14 of Fitzroy’s Best Cheap Eats

By Ella Stening
4th Dec 2013

Fitzroy. Oh, how I love you. Home of the broke student and an unbearably cool art scene, which sadly cross over in the Venn diagram of life more often than not. Thankfully, the suburb accommodates for those of us who are far too used to seeing those baby moths fly out of our purses, and 3065 is littered with fantastic places to dine, drink and dabble in debauchery for under $10. This is the fifth installment of our cheap eats series, so forget breaking a pineapple, you'll only need your shrapnel for a meal with this guide in hand.

Lunch Boxes for $10 (plus 95 cents)

I refuse to believe you are an Australian if you don't dig a bit of battered fish and some chips to munch on at the beach, in the park, or even by yourself at your desk (note you do get tartare on the keyboard). Endorsing this ethos is Hooked, Fitzroy's fancy fish and chippery. For under $11, you can grab yourself a piece of grilled (or battered) fish or calamari, served with hand cut chips, brown rice and bok choy, or a salad.

Same goes for the fish burger which is a panko-crumbed slab of deliciousness slathered in tartare and sweet chilli, accompanied with cucumber, spanish onion and lettuce leaves, garnished with sweet potato curls – bang for your buck if we ever saw it.

Hooked | 384 Brunswick Street in Ftizroy

Most Souvas under $10

Souvlaki is meant for '3am sober up before I accidentally go home with someone I shouldn't' time. Wrong. Souvlaki is meant for nightly deliciousness, provided you're getting it courtesy of Jimmy Grants. Souvys got fancy here, with a prawn wrap and a duck wrap on the cards, but we reckon you wrap you pie hole around a Mr Papadopoulous – lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onion and parsley, or a Homer – felafel, greek yoghurt and hellenic slaw – both under $10. The chips come with feta on them, there are also salads on offer for around $8 each, as well as a homemade wagon wheel you will not be able to pass up once you see it travel past. It gets hella busy as it is one of George Calombaris' joints, so come early and snag a corner spot.

Jimmy Grants | 113 St David's Lane in Fitzroy

Po' Boys for under $10

Po' Boy Quarter is the permanent Fitzroy residence of popular food truck, Gumbo Kitchen, and may they forever remain. No longer do you have to try your luck with the truck's revolving menu because all your favourites are on the menu here, plus more – from the fried green tomatoes to fresh oysters and the famous Po' Boy itself – deep-fried shrimp doused with mayo and garnished with lettuce, all dished up in a soft white roll. Nestled in a cute tiled fitout, munch your cheap lunch away with a fizzy pop soda.

Po' Boy Quarter | 295 Smith Street in Fitzroy

Pizzas for $10

Not exactly a spot that's teeming with restaurants, escape the hustle and bustle of Brunswick Street with Casa Farro, an Argentinian grill that does special $10 wood fired pizza nights. With over 15 different toppings to choose from, this warm space boasts friendly staff, big communal tables and a vibe that'll have you thinking you've been invited to your lovely neighbours for dinner. There's also cheap beer – win.

Casa Farro | 161 Nicholson Street in Fitzroy

Tacos at La Condesa. Image Credit: Facebook.

All tacos under $10

We've been giving La Condesa a bit of air time lately, but that doesn't make it any less awesome! Their little wooden shed dishes out a number of different types of taco - from the spicy chorizo, to the veggie-loving zucchini. Wash it all down with an agua frescas and reach for the stars in their fairy lit courtyard.

La Condesa | 234 Johnston Street in Fitzroy

Pizzas for $4!

Enter the rundown majesty that is Bimbos, flipping you the cheapest pizzas in Melbourne every day of the week. This is a serious student hangout, with sink-into-me chairs, dim lighting and a massive upstairs courtyard, all accompanied by wicked tunes. There are over 20 different toppings of $4 pizza to choose from, just make sure you come at the right time, as pizzas are full price otherwise.

