Wining and dining needn’t be about lavish menus, fancy décor and exceptional service. Yes, these things are nice and very much appreciated, but sometimes you just wanna have a meal without the hoopla—and the expensive price tag. To help you on your merry way, we’ve rounded up at 15 best cheap and cheerful restaurants in Auckland.
- If you love noodles, dumplings and wontons, make a beeline for Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle. The quirky eatery boasts cosy bright orange booths and tabletops covered with cartoon imagery (think Hello Kitty, The Powerpuff Girls and Elmo). It’s cheap, it’s cheerful and it’s oh-so delicious.
- With a name like Joy Restaurant, it’s no surprise this eatery is what it says it is: joyful. Bring your crew along and fill your round lazy Susan table with the likes of Chinese burgers, pancake noodle soup (ah-maze!) and—of course—dumplings.
- We’re just going to put it out there: the food at @Bangkok is Thai-riffic. Feast on tom yum, pad Thai, massamun curry and all your other Thai faves at this Kingsland gem. And, guess what? It’s BYO-friendly.
- If you love laksa as much as us, visit Epsom’s bustling KK Malaysian restaurant. While their chicken laksa is our go-to, the mummy chicken and deep-fried tofu are also both exceptionally tasty. This place packs out so get in early or opt for takeaways.
- Scattered across Auckland, you’ll discover Satya South Indian Restaurants. Start with an entrée of dahi puri before moving on to your fave curry. We can vouch for the Satya special dry chicken curry—it’s extremely flavoursome. Wash it all down with a mango lassi.
- Next time you’re in Sandringham, check out 7 Siri Taste Of Sri Lanka. Each dish is as flavoursome (and cheap) as the next. Don’t leave without trying their appa cup-shaped pancakes and curry puffs!
- If it’s authentic Vietnamese pho your heart desires, visit Try It Out. You’ll also discover delish banh mi stuffed baguettes, summer rolls and bun cha noodle soup. Finish with a traditional che street food dessert—yummm!
- There are a lot of things to love about Sri Pinang: the beef rending is out of this world, the owner is absolutely delightful and corkage is just $1 per person. Need we say more?
- While Nanam Pilipino restaurant might be affordable, its certainly not tacky. The venue, the service and the quality of the dishes are all equally outstanding. Be sure to order their ‘tacopao’ pink steamed buns and save room for dessert—it’s incredible!
- Round up your squad and work your way through Flavour House’s delish Chinese eats. Stick around for dessert because the fried kumara in hot toffee is not to be missed—try it before you knock it!
- If it’s good times you’re after, Canton is your restaurant. A night out at the iconic Chinese restaurant is always a distinctly rowdy affair. Oh, and their prawn dishes are particularly divine.
- Good times are aplenty at Auckland’s much-loved Burger Burger. A $20 note will grab you both a burger and side here. Our advice? Got for their signature charred broccoli.
- Sandringham’s iconic Paradise restaurant is big on flavour and low on price. Whether you opt for chicken jalfrezi, saag paneer or lamb masala, we promise you it’s all super duper tasty. Be sure to mop your plate clean with a garlic naan to get every last mouthful of deliciousness.
- The friendly folk at Pla Tong Thai are nothing but smiles as they serve up some of the best penang curry in town. Their noodle dishes, hot plates and soups are also scrumptious—not to mention easy on the wallet.
- No cheap and cheerful article would be complete without mention of Barilla Dumpling. Visit for the dumplings, stay for the sautéed eggplant (trust us on this one).
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Image credit: Kellie Blizard at Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle