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Cheap eats in Melbourne

zerochosenzerochosen WollongongRegistered User regular
All this talk of eating our native wildlife is making me hungry! Can local Melbournites let us know some of the good places to eat around the city?

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  • DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    Chinatown (the area between Lonsdale St and Burke St, with a lot on Little Burke St). There are tons of cheap but nice dumpling houses and the like, just have a browse and try your luck.

    Otherwise Lygon St has a lot of nice places, getting cheaper as you get out into Brunswick. Mostly Italian with a smattering of other Mediterranean cuisine.

    Not exactly cheap, but Mrs Parma's can be quite nice. It's a bar/pub that sells microbrewery beers from around Victoria and serves a range of different styles of parmigiana. It sounds horrifyingly hipster, but I didn't notice any of them when I went there. They charge about $15-25 for a meal, though, not counting the beer ($5 for a pot [middy if you're from NSW/ACT], I was driving so I didn't even look at the price for a pint, I'd guess $8-10). It's up the Parliament end of Little Burke St, past Chinatown - closer to Spring St than Exhibition St.

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  • FPFr0styFPFr0sty Registered User regular
    Along bay street; and Kerford rd (in south Melb) have some nice eateries, I know a few drivers that would stop there to grab a bite.

    Theres also "Satay Bar" along Flinders lane (Between King and willy st's)

    Siglo; Just outside/opp Parliament house.. a bit pricy, but well worth it.

    If you just want a coffee sit down relax.. Cafenatics. (Flinders lane; between Queen and Market st)


    I guess really, just go down one of the smaller streets (one way traffic streets) and your sure to find a place to your liking.

  • DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    Also worth a shout out is Lord of the Fries, outside Flinders St Station and near Minotaur. They sell chips, obviously, but smothered in amazing sauces. They're vegan, for those who care about such things. I just wish they offered curry sauce (a mix of tomato sauce and curry powder, popular in Europe).

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  • PhnomenonPhnomenon Registered User regular
    There's a good list here. It really depends on where you're staying and how far you're willing to travel?

  • PsykarPsykar Programmer Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    My favourite (reasonably priced) places around the city - Hardware Lane and Degraves st in the CBD, and China town as mentioned.
    There's a few hidden places around Southgate - Blue Train Cafe comes to mind, although it hasn't been as good in recent years.

    I'm from the northern suburbs myself, so Brunswick st, Lygon st and Sydney rd are all awesome if you want to head out of the city a little bit.
    Some specifics: Bimbos on Brunswick st(pub, with awesome cheap pizzas provided it's not Friday/Saturday night), Cornish Arms on Sydney Rd (another pub, different special every night), And Thalia Thai on Lygon (HUGE meals considering the price - one main will feed two easily)

    Can always check out or urbanspoon of course, found many awesome places from eatability myself.

  • zerochosenzerochosen WollongongRegistered User regular
    Of course, I should have thought of my old friend Urban Spoon. Why ask people for advice when there is an app to do the work? :)

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  • AyefkayAyefkay Queensland, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    my nonna's house is 5 mins drive from where PAXAUS will be held and she makes a MEAN lasagna :P ill tell her to set out the big table

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  • CamaranCamaran Catamaran MelbourneRegistered User regular
    Lord of the Fries. Or Grill'd. Easy to find in the CBD, there is a few of them.

    Both are good ^_^

  • zerochosenzerochosen WollongongRegistered User regular
    Both excellent choices Camaran... now I'm hungry for faraway burgers :(

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  • oldskool julesoldskool jules Registered User new member
    Some of my favourites...

    Don Don - 198 Little Lonsdale Street, near the corner of Bourke St. Excellent cheap and cheerful Japanese food.
    Dumplings Plus - 269 Swanston St, near the corner of Lonsdale St. Delicious dumplings and chinese food. THE most delicious chilli paste that didn't burn my face off.
    Pho Bo Ga Mekong - 241 Swanston St, near the corner of Little Bourke st. Delicious Vietnamese that Jackie Chan and Samo Hung always come back to. Phogeddaboutit!

