Restaurants

50 Of The Best Cheap Eats On The Sunshine Coast

By Chevaune Hindley - 21 May 2018

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There is no worse feeling than having $12.47 in your bank account, and no edible food in your fridge, with four days until pay day. Which is why we've decided to round up 50 of the best cheap eats on the Sunshine Coast.

Now, we’re never, EVER, gonna encourage you not to eat out, because that would be weird, but let’s be real…working your way through the Sunshine Coast’s foodie hotspots is an easy way to burn a hole in your back pocket. 

Luckily, a heap of local restaurants, bars and cafes totally feel you, and have come up with a heap of ways to make your money last longer while still enjoying our buzzing foodie scene. Sound like your kinda jam? Well then, let's hit it!

  1. New to the scene and as beautiful as they come, Larder & Baked may be fresh out the box but they’re seasoned pros at bringing us healthy and nutritious food. Plus they’re super affordable! Eat in or takeaway, enjoy a poke bowl for an easy $16 or a fancy kinda roll for $12. 
  2. Circa Bakery in Cooroy make some of the most delectable french pastries you ever did lay your mouth on. But we’re not here to talk about the pastries, we’re here to talk about their perfect Neapolitana woodfired pizzas. For just an average of $22 per pizza, this is the best value on quality you’re gonna find.
  3. Ahoy. Did you hear our new fave brewery on the block is now shipping in brekkie for us hungry morning dwellers? Head to Land & Sea Brewery and fill up on a wholesome hearty breakfast for no more than $15 worth of gold shillaroos.
  4. Waterpistols Surfboards and Laguna Bowls are all surfboards and happiness. This beautiful concept store brings in a bit of extra sunshine with their healthy poke bowls and perfect All Press coffee. All at happy prices too!
  5. Raid the piggy bank and fill your Ramen cravings at this beaut of a spot. Nothing on Umami Ramen’s menu costs more than $17 and they’re appealing to the vegetarian and vegans souls amongst us too. Amen to good Ramen.
  6. We love a a bit of the baked stuff. And Ricks Artisan Bakery know how to create something extra spesh in that beautiful space of theirs. Think Angus in Béarnaise Pie with Pan Fried Mushrooms and Cheddar Cheese, Asparagus and Baby Beet Quiche, Garlic Prawn Pie, Belgian Chocolate Brownies and Portuguese Custard Tarts. Eat in or take-away and don’t spend a fortune while you do it. 
  7. Hey have you heard about movie night at Social 313? Their epic beer garden is the perfect setting for an outdoor movie, where they pull out all the stops with popcorn, pizza, drinks and bean bags. A fun and affordable night out? Count us in.
  8. Just across the road from Buderim State School, steal your kids tuck shop change and grab a quality coffee and bite from John Kyle Espresso. The fresh white space will light up your day and you’ll be carrying a little less annoying coinage in your purse.
  9. The farm to table concept is what we love most about Kandanga Kitchen. Quality for money is what keeps us going back over and over again. (Well that and the gorgeous food, view and coffee.) A bit of a drive — but a morning well spent! 
  10. Mr. Z & Co. are serving up their brilliant coffee out of the cutest little shipping container you ever did see. And don’t even get us started on their pastries. The surrounding shady courtyard and perfect kids area will keep you there all morning… and you’ll still leave with money in your purse. Perfection.
  11. Get yourself through Hump Day with Rump Night Wednesday at The Imperial Hotel. Quality steak with chips and salad for $15? We couldn’t cook it ourselves for cheaper than that! Or half as good, now that we think of it...
  12. Mr Jones and Me have a light lunch menu and it’s got your name written all over it. Try their scrumptious Steak Sandwich, Crispy Pork Belly Spring Rolls, Barramundi Arancini (I could go on…) and don’t spend more than $20. Where do we sign up?
  13. Most of us would pay good money just to sit and admire the view through the Buderim Tavern windows. As the air starts to get a bit crispier outside, warm up next to the fire and hit up their lunch menu. The food is guuud and the prices are even better,
  14. Go say hello to Nambour Social on a Friday and tuck into their all day brekky. It’s big, it’s tasty and it’s only $15. Putting the Yay into Fri-Yay. 
  15. Urban Garden in Maroochydore have a food truck schedule that you’ll wanna save in your diary. Monday Gourmet Dumplings, Tuesday Bobs Cruising Kitchen, Wednesday Good Food Fellas, Thursday One World Food and Friday Sprouted Kitchen. Gourmet food that’ll keep you trucking and still leave change to fuel up the car. (oh, and don’t forget to grab a quality coffee from Urban Garden so you don’t fall into a food coma after lunch.) 
