best budget restaurants and cafes

Where To Find The Best Budget Restaurants And Cafes In Melbourne?

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    Melbourne's dynamic, tasty, and even colourful culinary scene can be attributed to the city's cultural mix. Migrants from all over the world bring their culinary culture and cooking pots, filling the air with fragrant spices and delectable fragrances.

    Furthermore, they serve enormous quantities at much larger prices. They quickly become a byword for superb food at reasonable pricing, and yet another success story becomes legendary.

    Are your nice dining habits beginning to eat away at your savings? Never be afraid. Savvy Melburnians are aware that some of the city's tastiest eats are also among the most affordable (and most cheerful). Whether it's juicy homemade dumplings or blistering hot oven-roasted pizzas, these are Melbourne's greatest inexpensive eats, dishing customers delicious food at a reasonable price.

    Here are a couple of Melbourne's legends serving affordable food. Just in case you missed it, cheap does not imply oily, unsanitary, sloppy meal served with a plastic utensil. It simply means unpretentious tasty food cooked with love and delivered with pride for between $15 and $20.

    Top 20 Budget Restaurants And Cafes In Melbourne

    Melbourne is a city where you can eat well and cheaply if you know where to look. So here are some of Melbourne's top affordable eats.


    Miznon is fifty hues of pita with a fantastic culinary creativity. Ancient Israeli flavours have made their way to Melbourne via Tel Aviv, Paris, Vienna, and New York.

    When he's not juggling twelve restaurant kitchens, Eyal Shani is a judge on Israel's MasterChef. All of this, and not a single dish costs more than $20 at Miznon Melbourne, is what distinguishes this chef as a master of his profession.

    Their grass-fed wagyu and roots stew pita with tahini, onion, and pickles costs $18; you get the picture.

    • Website: Miznon
    • Opening hours: 12nn to 10 pm (Mon to Sat)
    • Address: 59 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, Australia, VIC 3000

    Moroccan Soup Bar

    The vibrant atmosphere of MSB brightens up the Fitzroy social scene and serves as an appetiser in and of itself. This is a vegetarian restaurant, yet the flavours take precedence over the meat. If you choose to eat in, they have a bustling takeaway section as well as catering.

    Takeaway costs are much lower if you bring your own containers. Their menu includes vegan and dairy-free alternatives. MSB is a great down-to-earth, socially concerned business that makes you want to return for reasons other than the low price.

    • Website: Moroccan Soup Bar
    • Opening hours: 6 pm to 9.30 pm (Tues to Sat), 6 pm to 9 pm (Sun)
    • Location: 183 St George Road, Fitzroy North, Australia

    Very Good Falafel

    They tell it like it is and could add 'at extremely reasonable pricing and still be legitimate.' They rose from farmers' markets to their café on busy Sydney Rd via the power of flavour and hard labour.

    • Website: Very Good Falafel
    • Opening hours: 11 am to 10 pm (Mon to Sat)
    • Location: 629 Sydney Road, Brunswick, VIC, Australia

    Butchers Diner

    Just because it falls under the category of cheap meals in Melbourne doesn't mean you can't eat healthy; organic chicken with mayo and celery is $10.50, while the creole salmon cutlet costs $18.50.

    Side dishes range from a couple of dollars for steaming beef and pork dim sims to $7.50 for heated organic potato salad with parsley and olive oil. As you can see, it's tasty, healthy, satisfying, and a terrific deal.

    • Website: Butchers Diner
    • Opening hours: Open 24 hours
    • Location: 10 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

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    The Ippudo experience elevates ramen dining to a new level. The world renowned Japanese ramen aficionado serves incredible appetisers like Ippudo Teba Kara, which costs $8 for three pieces, the same as Japanese Yam fries.

    • Opening hours: 11 am to 9.30 pm (Sun to Thurs), 11 am to 10.30 pm (Fri to Sat)
    • Location: Shop 18, QV Shopping Centre, 300 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

    Hi Chong Qing

    Wherever there is a student body, there is a cheap meals solution nearby. The Hi CQ Café and Noodle Bar at RMIT is a superb example of this piece of knowledge. They serve wonderful and hearty Chinese noodle soup in a variety of varieties for just over ten dollars, while their spicy beef noodles are $13.80 per bowl.

    Additional toppings, such as fried eggs, tofu, or more beef or noodles, cost an additional $2. You'll be excused if you forget you're eating at one of Melbourne's cheap eateries for students, as the food is served in elegant bowls that belie the low price.

    • Website: Hi Chong Qing
    • Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm (Mon to Fri), 12nn to 9 pm (Sat)
    • Location: 26 Orr Street, Carlton, VIC 3053

    Don Don

    Nobody uses space and time as well as the Japanese. Don Don demonstrates that you don't need a fancy set-up to enjoy wonderful food, nor do you need to wait 30-40 minutes for a delicious dinner to arrive steaming with delight. It's straightforward: a counter with you on one side and a restricted selection of donburi on the other.

    They make it simple for you to pick, with no pausing or twitching while you try to decide, especially with a huge queue looming behind you like a ravenous dragon. There's chicken on rice, curry don, sukiyaki don, and a few other options.

    Simply choose one. You have to be very lucky or quick-witted to find sitting; if not, the State Library's grounds are available. This is one of Melbourne's best and cheapest eateries for students, but you don't need to show your student card to get in.

    • Facebook: Don Don
    • Opening hours: 11 am to 9 pm (Sun to Sat)
    • Location: 198 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

    Soi 38

    You can also choose whether you want it soup, dry, or half soup. You check all the correct boxes on your order form and pay $10, or $15 if you're really hungry.

    • Website: Soi 38
    • Opening hours: 11.30 am to 4 pm (Mon to Sat)
    • Location: 38 McIlwraith Place, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

    Delhi Streets

    Indian street food made and served in Melbourne as it would be on Delhi's streets. Their cuisine is designed to delight, whether you want a full meal or just a bite. You'll be spoiled for choice because they all appear to be good and reasonably priced, with an average of $15 per dish.

    • Website: Delhi Streets
    • Opening hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm (Mon to Fri), 5.30pm to 9.30pm (Sat)
    • Location: 22 Katherine Place, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

    Hunky Dory

    Generous seafood dishes leave you feeling fairly content with the proceedings, and the good feeling continues when you see that nothing costs more than $20. They clearly know their seafood and how to get the best flavours from it.

    Not unexpected given that they come from a family of Greek fisherman who haven't lost connection. To make a wonderfully satisfying supper, you get new portions of grilled barramundi, whiting, flake, or salmon in unusual marinades and sauces with sides of Greek salad, chips, brown rice, or spinach salad.

    They also serve burgers and sandwiches, as well as fried and grilled packs filled with flavours from around the world.

    • Website: Hunky Dory
    • Opening hours: 7 days a week, 11 am till late
    • Location: 670 Chapel Street, South Yarra, VIC, Australia

    Corner & Bench

    If you're pressed for time, you can order from the menu on the counter. They serve substantial quantities that provide excellent value for money.

    • Facebook: Corner & Bench
    • Opening hours: 7.30 am to 3.45 pm (Mon to Fri), 9 am to 2 pm (Sat)
    • Location: 406 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia.

    Hardware Street Café

    For $21.90, they serve soft shell crab on Belgian waffles with sweet chilli mayo. You can tell there is a mix of elements, probably French, Swiss, and Asian. They feature vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free alternatives, all of which are reasonably priced between $10 and $20.

    The truffle and mushroom with a poached egg on sourdough bread is seasonal and close to $20. The Canadian Boy costs $14.90 and includes a hot Belgian waffle, bacon, maple syrup, and fig jam. They have a knack for Belgian waffles, which come with a variety of toppings ranging from Nutella to blueberry.

    • Website: Hardware Street Café
    • Opening hours: 7.30 am to 5 pm (Mon to Fri), 8.30 am to 5 pm (Sat to Sun)
    • Location: 119 Hardware Streets, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

    Rice Paper

    Vietnamese specialities are available at reasonable pricing. Have you ever tasted $16 soft shell crab thick broth noodle soup? Furthermore, the shell is palatable since it is marinated in a thick spice before being battered and deep-fried. The ever-popular crispy skin chicken is only $10.

    Then there's the stir fry, which comes with rice or noodles and costs roughly $16 per dish. Their distinctive rice paper rolls include BBQ chicken, prawns, lemongrass pork, and avocado, all in creative combinations for less than $4.

    • Facebook: Rice Paper
    • Opening hours: 10 am to 10 pm (Sun to Thu), 10 am to 11 pm (Fri to Sat)
    • Location: 245 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

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    Shanghai Street

    Shanghai Street is a must-visit if you're looking for fantastic affordable food in Melbourne. Apparently, the dumplings are out of this world. As a result, even the world's longest queue does not stop customers from acquiring their dumplings and other favourites.

    However, the friendly staff makes every attempt to get you started by coming out to the queue to take your order before you've even entered the institution. You really can't complain about the seats or the atmosphere, but the meal will certainly take your mind off such trivialities.

    • Opening hours: 11.30 am to 3 pm (Sat to Sun), 4.30 pm to 9 pm (Fri),
    • 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm (Sat to Thu)
    • Location: 342 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

    Roule Galette

    Traditional French Creperie is nestled away on Flinders Lane, as if it doesn't want to be discovered. But, with good reason, the renowned cafe is a well-kept secret among its growing customers. They serve a variety of crepes and galettes for breakfast, lunch, supper, and takeout, and a hearty portion costs less than $20.

    There's also the added bonus of hearing French spoken while sipping your Orangina, superb cup of coffee, or French cider. When you repeat your order in French, it sounds more formal. There are also vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free alternatives available. A little outside seating area adds to the ambience.

    • Website: Roule Galette
    • Opening hours: Mon to Thurs: 7.30am – 8pm; Sun: 9am – 5pm; Fri: 7.30am – 9.30pm; Sat: 9am – 8pm.
    • Location: Scott Alley, 241 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

    Peko Peko

    Peko Peko is a Taiwanese restaurant that serves a wide range of meals from appetisers to desserts for under $20 and in ample amounts. Perhaps it is difficult to get a foot in during peak dining hours, and it can be fairly boisterous with the passionate talk that wonderful food can frequently engender.

    They feature a variety of meat and seafood meals with various sauces and flavours, as well as soups, rice, and noodle alternatives. If you are sensitive to excessive levels of spice, you should verify the spice levels before placing your order. You might also indulge in some delectable dessert.

    • Facebook: Peko Peko
    • Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 12 pm – 4 pm and 5 pm – 9 pm.

    Purple Peanuts Japanese Café

    Japanese cuisine with an edgy touch that brings curry to life and is quite affordable. From miso soup and sushi rolls to grilled chicken curry rice, salmon sashimi rice, chicken soba, and more, the menu expands and becomes more fascinating.

    Main courses start about $15 and can go even cheaper later in the day. Seating is limited, so you take what you can get. Things move rapidly here, so you won't have to wait long for your food.


    All-you-can-eat Indian vegetarian cuisine at ridiculously low pricing. Every day of the week, they serve a cheap set menu with the main rice dish accompanied with a vegetable preparation composed of lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans, pumpkin, or spinach.

    If you prefer pappadums, you'll be happy to discover that they go with every meal. The set menu includes exotic sweets composed of pineapple, carrots, dates, apple crumble, and almond toffee. You can also select a drink. All of this, with warm, courteous service, for less than $10.

    • Website: Crossways
    • Opening hours: 11.30 am to 8 pm (Mon to Sat)
    • Location: Level 1&2, 123 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000


    A terrific spot for a full weekend breakfast or a quick meal on your way to work. If you're in a hurry, they offer fresh scones, pastries, and sausage rolls on display.

    The portions are substantial, the food is good, and the price is reasonable. They provide soups, chicken mains, and other fantastic alternatives for a lazy brunch or workday lunch, in addition to great breakfast options. Their handmade sauces and relish enhance your eating experience to the next level. On weekdays, the place can get a little crowded.

    • Facebook: Batch
    • Opening hours: 6.30 am to 4.30 pm (Mon to Fri), 7 am to 5 pm (Sat to Sun)
    • Location: 1/320 Carlisle Street, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

    Jimmy Grants

    One of the cuisines to sample in Melbourne is Greek street food. Jimmy Grants offers the real thing, and a wide range of it. Along with the traditional suspects, order souvlaki with mustard sauce and crisp chips wrapped within.

    The souls, as they're known, range in price from $10 to $16.50, or you can get it all in a bowl for $14.90 to $17.90. Salads and dessert round off the dinner, and you're still in fine financial condition.

    • Website: Jimmy Grants
    • Opening hours: 11 am to 10 pm (Mon to Thur & Sun), 11 am to 11 pm (Fri to Sat)
    • Location: 113 St. David Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065, Australia



    For those who know where to look, dining out in Melbourne can be both affordable and delicious. A cheap meal doesn't have to be greasy and unsanitary, and it doesn't have to be served on a disposable plastic fork. It simply refers to affordable, hearty fare prepared with care and taste for $15 to $20. Two of Melbourne's best-value restaurants are Moroccan Soup Bar and Very Good Falafel. Having a meal at Ippudo elevates the ramen experience to an entirely new level.