    Also China Town, as previously mentioned, anywhere along Little Bourke St between Swanston and Exhibition sts is a plethora of places, my favourites being
    Shanghai Village - 112 Little Bourke St, opposite Market Lane, vast array of dumplings. Good AND cheap (I know, right!)
    Supper Inn - 15 Celestial Ave, just off Little Bourke, between Swanston and Russell. A bit more pricey, but freaking delicious. These guys are open til like, 4 or 5 in the morning. Colourful crowd.

    All asian food. I ain't even sorry.. this is Melbourne!

  • troubleshootertroubleshooter Registered User regular
    I've been using Urbanspoon in Melbourne for years and the reviews are very accurate. Also, if you don't eat atleast once at Laksa King during PAX Aus, consider your trip a failure.

  • sboxlesboxle Registered User new member
    Oh man, so many great eats in Melbourne!

    In the city
    If central I usually hit up the food court in Melbourne Central station. In terms of chains Schnitz is pretty great, but at the 'fancier' end of chains for pricing ($10-15). Tex Mex is also decent if you're from a burrito-deprived place.
    Actually if you're not regularly exposed to Malaysian food, Papa Rich is pretty good, too. It's a restaurant though so a bit more pricey. There's one in the QV building off Swanston St.

    Don don, mentioned by Jules, is great Japanese when on a budget.

    At the other end of the spectrum, for some fine dining Mamasitas will impress. Good place for a date.

    If not strictly bound to a budget/location my favourite areas to eat are around Chapel st and Brunswick St.
    Veggie Bar in Fitzroy (a little north of the city, on Brunswick St) is one of a kind. Their portions are massive, and it's delicious, reasonably-priced vegetarian food. I'm not vego, but regulared this place while living in Melbourne. The lentil burger is awesome. It's also just a really cool place.

    Anyway... I won't ramble off a big list of non-central places since they're less accessible.

  • RiketzRiketz Registered User regular
    The space hotel im staying at has alot of cheap foods and drinks.. and jelly wrestling :3 yeeeeeeeeeee

  • fantanoicefantanoice Quiet, please, it's snack time! Registered User regular
    Burger Edge on Collins St (between Elizabeth and Swanston) is probably the best burger place I've been to (and this is coming from a massive Grill'd fangirl). The guy who runs the store is really nice as well, I'd often chat with him whenever I was working in the CBD. I would also highly recommend this over the Flinders / Degraves Grill'd because that's on a hill and everything is open, which basically means getting a warm, stable table is a massive pain.

    There's a few nice Japanese places near Chinatown but I can't remember the names or where they are (and yes, I find it amusing that they're in Chinatown as well). There's another good one in an alleyway near Collins as well (between King and William) which give really big portions for quite cheap. The name escapes me though.

    I hope that helps, anyway.

  • Coley WoleyColey Woley Registered User new member
    Can anyone recommend a good place for around 20 people to meet up for a pre-PAX breakfast?

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  • JapandamanJapandaman Registered User regular
    edited June 2013
    Burger Edge gives me indigestion with their burger mock ups but Grill'd...I just hope they have one in the afterlife!!

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  • fantanoicefantanoice Quiet, please, it's snack time! Registered User regular
    Can anyone recommend a good place for around 20 people to meet up for a pre-PAX breakfast?
    Pancake Parlour has some really good breakfast (and other times of the day) food and is a great place for a group to hang out. The only problem is that it is a bit pricey. There's one at Melbourne Central if you're interested.
    Japandaman wrote: »
    Burger Edge gives me indigestion with their burger mock ups but Grill'd...I just hope they have one in the afterlife!!
    Which one did you go to? I know there are a few around but I've only been to the one on Collins. I do agree that Grill'd universally tastes good, just the one near Flinders is kinda awkward to eat at.

  • sboxlesboxle Registered User new member
    Quick update, I tried to go to Don Dons the other day and it seems to be gone now! Under construction by the looks.

    Burgers are a tough one, very subjective as well. There's a chain called Jus Burgers which has opened up on Chapel St. I used to eat there a lot in Perth, haven't been to the Melbourne one but I prefer them over Grill'd. Their lamb burgers are superior.

