Melbourne, Australia is not just an all-round incredible city. It’s also internationally renowned for being home to some of the best food in the world (that and our amazing coffee scene). Largely due to our wonderfully diverse population, Melbourne is home to wonderful cuisines from all over the world.
Having grown up in the city, I’ve come to seriously love some of the local eats, and now that I’m on a college budget, I can appreciate cheaper options. Here are some of the best eats in Melbourne that won’t break the bank. Just keep in mind that like most things, food in Australia is a bit more expensive than in the US, so these places are relatively well-priced (plus everything’s a bit less in USD, anyway).
1. Jimmi Jamz
Jimmi Jamz is my go-to cheap restaurant. It’s located in the heart of Elwood Village on Ormond Road (with a spot in East Brunswick too), and offers a huge selection of pizzas and pastas for amazing prices. On Mondays and Tuesdays, you can get a pizza for just $6, which is such a good deal. If it’s a nice day, make sure to check out the courtyard dining are at the back of the restaurant.
2. What Da Pho
South Melbourne’s What Da Pho is found right in the middle of the vibrant Clarendon Street shopping area. They offer a wonderful selection of pho, rice paper rolls, and other delicious Vietnamese dishes. I am also pretty obsessed with their frozen coconut juice. It’s phenomenal. While you’re there, check out the Coventry Street Bookstore around the corner, and Nord Design just next door.
A local favorite with five great locations (it’s in Sydney too), Lentil as Anything is a unique spot to eat in where you simply pay whatever you feel your meal was worth. It’s a not-for-profit community organization that is centered on trust, generosity, respect, and delicious vegetarian food.
This is may be my favorite overall spot in Melbourne. It’s a little hard to find, and many places have similar names, but you really can’t go wrong at Shanghai Dumpling. Super cheap dumplings, noodles and other incredible Asian dishes make this spot very popular.
#SpoonTip: They tend to be really busy on Friday/Saturday nights, so leave room for a potential wait.
Words cannot express my love for Jimmy Grant’s. You can get super yummy Greek food here for very reasonable prices (the most expensive thing here is $12), and with a few locations to choose from, there is always one nearby. I particularly love the history behind the name. When Greek immigrants arrived in Melbourne, Aussies couldn’t pronounce their names and just viewed them as another immigrant. Hence “whether you were from Greece, Italy, or the Middle East, we were all called Jimmy Grant.”
Not just for food, the Queen Vic Night Market runs all winter on Wednesday evenings. There is always incredible food, market stalls and live music. You can be sure to find mulled wine, crackling fires and some of the best street food in town.
7. Lucky Coq
Lucky Coq is actually a pub and nightclub as well as restaurant on the corner of Chapel and High Streets in Windsor. Great drinks, cocktails, and the best part: $4 pizza at select times of the day, as well as other great food.
Set up like an old-world Belgian Beer Garden, the Village on St. Kilda Road has five distinct areas for grabbing a drink or a well-priced bite to eat: the beer garden, the arbor, the Bistro, the cocktail terrace bar, and the beautiful Ormond Hall.
One of the city’s oldest and most well-known Greek restaurants, Stalactites offers a huge selection of traditional Greek dishes at very reasonable prices. I’m also pretty obsessed with the ceiling at Stalactites, it looks like the inside of a cave.
10. Prahran Market
Hands-down my favorite place in Melbs to get fresh produce or an easy bite to eat. There are so many stalls and shops to choose from, you will no doubt find something that suits what you’re after. Also, it’s a wonderful place to meet friends for a warm drink in the winter.