  16. There’s something about lounging around Guru Life garden that makes you wanna say, take all my money and just leave me here with the ducks. Good thing is, they have some good cheap eats on their menu to keep you going. Don’t go past the chicken wings or shared antipasto platter for 2.  
  17. Decisions Cafe have become somewhat of a celebrity in the world of good food (and junk food) here on the Sunshine Coast. But if you’re looking for a quick, cheap bite then don’t look past their Plain Jane menu, where you get to top the likes of a crispy croissant with raspberry and apple jam for just $8. Or hit up their healthier express menu and grab a frittata for $5 or a yum quinoa or pumpkin salad for $13.90.
  18. While it may not be enough to jingle the coins at the bottom of your pocket, when it comes to value for money, Sum Yung Guys banquet menu can’t go without a mention. For $49 each, you’ll feast yourselves silly and probably won’t need to eat again until...breakfast? Seriously, it doesn’t sounds cheap but wait till you see all the food!
  19. If you haven’t been to Betty’s Burgers have you even been to Noosa? There’s a reason why you always see all those peeps lining up trying to get their grubby paws on Betty’s Burgers. Firstly because they’re freakin’ aweeesommmee. Second, they’re serious value for money. You’ll struggle to find a better burger for less than $12 on the Sunny Coast.
  20. Depending on what day of the week it is, La Canteena can be a sure bet for a cheap feed! From $3 Tacos Wednesday to a $5 menu on Sunday to a crazy .50c offer on mexican chicken wings, there’s always a tasty selection of street easts to feast on.  
  21. Starting from $7, the lunch specials at The Post Office are totes worth leaving your office for. Cheap as chips…literally! Nothin’ like a bit o’ pub grub to get you through a slow day. 
  22. We love a good steak as much as the next person, but dayummm, that sh*t is expensive. Nuh-uh, not at The Beach Bar & Grill on Tuesdays, where a big ol’ steak, stacked with chips and salad will only set you back $15.
  23. Masters of the cheap eats, Junk have a heap of options if you’re penny-pinching. Our current obsession is the pork dumplings for only $10.
  24. Do you love a bit of shucked oyster? Oooh, we do! From 5 - 6pm every Thursday Cafe Le Monde are practically giving away those slimy bits of heaven in a shell for just $1 a pop. Sounds like a good excuse to drink a bit of champers too if you ask me!?
  25. Pasta Thursdays at Sol Bar is the perfect way to warm up to the weekend! For just $20 per person, feast on a side, your choice of a hearty pasta main and wash it down with a beer, bubbles, wine or soft drink. Not bad, we say…not bad at all. 
  26. Guys! We know where you can get a three-course meal PLUS a drink for less than $50! We know you think we’re joking, but we’re not. Head to Embassy XO in Sunshine Beach on a Wednesday or Thursday night, if you don’t believe us.
  27. Saddle on in to Locale between 12pm to 6pm any day of the week and enjoy one of their famous pizzas and a glass or beer or wine for just $25. That’s just crazy talk.
  28. Weekdays are hard enough without having to cook. So we recommend you eat your feelings at Good Bar's and pop in on a Thursday for a tasty $10 burger. #sorted 
  29. Offering half price bar bites and pizzas every weekday between 3.30pm and 5.30pm, why the hell aren’t you spending every single arvo at Miss Moneypenny’s? Their After Work Wine Down sessions are the place to be. 
  30. Lunch time at Corbins is a winner every time. Tuesday through to Sunday when we get to feast on their $10 lunch menu and it’s always la,la,la lovely!
  31. Monday Night is Parmy Night at Peregian Beach Hotel. For just $16 a pop you can join the Parmy Army and enjoy a free range chicken parmy with chips and salad.  
  32. For a cheap and delicious breakfast, cruise in to Moto in Noosa and order their smashed avocado, with Kenilworth feta and zesty bacon crumb. At just $12, you’ll still be well on your way to that house deposit. 
  33. You don’t have to dine out to enjoy the Coast’s cheapest eats! Hathi’s local takeaway spesh is the perfect solution. For just $36, you’ll pick up two curries, naan, pappadums, raita and rice. The perfect accompaniment to a Netflix and chill evening, plus you might even have leftovers to take to work tomorrow. Boom!  
  34. Save those pretty pennies for a fancy lunch date with your best pals at Noosa Boathouse. While not dirt cheap, their four-course shared feast is PACKED with value—if you don’t go home feeling like you never want to eat again, you did it wrong.  