  • jedite1000jedite1000 Registered User regular
    We have a place called Mcdonalds great place

  • troubleshootertroubleshooter Registered User regular
    edited June 2013
    Melbourne has amazing cafe culture, which may not be ideal to accommodate 20 people, but to hear someone recommend the Pancake Parlor upsets me dearly.
    As I said above, UrbanSpoon ratings have been very reliable in my experience, anything over %80 wont disappoint:

    troubleshooter on
  • dazorkdazork Registered User new member
    Sadly Melbourne isn't the cheapest city in the world for grub but there is a fantastic slice of various cuisines if you look around a little bit depends what you're after, China Town definitely fills in the lower end of the cost spectrum... best burgers reputedly are at Andrew's Burgers (Albert Park), and Huxtaburger (Smith St) - these places are crazy busy though. If you like good beer and have a bit more to spend I'd recommend Belgian Beer Cafe (Southbank), or Little Creatures Dining Hall (Brunswick St)... I hesitate to recommend Mrs Parma's because I'm still a firm believer that a GOOD Parma shouldn't really cost more than $15 - that said I wouldn't say I've had any bad experiences there and the local microbrews on tap is definitely a big plus

  • UmbraLucisUmbraLucis Registered User regular
    They're not overly pricey so you may want to check out Cafe 345 (they've changed their name but they're listed on Urbanspoon as Fraus) on Errol St in North Melbourne (close to the Queen Vic Market and on the no.57 tram line). They do an awesome listing of sweet and savoury cakes, have the thick Europeon Fraus hot chocolate and make some fantastic in-house meat pies.

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  • riposte_18riposte_18 Registered User regular

    I'd dispute that, since I think you can consistently get good meals in the city for less than $10 a pop. Of course, these all tend towards more of the asian flavours. I unfortunately didn't get my tickets for PAX, but I'd suggest
    - Sushi Monger - Down an alley way off Bourke Street Mall, this place consistently has a line about 20 people long at lunchtimes. As you'd expect, it does great sushi and japanese food, for a very reasonable price. Open during lunch hours Monday to Saturday.
    - Don Ramen - Don don has been mentioned numerous times, but there's actually don too on little Lonsdale, between Queen and Elizabeth. However, after 5pm, when Don Don normally closes, this place transforms (well, not really) into Don Ramen, where they do a number of really great Ramen. I don't know why, but the eggs in the ramen at this place is great. Less than $10 bucks a bowl, but try to get there earlier, since service can take a while, since it seems like they cook each dish individually!
    - Grand BBQ - Not a normal place to be recommended, this place is in the Target center off Bourke Street. It does an incredibly good pick your own noodle soup, where you choose noodles, soup type and types of meat and toppings. I always go egg noodles with Laksa, and its ... very consistently good. Again, less than $10
    Shanghai Dumpling Street - Chinatown is always good for dumplings, but I always recommend this place, which has two locations, one near the corner of Elizabeth and Lt Bourke, and one on Russell street. Again, lines out the door at lunch, and really good selection and quality. And its dumplings, so its cheap as chips.

    Near PAX
    - Hung Vuong - On barkley street, this place is usually packed to the gills, and makes an incredibly popular Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle soup). They actually expanded the building to cannibilize an adjoining lane, but still doesn't help them capacity wise! I always go for the extra large, cos its like $11 bucks, one buck more than normal, and the size increase is always good value :D
    - Station Hotel - Well, not really cheap, but very popular for its steaks, I'd say best you'd get in a 10km radius, if you didn't want to head back into the city.

    - Macaulay Road - Everyone's advocated New Market for Chef Lagenda, Laksa king, etc, but one station away, or a 10 minute walk is the Kensington station, which has tons of great cafes, fairly reasonably priced (but probably about the $10 mark for most dishes), with a great village feel to it.

