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Best Cheap Eats In Melbourne

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I will be spending most of January in Melbourne with my girlfriend who is a melburnian. I have been there twice before but did not have the courage to venture out of Balwyn alone to find food becuase I was a bit depressed and without a vehichle, it was also winter.

I was very unimpressed by the bang for buck in Melbourne as comapered with New York, so please, melburnians or others, quell this belief of mine and tell me where to go. Cheers.

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  1. It's easy - buy a Cheap Eats Guide to solve all of your problems. See this online address for Melbourne details.
    Also have a look at this recent discussion.
    Food can be very cheap in Melbourne and there is no reason to spend more than A$20/ head at night.

    1. When we were in Melbourne this past August. We stayed at the Central Business District and had no problem finding cheap eats. I found it to be comparable to home (San Francisco). Chinatown has a lot of cheap eats. You can find some on Lygon Street. We also loved getting food over at Victoria Market.

      1. I really enjoyed the Cheap Eats at Victoria Market. Don't forget to use the free tourist bus that will take you there from several points within the city.

        I didn't care for Chinese food or Greek food in Melbourne. I don't think that I hit the right places as I only found very expensive meals or ones that appealed only to tourists.

        I will be interested in hearing what finds you encounter. Please report back. Melbourne is one of my favourite Aussie cities. Just didn't do too well with the food part.

        1. Hey guys just arrived have yer=t to eat out ! jmdfgjfortgjedktyikjhdgfknoigjrtkgjgoiijoig'dkangoiaenjrtgfohv

          1. Cheap Eats has some good recs! Melbourne is one of the best eating cities in the world IMO, all round good and affordable eating.

            Hmm I found the opposite - NY has lots of cheap (but nasty) food...

            Asian/Ethnic Food is usually cheap.

            If you venture to Victoria St in Richmond, there are plenty of cheap vietnamese restaurants there - my favourites are Chicken and the Cow (hmm I think its name is Pho Zang or something but its easy to spot the place as its got smiling pictures of the animals you are about to eat!) and Thanh Ha.

            Beware of Lygon St - there are some seriously awful (and expensive) restaurants there.

            Pacific House on Victoria St and also on Toorak Rd in Richmond serves fabulous (and cheap) chinese food.

            Almazett in Caulfield and Ablas in Carlton serve cheap (and excellen) Lebanese mezzas.

            Chuji Ikazaya in the city has really nice and well-priced Japanese Ikazaya style food (and cheap sake!).

            Melbourne is currently experiencing a Gourmet Burger wave so you can get some really awesome burgers for about AUD 10 or so. Grill'd (St Kilda, Windsor, Hawthorn), Burger Edge (St Kilda Rd, City) are yummy.

            One of my favourite cheap eats is doing lunch at Yu'u (Japanese) off Flinders Lane (its hidden under this grafitti door in the basement) - its AUD 15 and its a set menu but the quality of food is outstanding. You would need to book far ahead for this.

            There are plenty more to name... maybe next post! :)


            2 Replies
            1. re: moiandtoi

              Have you been to Malaysia? You so should go there to eat some time..
              The food would normally cost roughly 5 bucks or at most 8 bucks malaysian dollar per head, which is equivalent to say 3 bucks or less aud..
              Although the surrounding and the environment may not be the best at times, in fact they sometimes can be horrible, and there may not be as much varieties compared to Melbourne.. the food is definately good..

              1. re: thinboywhoeats

                That was .. err .... random. But I hear you ... Malaysia has great, cheap food. Definitely in my top 5 for best food countries.

            2. ok, we're talking really cheap eats here, most definitely under $15-20 per head...

              pho dzung on victoria st in richmond has excellent pho - better than what i had in HCMC, but only because the quality of beef is better in oz - raw beef pho comes in 3 sizes, i think it's 6, 7, 8 bucks per bowl respectively.

              don don on swanston st in the city - cheap as chips japanese donburi. don't expect too much, but their beef donburi is one of my faves - about 7 bucks (aust) a bowl.

              babka on brunswick st - one of the best bakery/cafes in town

              straits cafe in doncaster (about 5-10 mins drive from balwyn, depending where in balwyn you are...) - excellent laksa and rendang.

              lambs on chapel st for souvlaki

              stalacites on russell x lonsdale - 24hrs, sounds and looks like a tourist dump, but the greek food is actually decent

              cellar bar at grossi florentino - an absolute must - grossi is one of the best italian fine diners in town and the cellar bar is their most basic, stripped down version. i always think they use offcuts from the grossi kitchen - they probably do. don't let anyone persuade you that pellegrini's next door has better food (pell's has a kitschy atmos, but food and coffee are def better at cellar bar)

              cheap eats guide is decent, though i am losing faith in its high-end sister the good food guide this yr (2008) as they sent me to punch lane - an absolute disaster. why it got 15/20 is beyond belief - another story for another day...

              happy eating!

              1. I agree with e_eating that cellar bar at grossi florentino is a must go. It is absolutely laughable that pastas that good are that Cheap.

                Other places to go are,

                Thai- Ying thai 2, lygon. cheap and cheerful. favourite among students! Gets very very crowded on fridays and saturdays.

                Chinese- Pacific house South yarra/richmond, stunning cantonese fare. Fresh seafood is bountiful, tasty and cheap. ($25)

                Japanese- J cafe (exibition street) , sushi burgers.

                Pub- Lounge on swanston does decent pub food.

                Cafe Vue- Lunch Box at $15! A great lot of thought and work has gone into this, menu changes monthly.

                there are prob heaps of others, there is a blog that specialises on cheap food . check it out http://bellybellygoodfood.blogspot.com/