Your Ultimate Guide To Melbourne’s Japanese Cheap Eats

By Mona Chatskin - 30 Jun 2016

Purple Peanuts Japanese Cafe
Melbourne, VIC 1 Image
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Hinoki Japanese Pantry
Fitzroy, VIC 1 Image
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There’s nothing better than feeling satisfied after a meal, and knowing you didn’t have to break the piggy bank to do it. Luckily, Melbourne offers a bunch of Japanese cheap eats to keep your pockets just as full as your bellies. From sushi to ramen, there's enough great, wallet-friendly Japanese eats in this town to have you feasting for weeks. 

Here are Melbourne’s best Japanese cheap eats.



This tech savvy sushi den uses iPads to process the orders. So you don’t even need to wait for an available waiter/waitress! Offering both a variety of hot and cold eats, Shyun will provide for you all year round. All mains are under $15, so all you need to bring is a crisp $20 and you’ll have change leftover! Try their other place, Shyun Ramen, which is just a few doors down if you’re feeling soup vibes.

Purple Peanuts


If you’re matcha obsessions are getting a little too much too handle, hit up Purple Peanuts for your green tea fix. They’ve got matcha shakes and house-made green tea chocolate to subside your sugar cravings. If you’re feeling like being that little bit more unhealthy, they’ve got fried chicken and prawn burgers for your naughty fix. Vegos, there are tofu burgers on offer too!

Hinoki Japanese Pantry


If there are any particular Japanese goods you dream of (and they’re legal)…we guarantee you that Hinoki Japanese Pantry will have them. This Fitzroy gem is a Japanese supermarket, and has just about everything to help you make your own Japanese feast at home and impress your mates! But the best part? They’ve got a sushi bar! Obvs there are you traditional sushi and sashimi classics, but the chef also whips up his own creations. Unlike most places that use canned tuna, Hinoki prepares their own. Sushi is made on demand to guarantee maximum freshness. And yes, we’re frothing at the thought of it.

Mr Ramen San


For generous servings and ramen done right, Mr Ramen San is the place to be. As the age old saying goes: keep calm, eat ramen. This ramen is the original ramen from Hakata, Japan but brought straight the doorstep of our CBD. Unlike some ramen places that are a bit scarce with the meat servings, they pile it on! Even better – the noodles are made fresh daily, and if you love them as much as we do, you can get extra noodles for no extra cost! There’s also a vegetarian ramen option so our veggie friends don’t have to miss out.

Salon de Sushi

South Melbourne

Melbourne Japanese gem, Salon de Sushi opened its doors in 2013, and has fed the hungry masses of South Melbourne ever since. Their extensive range of inside-out rolls will have you satisfying any sushi craves. From classic salmon to prosciutto, they got you. But wait, there’s more! They do delivery, so you don’t even need to pause your Netflix binge to get your Japanese fix.


804 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

Tucked away on Glenferrie road, this deceptively tiny restaurant has a whole upstairs area to keep you fed and happy. Lunch sets start at just $9, and bento boxes are $13. So you’ll be full, and not contemplating about selling your kidney either. Try the inside-out spicy tuna roll to drool just that ‘lil bit more. Or, get a 50 piece sushi platter for $33 to share with your mates…or just by yourself?

Gyoza Gyoza

Various Locations

Melbourne Japanese tapas bar, Gyoza Gyoza is the perfect place to nibble on errythang and not feel totally broke after. With 80 different style plates, and each one at $6.80, you can get an assortment of Japanese goodies and indulge to your heart’s content. You can order gyoza (obvs), chicken ribs or karaage prawns with wasabi mayo….yuuuuuuum! They’ve got a matcha soft-serve machine so you can finish on a sweet note.

Don Don

198 Swanston Street, CBD

Don Don is a Melbourne classic, and totally gets the definition of cheap and yum eats. Holding true to its name, it takes don nek level. There’s 11 different donburi options to choose from, and are all under $10. Its unpretentious décor makes sure you feel comfy, so you can scoot in for a quick feed any day of the week.

Hakata Gensuke

CBD and Hawthorn

Hakata Gensuke know their ramen, and specialise in pork bone broth that simmers away for half a day until you arrive. Nicknamed the ramen professionals, they know what they’re doing when it comes to Japanese soup. If you’re feeling hot and dangerous, try the ‘God Fire’ ramen to be blown away. Their flat cut noodles are perfecto for happy slurping and will warm your bellies on any chilly winter night.

Tokyo Deli - Ramen Monk


Toyko Deli is another Japanese grocer that provides fresh sushi and a bunch of cheap, delish mains. With bento boxes that redefine generosity, they serve you up with rice, miso soup, a main of your choice, and a bunch of sides. If you’re not feeling the bento vibes, there’s plenty of don and udon dishes to tempt you. And don’t forget the sushi bar. You can snag a 65 piece sushi platter for $35, so all you can be the fav guest at any party.

Sushi Monger

7/309 Bourke Street, CBD

Yet another Japanese classic for your bento boxes. All under $10, you can grab a quick bite in your lunch break and not feel the need to work overtime. Sushi plates start at just $1! So grab your loose change and nip down here. We promise it won’t disappoint.


330 Little Lonsdale Street, CBD

For ramen and don dishes done right, check out DonToo. Pretty much everything is under $10, and it's one of our faves for cheap Japanese in Melbourne because it's done with a modern twist. From Laksa Ramen to Napoli Ramen, each broth has its own unique twist. Seems like the perfect place to shack up during the winter chill. Alsooooo... the servings are super generous. So you really get the bang for your buck.

Want more of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne? Check out Melbourne's Most Authentic Japanese Eateries here.

Image Credit: Mr Ramen San via Facebook.

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