve Fox
472 Church St, Cremorne
Sunday: 5pm – 12am
Wednesday: 5pm – 1am
Thursday to Saturday 5pm – 3am
$1 dumplings? Melbourne isn’t normally the sort of place where $1 buys you much but Maeve Fox in Richmond is the place to be on a Thursday night for cheap spring rolls and dumplings. Eat until your stomach says “no more!”. Classy leather booth seats, exposed brick walls and boutique beers/ciders make this place even more delightful. Be prepared, it turns from a cheap eat spot into a boozy “night-out” bar very quickly.