Update: Due to COVID19 some previously mentioned restaurants are closed. We have removed them from the list and added new ones. We have also updated the location, opening hours and pricing of all of the existing restaurants on this list.
Every single cent counts while studying in Australia as an overseas student, so we decided to start a new blog series of cheap eats in various student cities in Australia. To begin with, we will be taking you guys to Melbourne and its cheap eats under $10 for lunch and dinner.
Ok! We all know that those typical fast-food chains (Macca’s, HJ, Dominos, and KFC) can conquer all the top spots, so we have factored in few things in this deciding these top 5 cheap eats.
The main consideration we have given in deciding these top 5 cheap eats:
✅ It must be for or under $10
✅ Food must be on the healthier side
✅ It must in Melbourne CBD
✅ Good reviews
✅ Very Important – Tasty (Fine! We let you decide that)
📌 Location: 147 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: 11.30am – 8.00pm (Sunday Closed)
🍽 Cuisine: Indian
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.7/5 (from 1419 reviews)
First on our list is Crossways which without a doubt tops a list with all you can eat vegan and vegetarian food for just 7.50 (if you are a student or concession cardholder) or 9.50 for everyone else. They serve the delicious curry with rice, pappadum, and a mouth-watering dessert and a drink. Don’t miss out on their Custard Halva Dessert. Yum!
When it comes to value and taste, you can’t beat Crossways and that’s why they are on top of our list. In case, you have no money left in your pocket, they have a temple in St. Kilda which offers free meals every single day of the year. It is a 20- 25 minute tram journey from the city but if you have nothing else left in the pocket at least you don’t need to starve yourself.
2. Om Vegetarian
📌 Location/s: Shop 4-5/227 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm
🍽 Cuisine: Indian
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.0/5 (from 1554 reviews)
The second restaurant serving also all you can eat Indian vegetarian restaurant is Om Vegetarian. They serve you with two curries, rice and a bread soft naan bread in a Thali plate for just $9.90. The food is yummy and you can refill it as many times as you like also. The major difference between om vegetarian and crossways is the naan bread.
They have many outlets in the city, so you easily find one of their restaurants near you. If you don’t have any money, then they also offer a free meal between 3pm to 5pm on their 113 Swanston Street restaurant. If you like vegan or vegetarian food, then you should check our complete survival guide on it.
3. Soi 38
📌 Location: 38 Mcilwraith Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm
🍽 Cuisine: Thai
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.3/5 (from 961 reviews)
One of the most popular place for the students and locals to eat out cheap in Melbourne is Soi 38 restaurant. All the noodle soup bowls are $10 (right on our targeted budget). Some of the popular items on the menu include: Boat noodles with Beef, Pork and Vegetarian Thai Laksa. Decent portion sizes means it is a win-win for any student to save few dollars on the eating out.
You might be surprised with a location of this restaurant as well as you will be eating in the corner of a city car park. (Oops, did we let the hidden secret place out).
📌 Location: 265 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm
🍽 Cuisine: Indonesian
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.2/5 (from 1119 reviews)
Home-cooked food with a variety of options to choose from the exotic Indonesian cuisines, Nelayan makes in our top 5 list. You can try dishes from popular Indonesian provinces which offer you lots of varieties like Beef Rendang, Sate Padang, Pempek, Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, Gado Gado, Soto Betawi and many more dishes for less than $10.
You must try Beef Rendang from the buffet for your spice cravings. For those who don’t know “Nelayan” means Fisherman in Indonesian.
5. Udon Yasan
📌 Location/s: 186 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 and 187 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: 11.30 am – 8.30 pm
🍽 Cuisine: Japanese
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.3/5 (from 1287 reviews)
Another Japanese restaurant makes to our list of Top 5, but this one is more for those who feel like noodles. Udon Yasan offers rice bowl sets starting from merely $5 in the heart of Melbourne CBD.
Their fried chicken is absolutely incredible. Once you get your Udon, head to the free topping station to add some extra flavors and make sure to try their variety of teas from their free drink station. Seriously! Can’t ask for a better value.
6. B3 Café
📌 Location/s: 15 Centre Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000 and 2/353 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: Usually 8.00 am – 3.30 pm (Weekends closed)
🍽 Cuisine: Pattiserie
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.6/5 (from 97 reviews)
This is one hidden gem in the center of Melbourne CBD. You will have to be the one exploring Melbourne’s lane way culture in order to find it. Right in the middle of Centre Pl, you will find huge lines during lunch time and that is for this little tiny takeaway only café.
They have some serious variety of fresh baguettes, from roast chicken to smoked salmon, Salami to vegetarian baguettes. You can’t go wrong with the pricing as well. The smaller baguette costs $6.50 and large one costs only $9. Apart from Baguettes, they got croissants, rice papers and cakes as well. Yum!
If you are a vegetarian, then our recommendation is Eggplant Schnitzel (Our favourite).
7. La Petite Creperie
📌 Location/s: Swanston St CBD, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia (Opposite Melbourne Townhall)
⏰ Opening Hours: Weekday – 4pm to Late, Weekends – 2/3pm to Late
🍽 Cuisine: French
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.6/5 (from 365 reviews)
If you are walking on Swanston street in the Melbourne CBD, you can’t miss this tiny kiosk. We mean it literally.
The aroma of fresh French Crêpes will entice you and once you are around, you won’t be going without taking one of them.
The plain crêpes start from $5 onwards, but you can add toppings to make them Savory or Sweet. The best part is that it is made fresh on-demand, so you know that you are always getting a fresh deal under $10.
8. Seoul Toast Bong
📌 Location/s: 551 Little Lonsdale Street, Shop 6, Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: Monday to Friday (10 am to 6.00 pm), Saturday (10 am – 2.30 pm)
🍽 Cuisine: Korean
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.8/5 (from 209 reviews)
Next on the list is a popular Korean food chain, Seoul Toast Bong. This place is known for their yummy toasties with their signature egg-range starting from just $7.50.
There are plenty of other items on the menu under $10, so you will find something to please everyone.
9. Udon Izakaya Maedaya
📌 Location/s: 168-174 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (12pm – 3 pm), (5 pm – 10 pm)
🍽 Cuisine: Japanese
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.5/5 (from 624 reviews)
While on Bourke street, you can easily miss this restaurant as the entry seems quite small and usually the door is closed.
But once you are inside, it is a buzzing place with plenty of options for under $10. This place (as the name suggests) serves Udon as their specialty, and you can find some of the Udon bowls under $10.
You can get these Udon hot or cold; the choice is yours. Also look out for some lunch specials during weekdays as well.
10. Asia Unique Cafe & Tavern
📌 Location/s: 108 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
⏰ Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday – 11 am to 8.30 pm
🍽 Cuisine: Thai
⭐ Google Reviews: 4.2/5 (from 77 reviews)
Tucked away in the corner of Food Court, this Thai restaurant serves spicy food with cold drinks.
While many menu items are just over $10, there are few you can try under $10 as well. Some of them include their popular soups like Tom Yum, Pork or Beef Soup, etc.
Most of the other menu items are under $15, so it is still quite manageable. Plus it is in a big food court, so you can easily find a seat to eat as well.
🍴So, have you been to any of these restaurants as we mentioned on the list?
Which restaurants do you go to when eating out in Melbourne? Let us know in the comments section below. If you find any restaurant closed or not falling under $10 mark, feel free to DM us via Instagram.
If you are visiting Adelaide, then you definitely want to check our Top Cheap Eats there too.
Plus, if you are willing to learn more about studying in Melbourne, we have a detailed guide about it on this page.