There are lots of reasons to love Perth, but one of the main reasons has got to be the plethora of good food on offer that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Yeah, it’s nice to splurge every so often, and everyone goes on about Perth being expensive; but the locals know how to hunt out the good stuff on a budget.
This one’s for the penny pinchers, the cheapskates, the scrimpers and savers—heck, it’s even for the filthy rich who just like a good feed. Warning: there’s a lot of pizza, pasta, and Chinese cuisine ahead. Here are Perth’s best cheap eats.
There’s a lot of cheap and delicious food in the Old Shanghai markets in both Northbridge and Freo, but Tiger Bao holds a special place in our hearts for being just that extra bit tasty (and just that extra bit cool). Grab a plate full of high quality handmade pork and chicken bao, sweet potato fries or even a steamed cheeseburger if you’re into it, sling ‘em a twenty and dig in. The cheap beers from the Old Shanghai bar top it off.
Old Lane Street Eats
While it might be a bit quieter than some of the other bustling Chinese restaurants in Northbridge, the food at Old Lane Street Eats is as delicious as it is cheap and copious. Do not miss out on the Roti John, which consists of sloppy (in a good way) minced beef, egg, onion and Sriracha in a bun. Another favourite is the tasty Pad Thai which comes out encased in an omelette—you’ve got to try it for yourself. And yes, it’s BYO!
Toastface Grillah & Lil’ Toastface
Perth and Northbridge
Definitely one of the only places left in Perth where you can get lunch with a tenner, Toastface Grillah has been doing damn delicious, ultra-cheesy toasties for a while now. Triple cheese for $7, Brie & Jam for $8 or the Danny Zuccho’s (brie, zucchini and prosciutto) for $9. Their little brother restaurant, Lil’ Toastface, serves up just as much goodness albeit from a slightly shorter menu. Still nothing over $10. Don’t mind if we do.
New on the block and straight to the top of our list of places to go when broke (and any other time) is IPPUDO, a classic ramen joint hailing from Fukuoka back in 1985. For just $15 you can be slurping on some world famous noodle soup, but don’t blame us if you accidently ending up spending more on their yam fries and seared salmon sushi (whoops).
Grand Lane Fish House
You might think you’ve found Perth’s best tacos, but you have tried the ones at Grand Lane Fish House? Hands down the best lunch option in the city, Grand Lane Fish House is tucked down the lane near Toastface Grillah and dishes out lovingly made fish and chips, fisherman’s boxes and the all-important fish tacos. These tacos are a (very) decent size, the fish inside is fresh and chunky, and you get 2 for $8.50. Insane! The owner is a passionate Brit, and he’s bringing a taste of the UK to the CBD lunch crowd, so you can get goodies like HP sauce on your chips.
North Street Store
If you’re not into daylight robbery, North Street Store was invented for you. Not only are their daily home-style lunch and dinner inventions seriously delicious, they are also extremely budget-able. For around $20 you can take home a feast for two, or even dine in and enjoy the buzzing suburban atmosphere.
Leederville, Nedlands and Cannington
When you need to fill up on a quick and cheap pasta meal that doesn’t compromise on quality, Tommy Sugo is your go to. From spaghetti and linguini to beef ravioli to gnocchi, you can get a serve of your fave starting from just $10. Add your sauce (the Tommy’s Sugo classic is hard to go past, but then again so are the meatballs…) and you’re good to go.
Pinchos Bar De Tapas
If you’re looking for somewhere a bit more upmarket that still won’t break the bank, Pinchos Bar De Tapas should be your first point of call. It’s got that lazy afternoon graze feel to it; grab a wine and some charcuterie before moving into the meatballs and patatas bravas. You’ll be stunned when you pick up the bill and it’s half the price of what you thought it would be!
Neighborhood Pizza is so cool, it’s the kind of place you actually want to spend your money; but with giant pizzas starting from a very kind $17, you’ll barely have to. The cherry on top is that this place is BYO, bringing that total down by the sip.
Piggy Food Co.
Stop everything (including saving—your riches aren’t needed here). Piggy Food Co. is dishing out some of Perth’s most delicious burgers, tacos, chippies and snacks and they are doing it for a very generous price. Go the Fishwich and Grilled Corn for a finger-licking good meal that’ll only set you back a twenty, or just go for the chicken wings and a beer. Warning: things may add up once you add the obligatory ice cream sandwich. May we suggest splitting this fine dessert with a mate?
Nasi Lemak Corner
For authentic Malaysian food at (almost) Malaysian prices, head to Nasi Lemak Korner in either Como or Mosman Park. At both, you’ll find authentic favourites dished up with a contemporary twist. The menu features a selection of traditional Nasi Lemak, plus other favourites like satay, mee goreng and rendang. The house sambal will knock your socks off and they’ll happily load you up with more for free if you’re really trying to spread your cash thin.