Bimbos | 376 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy

Pintxos at Satan are $2 each
Lunch menu at Naked in the Sky is $9

Downstairs at Naked you've got pintxos – little slabs of sourdough topped with anything from anchovies, to roast chicken and pesto, and eggplant drizzled in cheese and honey. For only 2 dollars a pop, you'll be full as a googy egg after you chow down on the seemingly endless supply of pintxos.

Upstairs, if you come during lunch, everything on the menu is NINE dollars. I repeat, NINE dollars. So, hello entire baked snapper with lemon and herbs, or melt in your mouth beef cheek – all for an eighth of the original price. Crazy.

Naked for Satan & Naked in the Sky | 285 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy

Jugs for $10

Okay, so there's no food per say at The Evelyn, but if you've already noshed at one of the various places we've already chatted about, then you may find you need some quenching. The Evelyn is the place to do so. With street side seating, a massive pool table and a long list of beers, The Evelyn supports the student population with $10 jugs on Mondays and Tuesdays. Woo. Come sports fans for the big screen, or come music listeners as there are always some sweet live acts.

The Evelyn | 351 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy

Hot & Sour Pho for $10

Now, I am at Viet Rose at least twice a week, parting waves on what I think is the greatest pho in town. Viet is your typical Asian restaurant, a little bit dingy, but the staff totally make up for it with their honesty and smiles. For 10 bucks, you get a giant bowl of the good stuff with your choice of hot and sour or laksa soup, with rice or egg noodles. There are also massive bowls of rice vermicelli with salad and sliced meats if you don't feel like soup, all for a tenna. Make sure you grab a dollar's worth of prawn crackers that'll last 'til next century.

Viet Rose | 363 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy

Breakfast Roll for $10

What could possibly trump the combination of egg, bacon, relish and a dreamy white baguette? Nothing. Nothing in the world, I tell you. Martha Ray's realised the genius that is this breakfast time treat as one that could be loved upon hungover, in a rush, or just plainly and simply in your hot little hands, perfectly sober and on time.

Martha Ray's | 85 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy

Build your own Burger for $10

Although most people associate this Brunswick Street icon with the sweat-tacular 90's night they host every Friday, come a little bit earlier for their Build your Own Burger, and you could have a wagyu beef pattie in your gob with your favourite toppings for only ten bucks. If a cheap burger isn't enough, they've got a sweet courtyard for beer drinking some of the cheapest pints  in town, as well as free champagne ("champagne") on ladies night if you get there before they run out.

Perseverance | 196 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy

Hooked Burger. Image Credit: Facebook.

Pies and sausage rolls for $6-$8
Almond Croissant for $6

Everyone will tell you to hit up the cutest little bakery on the north-side for a crumbly pastry pie, or a homemade sausage roll, which are both totally fine in my eyes. But the real reason you should go here is to grab an almond croissant, the most divine vehicle of deliciousness that you will ever place in your mouth. Flaky, sweet brilliance.

Babka | 358 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy

Takeaway salads for under $10

Arcadia is one of those cafes that you feel like you'd like to own one day. Light and airy, chilled out and always pushing a high turnover, Arcadia excels at their all-day breakfast menu, but come lunch, the daily selection of salads will have you drooling. They pump them full of the freshest grains, leaves and ingredients, and you'll never see those flavour combos repeated anywhere else. Grab a scrumptious Campos Coffee while you wait.

Arcadia | 193 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy

Two arepas for $8.50

I had never had an arepa until I visited the buzzy, eclectic happiness haunt that is Sonido. With staff that'll make you want to take a course at VCA, a space decked out with Cuban knick knacks and peely-paint blue walls, and open windows that have you instantly transported to the coolest place in the Southern Hemisphere, this is a place to call your local. As for cheap fodder, you can grab dos arepas for under ten bucks, with their doughy pockets of warm slow cooked meats delighting any patron. A Sonido specialty!

Sonido | 69 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy

Love cheap eats in Melbourne? Check out Melbourne's 25 Top Breakfast Cheap Eats and our 11 Best Healthy Lunch Cheap Eats.

TUL Note: Ella Stening is a freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia. She can be found compensating for her addiction to eating out and drinking lots of wine by writing about it all over the web. Or with her cat, Louis.

Main Image Credit: The Hairpin

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