Melbourne has some of the best food in the world, and probably the best food in Australia, beating Sydney in the foodie-stakes. During my past long weekend in Melbourne I spent a lot of time eating out, plus also drinking at cafes and bars. Luckily, you don’t always need to splurge if you want to eat well in Melbourne. Next time you’re visiting Melbourne, try some of these cheaper choices to dine upon.
1. Borek at Queen Victoria Markets
I really regret not making it as far as the Queen Victoria Markets in the north-western corner of Melbourne’s CBD, just to try the borek from the Borek Shop. This baked pastry made from filo and stuffed with lamb is enthused over by everyone who tries it, and is a bargain at just $3.00 AUD each. Vegetarian options are also available.
Melbourne is officially the second largest Greek city in the world, after Athens, due to the influx of migrants following World War II (and probably even more following the recent monetary crisis in Greece). As such, the souvlaki is world class and available everywhere, even at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (or MCG). Expect to pay under $10 and look for a queue.
With multiple branches located In Melbourne’s CBD, Prahran, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Eastwood, it’s hard to miss out on trying a Huxtaburger at least once. Go for the original Huxtaburger, with a beef patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, mustard, mayo and tomato sauce, for just $9.90. The chipotle spiced fries are my pick of sides.
4. Sandwiches at Bowery to Williamsburg
Bowery to Williamsburg is a New-York style sandwich shop serving up super-size sandwiches on Oliver Lane in the CBD. On weekdays the sandwiches are $13, stretching to $15 on weekends. Choose from the huge ruben sandwich, or try the Benjamin, a buttered bagel with hot smoked salmon, bacon, tomato and a fried egg. Make a meal of it by adding on a side of Mac’n’Cheese, plus New-York style pretzels and a pickle, for $5 on weekdays or $6 on weekends. The milkshakes are huge; don’t miss out on the honey chai if it’s on the menu.
5. Lunch Specials at Fancy Restaurants
Okay, these aren’t exactly cheap, but if you’re wanting a fancy feed for less it’s good value. Many more expensive restaurants offer cheaper set menus on weekdays at lunchtime. Take your pick from George Calombaris’s Greek Gazi in the CBD, with it’s “bend over box” for $27.50 until 3pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, head to Chez Olivier in Prahran, where you can dine on 2 courses for $28 or 3 courses for $35, from Wednesday to Saturday.
…want more suggestions for cheap eats in Melbourne?
Head to CHUG, where you can search for cheap food in Melbourne by region of the city and day of the week. Best of all, it handily lists the daily specials for venues, so you know exactly when you can get the $10 burger deal!
(Food photos from the respective restaurant’s Facebook pages)