20 More Cheap Eats Under $20

By Siobhan Taylor
17th Jan 2017

best cheap eats Brisbane

When it comes to food, I have champagne taste but a beer budget, and my measly dollars don’t get me very far if I insist on ordering wine with every meal and having sashimi for dinner three times a week.

Between work, uni, and my meagre social life there isn't a lot time for home cooking (my ridiculous collection of cookbooks haven’t taught me anything – sorry, Nigella). But, as humans do, I have adapted. Adapted to my urban surroundings and ferreted out Brisbane’s best cheap eats that will satisfy even the most discerning foodie, with the added bonus of costing no more than a slick red note.

Here's 20 cheaps eats in Brisbane under $20. Tuck in.

  1. All the ramen offerings at Hai Hai qualify for this list, but the vegetarian kelp and shitake broth with thick noodles, tofu, hanjuku egg, nori, and seasonal vegetables is a stand out (for just $16).
  2. If you’re after something truly unique, at Harajuku Gyoza you can enjoy lemongrass chicken gyoza and the viral-sensation matcha raindrop cake for less than $15.
  3. If the idea of small portions gives you actual anxiety hit up Govinda’s all-you-can-eat feast, which includes your heart’s content of rice, vegetable curry, dahl, vegetable koftas, tomato and herb chutney, pappadams, garden salad, and semolina pudding for just $12. 
  4. At Motto Motto you can feast on the chicken karage brioche roll with sweet chilli dressing, crispy green salad, onion, tomato, and pickled cucumber with a side of edamame beans for $15. 
  5. Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers’s gnocchi with slow-cooked Bolognese is the ultimate bowl of Italian comfort, and at just $13 a serve you can totally spring for extra parmesan and mopping bread.

  6. Already a Brisbane favourite, Melt Brothers does thier M.C Cheesy toastie—mac n cheese stuffed toastie with maple bacon, chipotle mayo and cheddar—for a measly $11.50.
  7. The palak panir at Paddington Curry House is just $14.90 for some of the tastiest, most filling curry in town. 

  8. A Cuban or a Reuben sandwich from Fat Angel Sports Bar is $15 on any ordinary day, and $10 each if you swing by on a Wednesday. 

  9. If you haven’t tried the marinated pork bibimbap bowl from Maru Korean BBQ, I urge you to—less than $16. We're not making these numbers up, promise!
  10. A yiros from Stavros with either chicken, beef or lamb goes for just $18, and comes with onions, tomatoes, fried potato and aioli on traditional Greek pita. 

  11. Brand new Fat Belly Jack’s will lay you flat with some Nashville-style chicken tenders, complete with bread, pickles, and your choice of side for just $17. 

  12. A bowl of delicious and authentic beef pho from Quan Thanh will set you back just $12.90. 

  13. Every single wrap at Wrapture comes well under budget and leaves plenty of room of a drink or a side of fries. 

  14. Heart Thai Food in Milton do some of the city’s best noodle dishes including pad thai, pad see ew and pineapple fried rice, each in mountainous servings and never more than $18.50, a bargain when you consider you many meals you’ll get out of the leftovers. 

  15. A burger from Ben’s Burgers goes for just $12 which leaves you with plenty of shrapnel to splash out on a side of fries or a milkshake. 

  16. A kingfish poké bowl from Cheeky Poké is a bounteaous serving of black rice, bok choy, orange, beetroot, coconut and lime sauce, toasted coconut, 64 degree egg, nori, sesame and togarashi for $19.90. 

  17. The posh fish finger sandwich from Banter Bar & Seafood features crumbed cod, field greens and tartare sauce and goes for $16 so you can chuck in a couple of potato scallops without breaking budget. 

  18. The lunch specials at Bird’s Nest Yakitori are filling, delicious, and just $12 with unlimited rice and miso soup. Chuck a house wine or an Asahi on top and it’s $20 clean and one of the best lunches of your life. 

  19. Jessie’s Girl lasagne on Thursday nights for $15. Includes vegetarian and vegan options. 

  20. West End’s AJO’ Dimonius is a syndicate of talented Sardinian’s pizza makers turning out some of the most authentic pizzas in the city. You can get your hands on one of their red-based pizzas for less than $20. 


Check out our fave Brisbane restaurants in The Directory.

Image credit: Ariana Gillrie

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