    For just over ten dollars, Hi CQ Café and Noodle Bar at RMIT serves a delicious Chinese noodle soup. Don Don proves that you don't need a fancy set-up to savour delicious food. For students in Melbourne, this is one of the best and cheapest places to eat. You don't have to pause or twitch as you try to decide because they make it easy for you. There is a cost of $14.90 for this dish, which includes a hot Belgian waffle, bacon, maple syrup, and fig jam.

    Between $10 and $20, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and takeout are all available at this restaurant. Purple Peanuts is a hip Japanese restaurant that adds a modern twist to traditional dishes like curry. At Crossways, a vegetarian Indian set menu costs less than $10. If you're looking for a quick bite to eat on the way to work, Batch is a great option.

    Content Summary

    • The multiculturalism of Melbourne is a major factor in the city's thriving, flavorful, and even visually stimulating culinary scene.
    • Melburnians are well-versed in the fact that some of the city's best food is also among the city's least expensive (and most cheerful).
    • Several of Melbourne's most venerable restaurants are now providing low-cost fare.
    • It simply refers to simple, delicious food that costs between $15 and $20 that is prepared with care and delivered with pride.
    • Melbourne's Top 20 Budget Restaurants and Cafes
    • For those who know where to look, dining out in Melbourne can be both affordable and delicious.
    • Consequently, these are some of the best value meals in Melbourne.
    • The Israeli MasterChef judge Eyal Shani is also a busy restaurateur who runs 12 restaurants.
    • At RMIT's Hi CQ Café and Noodle Bar, you'll find an excellent example of this.
    • A bowl of their hearty Chinese noodle soup costs just over $10, while their spicy beef noodle soup costs $13.80.
    • The Japanese use space and time in a unique way.
    • He shows that you don't need a fancy set-up, nor do you need to wait 30-40 minutes for a steaming dinner to arrive steaming with delight.
    • Chicken on rice, curry, sukiyaki, and a few other dishes are all available.
    • In order to find a seat, you must be extremely lucky or quick-witted; if not, the grounds of the State Library can be used.
    • For students, this is one of Melbourne's best and cheapest restaurants, but you don't have to show your ID to get in.
    • Hunky Dory's website
    • From 11 a.m. until late, seven days a week.
    • In South Yarra, VIC, Australia, at 670 Chapel Street
    • With a bench and a corner
    • You can order from the counter menu if you're short on time.
    • Hardware Café on the Street
    • Soft shell crab is served on Belgian waffles with a sweet chilli mayo for $21.90.
    • A mixture of French, Swiss, and Asian influences can be discerned.
    • There is a cost of $14.90 for this dish, which includes a hot Belgian waffle, bacon, maple syrup, and fig jam.
    • What do you think of a bowl of $16 soft shell crab soup with thick broth and noodles?
    • The unique rice paper rolls they make include everything from BBQ chicken to prawns to lemongrass pork to avocado, all for less than $4.
    • Rice Paper is on Facebook.
    • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sun to Thursday) and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday and Saturday) (Fri to Sat)
    • At 245 Swanston Street in the city of Melbourne, Australia
    • Street in Shanghai
    • If you're in search of delicious, reasonably priced fare in Melbourne, make a beeline for Shanghai Street.
    • It's more formal to repeat an order in French.
    • Scott Alley can be found at 241 Flinders Lane in Melbourne, Australia.
    • With a menu ranging from appetisers to desserts and all priced under $20, Taiwanese restaurant Peko Peko offers a wide variety of meals.
    • Vegetarian Indian food served buffet-style for an absurdly low price.

    FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants & Cafes

    There's almost no way around it—eating out will almost always cost more than cooking a meal at home. While the average cost of eating out varies dramatically depending on the restaurant you go to, most restaurants charge about a 300% mark-up on the items they serve.

    For people who like to cook, that's like saying, “New Study Says Earth is Flat.” Cooking at home has to be cheaper than eating out, always, and by a wide margin. The cost of several restaurant meals versus cooking at home was around $17.99 at the restaurant and $20.52 at home.

    Average Monthly Food Expenditure 

    The lowest average cost of groceries per month for 2 in April 2021 was $387.00. This amount applies to families with a thrifty spending plan whose members are aged 51-70. If the family has two members aged 19-50, the cheapest food expenses are a bit over $400.

    The 50/30/20 rule is an easy budgeting method that can help you manage your money effectively and sustainably. The basic rule of thumb is to divide your monthly after-tax income into three spending categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings or paying off debt.

    Following the 70/20/10 rule of budgeting, you separate your take-home pay into three buckets based on a specific percentage. Seventy per cent of your income will go to monthly bills and everyday spending, 20% goes to saving and investing, and 10% goes to debt repayment or donation.

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