Budget Eating in Sydney: Best Restaurants and Cafes

Cost of dining in Australia

Australia is not really known for cheap eating, in fact, many people would say the opposite; that it is an expensive place to eat especially compared to somewhere like the United States.  Then there is Sydney which is considered an expensive place to eat, even by Australian standards. Just because many people think that it doesn’t mean that there are no cheaper restaurants, it just means that they did not know where to look.

Cheap Food Sydney

Although for the main part, Sydney is an expensive place to eat out, there are places that are cheaper than most and although they still may not be priced as low as what you are used to; they are far cheaper than most other Sydney eateries.

Fond Favorites

Once you know exactly where to go, eating can become cheaper in Sydney and so here are a few favourite hangouts for value for money. If you don’t mind a long queue for breakfast The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria is worth the wait or try breakfast at Copo Café & Diner in Drummoyne for a South American style. For those with a sweet tooth for cream cake and pastries, the Black Star Pastry, Newtown is a must or try Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst for some great gelato creations.

Vegetarians will like Bread & Circus, Alexandria for breakfast, salads or sandwiches or Nourishing Quarter, Redfern for a Thai slant on veggie. The Via Napoli, Lane Cove or Pizza Mario is a must for pizzas, whilst if dumpling parcels filled with hot broth and pork are your thing, then you must try Din Tai Fung in Chinatown.


Even though you may want to eat fairly cheaply in Sydney you do not have to compromise on variety as there are many budget dining places to be found, serving a variety of different menus. Obviously though, as the whole of Sydney seems to be going through a phase where it cannot get enough Vietnamese food, the cheaper establishments also reflect that.

Vietnamese Food

For those who would like to eat Vietnamese food, here are some places that offer value for money. Miss Chu, Circular Quay, Opera House Kitchen is perfect for grabbing a bite whilst on a visit to the Sydney Opera House and the main course should cost under $15. Phamish, Darlinghurst is a very busy restaurant but it is worth hassle for a table, with a main course costing under $20.

Dragon Den, Darlinghurst is perhaps the ideal place for lunch, which can cost under $13. It is a fast-paced restaurant but has additional seating upstairs. Bay Bua, Potts Point is a Vietnamese restaurant but certainly has a French influence, yet serves the main course for under $20.

Thai Food

Although perhaps not so popular in Sydney, Thai food can be equally as exciting and there are also some reasonably priced restaurants. Home, Chinatown serves some very spicy curries as well as some tasty Soft Shell Crab and the main course can cost less than $25. Chat Thai, Chinatown is probably the flagship for Thai food in Sydney but guests are entertained watching the open grill whilst waiting for a table. They have excellent signature desserts and a main course can cost under $25.

Burgers and Sandwiches

Everybody enjoys a good burger or sandwich, especially if they are on the ‘go’. Here are some of the cheaper places to find good ones. Grill’d, Pyrmont take pride in their burgers with good results. Whether trying Lamb, steak or chicken burgers don’t forget the hot fries salted with Rosemary for which they are well known. A large burger here can cost under $12. Charlie & Co Burgers, City Center, where they are more like gourmet burgers than usual burgers, serving such things as Chili Crab Burgers and a perhaps rarity for Australia – onion rings.

Here a burger can cost under $20 and toasted sandwich under $15. Big Bite On Pitt, City Center is a popular place that serves monster sandwiches. One of the favourites here is a chicken schnitzel with lemon-chive mayonnaise. All the sandwiches here cost $8. Vanto, City Center is a great place for lunch, serving sandwiches with food cooked in a wood-burning oven. Also serving good coffee, lunch can cost under $20.


There are of course a vast assortment of eateries in a city the size of Sydney and some of the other choices of foods are served at Chef’s Gallery, Chinatown serving Chinese food with a main course costing under $20. Plan B, City Center serves a variety of food but as it gets very crowded, a take-away lunch can be a good idea for under $15. Le Grand Café, City Center serves up French classics like croissants and quiche Lorraine. Once again lunch can cost under $15.

So although Sydney can be more expensive to eat than many other places, it doesn’t have to cost that much if you know where to go. Neither do you have to limit your choice of food in order to comply with your budget?

About the author: My name is Veronica May. I like travelling that’s why I always look for accommodation at au.hotelscan.com


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