  • Stressed ChefStressed Chef Registered User new member
    Burgers: second the mention of Huxtaburger, it's the best cheap burger I've had in Melbourne. (Smith Street, where Huxtaburger is located, has a lot of awesome places - try Storm in a Teacup for excellent tea and cakes).
    You can also get a great, slightly more expensive burger at the Trunk Diner in the CBD. They are confident enough in their meat and their customers to make medium rate the default.
    Good pizza is much easier to find than it used to be - Australia was formerly dominated by overtopped, crap-crusted slop. Try DOC in Carlton, +39 and Trunk in the CBD, Oscar in North Melbourne or Ladro in Collingwood.

  • troubleshootertroubleshooter Registered User regular
    Plenty of good burger options in town, there is a bit of an American style diner/burger explosion in Melbourne at the moment, and though Huxtaburger (or as we call it, Hipsterburger) is a good option, it's small and usually packed full of people leading to a bit of a wait.

    Other burger recommendations:
    Huxtaburger (Collingwood) see previous
    The Merrywell (south bank) American style up scaled diner
    Grill'd (chain restaurant, numerous locations, solid choice)
    Beatbox Kitchen (moving food van) if you see it, jump n it, great stuff. They announce locations on twitter & Fb
    Andrews Hamburgers (Albert park)
    Danny's Burgers - dont bother IMO, not worth it

    Some other recommendations from me:
    Mamak (CBD) - great Malaysian that is a new favourite for me. Roti channai, satay skewers, nasi lemak, maggi goreng all stellar.
    Laksa King (Kensington) - best laksa in town, always busy but quick turnover on tables.
    Gasometer (Collingwood) - good pub food plus great buffalo wings.
    Moroccan Soup Bar (Nth Fitzroy) - best vegetarian in town IMO.
    I Carusi (Brunswick) Fresh/light gourmet pizza

    Highly recommended 'higher end' cuisine in the CBD :
    Bistro Vue (modern French)
    Toff in Town (modern Australian)
    Ginger boy (Asian fusion)
    Shoya (Japanese)

    Melbourne has a very high standard for food, with new places opening up regularly and plenty hidden away here and there. So I recommend you do a little exploration of your own.


  • KevralynKevralyn Registered User regular
    Not so fussed by cheap eats, but good places to find good steak and a wide, wide selection of beer, mead, or other interesting drinks... The suggestions in this thread so far though are a fantastic start, thanks!

  • rozzie1981rozzie1981 Registered User new member
    As a strict vegetarian on a budget like most starving artists, I adore Crossways Food For Life in Swanston Street. All you can eat.
    mains, drinks and dessert for $5.50 with a concession or student card or $7.50 full price. A typical meal there is a curry of some kind, rice, papadums, custard and halva pudding with orange drink, sweet lassi and water as drink options. It's a chilled double storey place. 93% rating on Urbanspoon.

    In Footscray, close to PAX is Lentil as Anything, an all you can eat mostly vegan but definitely all vegetarian restaurant where you " pay as you feel" for your dining experience. 223 Barlky Street and also gets a 93% rat ing on Urbanspoon.

  • SuperRoachSuperRoach BallaratRegistered User regular
    Not sure how much it counts, but it's a cheap eat (if you don't mind not being able to sit in) - Lord of the Fries at the start of Elizabeth st (and at Flinders St Station) taste very good. Don't try the chicken parma burger though - it tastes bland :/ The chips are where it's at.

  • tanoshiikitanoshiiki Registered User regular
    SuperRoach wrote: »
    Don't try the chicken parma burger though - it tastes bland :/ The chips are where it's at.
    It's because all their food is vegan. Any of the "meat" burgers are not made with meat.

  • ehronlimeehronlime Southbank, Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    If you're after a wide variety of beer, Cookie and Beer Deluxe have great selections. However, be prepared for the price gouging. If you're not planning to head to PAX till the afternoon on Saturday or if you're around beyond PAX weekend, the portobello mushroom burgers outside Market Lane Coffee at Prahran Market are really good. From memory, they only open on Saturdays from 10-12ish. Also, Prahran Market is usually quite nice (free samples in the meat section!), but they're undergoing some reno at the moment so it's a bit messy.

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