We all know the feeling. That cold, hollow sensation when your system runs out of food and you’re stranded in the urban Brisbane wilderness positively fanging for a bite.
It is in these dark hours that dumpster divers are born and all of our God-given charisma is directed towards any passer-by with a kind heart and a half-eaten sandwich.
Ultimately we all end up in the same state: wandering the tarmac like Heathcliff, blindly searching for comfort with barely $20 in your grasp and a whole list of three-hatted restaurants flying through your brain.
In between our bountiful power lunches and seven-course dinners, where are the quick bites at? Here’s a list of fifteen of the best cheap eats joints in Brisbane that’ll pick you up when you’re down on luck and money:
1. My Mistress
Serving up a neat and comforting variety of breakfast staples, My Mistress in Clayfield is the perfect place to take Mrs Jones for a quick piece of satisfaction.
2. The Manhattan Line
These new kids are revamping street food with a slammin menu of hot dogs and bar snacks; The Manhattan Line is a Brisbane restaurant so cheap and cheerful you can stuff yourself with loose change.
Brisbane’s organic, raw and cold-pressed health kick has developed into a league of its own. No more must the hungry hordes pollute themselves with junk food, Press’d is here to supply you with all the affordable tasties you need #nourished #itsorganic.
4. Dumpling Republic
Offering more than 18 varieties of those moreish, steamy parcels, Dumpling Republic has got your next Brisbane cheap-feast covered for less than your parking permit.
Home of our go-to for early morning sustenance under a tenner, Cawfee’s Manhattan breakfast includes a NY style bagel, coffee and cookie. Chaps at Cawfee also slam one of the CBD’s best Reuben sangas for lunch, and a cheap and palatable menu of cheese and antipasti boards for 5pm clock off.
6. Kiss The Berry
For goodness on the go, you simply cannot pass up one of Kiss The Berry’s acai bowls. Sweet, refreshing, healthy and so Insta-worthy, you’ll just wish the bowls came with free refills.
7. Beach Burrito
All the pleasure and delight of a beachside Mexican without the sand in your teeth! Chow down on a tortilla-wrapped wonder from the Beach Burrito and have yourself the most affordable Mexican feast south of the gulf.
8. Buffalo Bar
Wings are both the cheapest and tastiest part of the bird, and no one understands this better than the folks behind Buffalo Bar. Order a plate of cheap and tasty wings from an 18-strong menu of wet or dry coatings from original Buffalo* to chipotle, orange and poppyseed. Pluuuus, from Sunday to Thursday you can order 4 serves and get 1 free! Winning!
[*Buffalo refers to the town of Buffalo, NY, not bison. Calm down. Bison don’t have wings.]
9. The Gettin’ Place
New Farm’s latest coffee nook, The Gettin' Place, is bringing the toast game, hard. Besides the usual suspects are some jaunty new additions like the Asian salad toast or a sweet Nutella, banana and pistachio number.
10. The Triffid
Burgers are an enduring favourite on our list of cheap eats, and new Brisbane bar The Triffid are now serving up the offerings of e’cco and Eat Street fave, Howzat Burger.
11. Red Robin Supper Truck
Now permanently parked out the back of the Southside Tea Room, the Red Robin Supper Truck is fully committed to pumping out delicious, hefty, thrifty suppers you’ll be singing for.
12. Bagel Boys
Stalwarts of the Brisbane market scene, Bagel Boys have set up shop permanently so you can get your fix anytime. With a variety of sweet and savoury bagels and fillings, a Bagel Boys bagel is the perfect one-handed meal for anyone on the go.
13. Happy Boy
The latest in Chinese delights, Happy Boy is best shared with a pack of your closest wolves, order a veritable banquet and you’ll break your belt before you break the bank.
14. The Dugout on Ernest
Though small in size, South Brisbane’s latest caffeine connection has us tingling. The Dugout on Ernest is a ballsy new joint packing serious punch with its offerings of chomp and charge, perfect for alleviating the afternoon slump.
15. Two Teaspoons
With cracking coffee and an overflowing spread of cakes and sweet things, Two Teaspoons is purely dedicated to getting you the swift and satisfying sugar fix you deserve, well worth the hike to Jindalee.
Want more of Brisbane's best cheap eats? Search 'cheap eats' in The Directory.
Image credit: Daniel Maddock