Whether payday is a distant memory or you simply don’t want to spend your life savings on a meal, don’t go running for those two-minute noodles just yet. There are plenty of cheap eats in Auckland that are minimal on coin but maximum on deliciousness. These wall-friendly Auckland restaurants will leave you full, satisfied, and with money in the bank—winning! So, without further ado, here are the best cheap eats in Auckland.
1. New Flavour Restaurant, Balmoral: Like every good Aucklander, we can’t go past a serve (or two) of dumplings. New Flavour Restaurant serves up some of the best (and cheapest) in town. Their seemingly endless dumpling menu is priced around $13 for a serve of 20 delicious morsels. Oh, and their sweet red bean pancake is equally amazing (only $5)
2. Sri Pinang, K 'Road: This Malaysian gem is cheap, cheerful and has the best beef rendang in town. What’s more, the owner Angie is a total delight and her friendly team will make you feel right at home—bless. FYI bring ya bottle of vino because corkage is a mere $1.
3. No 1 Pancake, Auckland City: Whether you prefer your pancake sweet or savoury, this tiny kiosk will give you change from a fiver. We can’t go past the Hawaiian-esque ham, pineapple and cheese pancake. Oh-so cheesy and oh-so tasty, this is Auckland cheap eats at its finest!
4. KK Malaysian Cuisine, Epsom: You may have to wait to get a table at KK Malaysian but we promise it will be worth it. Round up your squad and work your way through serves of seafood laksa, deep-fried tofu and their signature caramelised mummy chicken. Pro tip: mop your plate clean with their delightfully buttery roti.
5. Big J’s Takeaways, Mt Wellington: No Auckland cheap eats list would be complete without mention of everybody’s favourite takeaway joint. Located in an unassuming block of shops in the suburbs of Mt Wellington, Big J’s serves up burgers that are big on taste but small on price. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for their always-epic burger of the week.
6. Greenwood’s Fresh Catch, Epsom: He may be in his 80s, but Greenwood’s Fresh Catch owner Thomas Ng knows how to serve up finger-lickin’ good fish and chips. The suburban superstar handpicks his fish from the market daily and batters (or crumbs) it to perfection. It’s served alongside all your takeaway faves such as chips, squid rings and potato fritters. On ya, Thomas!
7. Barilla Dumpling, Balmoral and Mt Eden: Barilla Dumpling has made a comeback from its D-grade food safety days. With a fancy A-grade rating and TWO Dominion Road restaurants, the much-loved Chinese food joint will satisfy your dumpling craving. Our advice? Come for the dumplings, stick around for the sautéed eggplant and deep-fried green beans.
8. Better Burger, Britomart and Auckland City: Presenting quality burgers at McDonald's prices. The menu might be simple (hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger or a vege-friendly mushroom burger), but the food is simply divine! Grab a burger for around the $5 mark or opt for the $11.50 cheeseburger combo—what a steal!
9. Satya South Indian Restaurant, Auckland City, Sandringham, Mt Eden and Newton: With four locations Auckland-wide, Satya South Indian Restaurant is a tasty option for dinner and drinks (BYO is available) when you don't want to spend yo dollar billz. You can enjoy a night out here for around $20. We thoroughly suggest you splash out and order an entrée of dahi puri (an Indian street food snack).
10. Freeman & Grey, Ponsonby: “There’s no such thing as a cheap meal in Ponsonby!” we hear you cry. Wrong! Freeman & Grey serve $4 pizza across lunchtime and dinnertime everyday. Better yet, they have a $10 express lunch menu offering the likes of torilla, sammies and fettuccine pasta.
11. Fishsmith, Herne Bay: Fishsmith have put a Herne Bay stamp on fish and chips and made them hella trendy. Your order will be presented exquisitely and leave you with money to burn. Our go-to is their spiced fish tacos served with chips, slaw and sauce for $16.
12. Britomart Country Club, Britomart: Did you know your favourite Friday night drinking hole (aka Britomart Country Club) serves $10 burgers, sandwiches and Margherita pizza from Saturday to Wednesday? Nope? Perhaps this is news to you. Get in before 3pm to nab this Auckland cheap eats deal.
13. Biwon Korean BBQ, Glenfield: If you love Korean barbeque (you do), look no further than Biwon. Serving some of the best Korean eats in Auckland, their delicious pork belly has developed a cult following—and for good reason, too! Their perfectly spicy and sour kimchi is also not to be missed.
14. Chawlas Indian Restaurant, Auckland City: Chawlas serves the best palak paneer in Auckland—rich, creamy and cheap, just the way we like it! Located a hop, step and a jump from The Civic, this inner-city restaurant is popular with students and office folk alike.
15. Ramen Takara, Ponsonby and Browns Bay: Slurp your way through one of Auckland’s best bowls of ramen and you’ll soon forget your money woes at Ramen Takara. Serving up some of Auckland’s best cheap eats, a bowl of ramen goodness will cost you around $15. No visit is complete without a serve of their much-loved crispy lotus chips.
16. Burger Burger, Ponsonby, Newmarket and Takapuna: We love burgers and the friendly folk at Burger Burger serve up the finest in Auckland (big call, we know). Twenty bucks will buy you a burger and a side of their famous charred broccoli. Pro tip: go for their tender grilled chicken burger and add a slice of pineapple.
17. Parkside Cafe & Vietnamese Cuisine, Mt Albert: Parkside’s authentic Vietnamese dishes will magically transport you to Ho Chi Minh City. Serving some of Auckland’s best cheap eats, work your way through your Viet faves including pho noodle soup, green papaya salad, grilled pork bun cha and—of course—spring rolls.
18. Il Buco, Ponsonby: These guys served up Michelin starred pizza (according to us) for just $6 a slice. There’s a truckload of toppings to choose from including an abundance of vegan and vegetarian options for the animal lovers amongst us. The eggplant, mozzarella parmesan and tomato is a must-try.
19. Kiss Kiss, Balmoral: Kiss Kiss has your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs 100 per cent sorted. This Balmoral beauty goes from rum and orange French toast in the morn to pork belly curry and phad si ew once evening rolls around. A cocktail chosen from a View Master is a must.
20. Joy Restaurant, Balmoral: Joy restaurant will bring you, err, great joy. Situated at the top of a staircase on Dominion Road, this authentic Chinese joint remains one of Auckland’s best hidden gems. Trust us when we say, the pork pancake noodles are NOT to be missed. The chewy noodley deliciousness will set you back just $10—meaning you totally have change for dumplings.
21. Mr Zhou’s Dumplings, New Lynn: Speaking of dumplings, west is home to some of the best. Mr Zhou’s Dumplings serves all your fave morsels (pork with chives, chicken with coriander, beef with fennel) and a whooole lot more. Have ‘em fried, boiled, with soup or cook them yourself with their packs of frozen dumplings.
22. Pok Pok, K 'Road: Look no further than K Road’s Pok Pok for mouth-watering Thai eats. Devour serves of goat massaman curry, prawn tom yum soup and generous portions of crispy pork belly. We suggest rounding up your nearest and dearest and ordering a bunch of stuff to share—try ALL the things! Oh, and Pok Pok is BYO-friendly…what’s not to love?!
23. Settebello, New Lynn: Run by Francesco Acri (a Naples native), Settebello knows what’s up when it comes to a piece-a pizza. In fact, Francesco represented New Zealand at the World Pizza Championship in Italy after winning the nation’s pizza champs in ’15. Settebello’s “early bird” $15 pizza and Peroni deal is something you need in your life.
24. 7 Siri Taste Of Sri Lanka, Sandringham: Is it Sandringham or is it Sri Lanka? You won’t be able to tell at 7 Siri Taste Of Sri Lanka. Several of the dishes are served wrapped in a banana leaf at this Sandringham gem—you don’t get more authentic than that! Gobble up kottu roti or go for the full shebang with lump rice.
25. Little Easy, Ponsonby: Ten buck burgers, all day, everyday can be found at Little Easy. We’re suckers for the mac ‘n’ chief creations. Think a beef patty, bacon jam (yes, it’s a thing!), a hearty mac’n’cheese croquette and lashings of sauce. Be sure to load up on the napkins because things are gonna get messy.
26. Mexican Café, Auckland City: In arm’s reach from the Sky Tower, Mexican Café’s $15 dinner menu will save you from the rumbles. Go for an enchilada, quesadilla or a vegetarian lasagne…they’re all equally delish! If you’re super short on cash, their 5pm—7pm happy hour (or should we say ‘hours’) has you covered with $5 tacos. Wash it down with a $5 tap beer and you’ll be away laughing.
27. Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle, Balmoral, Albany, Howick and Auckland Central: There’s so much to love about Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle. From the funky, cartoon-covered tables to the hand-pulled noodles and pan-fried dumplings, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck—you’ll find some of Auckland’s best cheap eats!
28. Try It Out, Otahuhu: Head to Otahuhu to try things out at the aptly named restaurant, Try It Out. The eatery is known for serving some of the best Vietnamese cheap eats in Auckland. Their prawn and pork summer rolls are oh-so fresh and we can’t get enough of the combination vermicelli noodle bowl. It’s happiness in a bowl.
29. Mukunda’s, K 'Road: Hare Krishna vegetarian and vegan restaurant, Mukanda’s will have you tucking into basmati rice, dhal, vege curry, pakora, chutney and halava dessert for just $8.50 (or 6 bux if you’re a student). Cheap eats don’t get much cheaper (or tastier) than this!
30. Selera, Newmarket: When hungry in Newmarket, make a bee line to Selera’s Malaysian eatery. You’ll be treated to roti canai with creamy chicken curry, laksa and mee goring—and be sure to get an entrée of curry puffs. A cheap meal at Selera is the perfect pre or post-movie dinner.
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