  35. Another local fave is Mooloolaba’s Your Place, chillin’ just back from the esplanade on Brisbane Road. Their cheap Tuesdays are the perfect opportunity to get your steak rations in at only $15 for a steak, chips and salad. 
  36. Every Wednesday at Machu Picchu is Winesday! Three delish courses with a glass of top notch wine for just $35. At that price it’s a shame Winesday isn’t erryday!  
  37. For a fancy lunch at not-so-fancy prices, venture into Twin Waters and seek out The Loose Goose. See what all the fuss is about with two courses for $30 and three for $35. They keep things funky fresh with specials changing daily, but all the options are top notch. 
  38. Wanna know where to find cheap eats on the Sunshine Coast on a Friday arvo? Orleans in Maroochydore are all about that Friday feeling, giving all you hard-working peeps access to selected dishes for $5 and drinks for $10 between 4.30pm and 6.30pm. Plus, they’re home to some of the best live music around.  
  39. Treat yourself to some of the finest food on the Coast with Harvest’s early bird dinner special. Only available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, order before 6pm and enjoy two courses for $40 or three for $50. You’ll even be home in time to watch Bachie! 
  40. Ribs, ribs, ribs! Alex Bar and Grill have many weeknight deals, but their Thursday rib night is a clear winner! Feeling particularly famished? Half a rack of ribs will only set you back $25, but with $10 off all other rib dishes, nobody misses out on the discount fun. 
  41. Marcoola locals look for any excuse to stop into Little Boat Espresso, and here’s another: Sunday roast night for $35. These guys change it up each week, but it’s usually some sort of delicious meat, fresh local veg, a lil’ bit of cheese and a glass of craft beer—basically, all of the good things! Word on the street is that spots always fill up, so book yourself in stat. 
  42. Zachary’s on Hastings Street are spoiling us rotten with their daily lunch specials. A $30 share platter for two never goes astray—calamari, seared prawns, smoked salmon and beer battered fish along with a garden salad and fries, it’s the perfect choice when you don’t know what to choose. 
  43. If you’re yet to head to Bordertown we recommend you do it from 3pm-5pm any day of the week so that you can try all the things! Fill up on their $5 snacks like their taco of the day, wings, empanada and fries, or you could also try their $20 lunch special where you get a burger, fries and alcoholic bevvy. 
  44. Burgers are life, and the kind folks at Dirty Moes think so, too! So they’re dishing up $16 burgers and fries, on Thursday nights. There’s five #fatfeeds to choose from, including a veggie option, but we can’t get past the Dorrito-crumbed chicken in a bun.
  45. Project Espresso have made it their mission to make Wednesdays the official Day Of The Jaffle. We can’t help but love the idea, and so to celebrate we suggest downing a couple of golden jaffles at this Maroochydore haunt. They’re cheap and oh-so-tasty!
  46. Put on your stretchy pants and enter poke bowl heaven at Raw + Rice. There’s a few options choose from, but we’d start with the poached chicken and go from there! And the price? Usually most meals can go for under for 15 big ones. 
  47. Made Sandwiches might not be the cheapest sangas on the Sunshine Coast, but they’ll touch every side of your stomach and then some, for around $13. Need help deciding? The Foul Mouthed Mexican with chicken, flame-grilled chorizo, and chipotle free-range mayo is drool-worthy!
  48. We’re all about Mussel Mondays at Padstows. Put down $25 and you’ll be picking up a delish plate of mussels (three flavours to choose from), chips and a glass of wine to wash it all down. Sounds kinda perfect. 
  49. Find the magic number at Paradise Arcade. Choose from 7 flavours of their heavenly tacos at only $7 each. Then wash it down with a pecker of their Paradise Palms $7 lager. Then order yourself 7 cocktails. Done.
  50. Not interested in anything we’ve said? Get your butt over to Marcoola Market or Timari Village Marketplace on a Friday night and get fed for next to nada. 

Now that you've hit up all those amazing cheap eats on the Sunshine Coast, what about some free exercise on the Sunshine Coast. We've rounded up the best hikes on the Sunshine Coast here. We've also rounded up the best running tracks on the Sunshine Coast here. We've also rounded up the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast here

Image credit: Amy Higg for The Urban List 

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