Authentic Bites Dumpling House
Nowhere has cheap ever tasted so good. Authentic Bites Dumpling House has a line out the door almost every night for a reason, and it’s not just the sub-twenty-dollar menu. Get dumplings of literally any kind here, and wash them down with one of their delicious noodle soups (probably one with dumplings in it, because dumplings).
Filos & Yiros
It’s hard to imagine a better cheap and satisfying meal than that which you can get at Filos & Yiros. Just thinking about their yiros makes our mouths water; that succulent lamb, bathed in tzatziki and loaded with chips, thick cut tomato and onion on board to keep things zingy. It’s melt in your mouth, drizzle down your fingers delicious and it’s only 11 bucks. You’re welcome.
Francoforte Spaghetti Bar
We aren’t sure which is more pleasing: the taste of Francoforte's Porco Rosso, or its $17 price tag. The number one choice for those wanting to wine and dine friends or family without the price tag, Francoforte is a fun, intimate, casual little eatery offering up homely pasta just like Nonna makes. The best part? It’s BYO!
Just down the lane from Francoforte, Is Donburi is your go to cheap Japanese joint and is a serious fave among Northbridge locals. All of their sushi rolls are fresh and delicious (and under $20!) and their meals are just as pleasing on both fronts: a very serviceable katsu don will only set you back $14. Drool.
It seems it’s pizza for the win when it comes to cheap eats in Perth, and we’re not complaining about it. The uber cool Monstarella's blistered bases and cheesy carbonara are a very welcome addition to the Perth cheap eats scene, as is their BYO policy. It’s the kind of place you can kick back at from 5pm in the lowering sun, eat and drink ‘til your heart’s content, and not end up feeling the pinch of it at the end of the evening. Don’t mind if we do.
Run Amok Hotdogs
You might not expect high quality, locally made bratwurst snags in gourmet bread with all of the delicious garnishes to cost you less than a tenner (or maybe you would), but at Run Amok Hotdogs, that’s very much the case. There’s some pretty crazy inventions at this BYO joint, which makes for a fun night out that won’t strain the finances.
Perth and Fremantle
No matter what anyone says, Taka is absolutely never going out of vogue. It’s always been a solid cheap eat favourite, and if they keep pumping out their extremely serviceable sushi and rice based dishes at an almost unbelievable pace and price, it always will be.
This place is one of the busiest restaurants in Perth, and upon scanning the menu it is not hard to see why. Aside from the delicious noodle soups, vermicelli, rice and meat dishes at Viet Hoa being some of William Street’s best, the prices are almost jaw-droppingly low. Grab your friends, some BYO drinks, and make a night of it!
For your lunchtime sushi fix, head straight to Nippon where the family recipes have been perfected over their 20-year history. Their lunch stock sells out quick, so you better run to get in line. The rest of the menu is delicious too, though, and you can grab a teriyaki or rich and katsu dish with change for a tenner. That’s value.
We love a good cheap and cheerful Asian joint as much as the next person, but it’s rare that they come as good as Phi Yen. This place is bringing you authentic Vietnamese flavours for a price that will put a smile on your dial quicker than their cendol.
My House Dumpling
Contained in the Wembley Food Court which, if you don’t already know, is a delicious hot spot for international flavours on the cheap, My House Dumpling is dishing out some Taiwanese style dumplings that could be Perth’s best. Try the hot and sour dumplings!
Short Order Burger Co
Fremantle and Perth
We warned you that this list wasn’t going to be full of the healthiest options; but you can put a hold on the healthy eating when the burgers are this good. Short Order Burger Co. is dishing out some of Perth’s juiciest burgers, and they don’t hit the pocket anywhere near as heavily as they hit the thighs.
Govinda’s Hare Krishna
Backing it up with something that’s actually nutritious, $10 will buy you no holds barred access to a delightful smorgasbord of vegetarian Indian food at Govinda’s Hare Krishna. There’s no reason not to love this place!
Mack Daddy’s New York Slice
There’s a lot of pizza to be enjoyed in Perth, but few that really layer on the cheese and turn up the grease factor in true New York style. Mack Daddy’s is holding it down at the southern end of Beaufort Street; you can grab an enormous pizza that’ll easily feed two for as little as $22!
Yep, it’s more pizza—but can you blame us? Rossonero Pizzeria is far too fun, delicious, and kind to the pocket not to be included. A classic neighbourhood pizza joint situated in Maylands, Rossonero’s huge pizzas come with delightfully small price tags, and it’s BYO to boot.
Good Fortune Roast Duck House
Look, if you go the full shebang it’s true that your bill at this place can add up. But stick to the essentials and we promise—Good Fortune Roast Duck House will serve you up the cheap meal of your life. We’re talking one whole roast duck (split between two, that’s just $23) with rice, or if you’re really skint, the large roast pork is just as tasty. Otherwise, head in at lunchtime to take advantage of the incredibly good $6 special.
And if you want more, here are the best free things to do in Perth.
Piggy Food Co | Image credit: Elle Borgward