We here at The Urban List understand that 90% of your pay is going towards rent, and that space you call a kitchen has had about enough of your packet Mi Goreng. Fear not, we’ve scouted the best new cheap eats in Sydney where you can dine like kings with pockets like peasants.
Surpassing the surge of celebrity emojis in 2016 are deep-fried chicken restaurants in Sydney, and Juicy Lucy brings more fire to the game than Kim K’s peach butt. Do not be thrown by their MS Paint logo and neon sign. Their chicken burgers are the perfect amount of crispy and hold more moisture than a #sydneystorm.
No fuss Japanese food at an exceptional price. Their gyozas, curries, and sushi bowls will feed you every day of the week on a budget to make grown men cry. They recently moved premises and are now located on Flinders Street, or just follow the sounds of grown crying men for amazing chicken teriyaki.
Alex Lee Kitchen
If you have not yet visited this hidden alleyway in the backstreets of Chippendale, why have you not been wandering down more hidden alleyways in general? Alex Lee brings his Singaporean flavour to Spice Alley—a world of Asian street food minus the plane ticket. Most dishes are under a tenner so you can afford to wave your credit card around like Salim Mehajer during his wedding planning. But seriously, bring your card cos Spice Alley is cashless.
Sonoma breathes coffee and bread like you wish Sydney could breathe free parking and cheap rent. Their pastries and mueslis are fresh and more wholesome than Monday morning yoga classes. An almond croissant and short black to go. Nama-friggin-stae.
It’s Vietnamese food from the Nguyen family you wish you knew growing up. Fresh, fragrant, and affordable with zero the arrogance. The crispy pancake with pork and prawn are a must. You’ll be back before you know it, with an unhealthy addiction to the Vietnamese iced coffee.
Smoking Gun Bagels
Remember when you watched The OC, and every time the Cohens had a bagel you instantly craved one too? Smoking Gun Bagels in Woolloomooloo has enough fresh bagels to fulfil your Sandy Cohen needs, eyebrows and all. With a unique Montreal twist, these beauties are individually hand-rolled, boiled in honey-sweetened water, and baked in a wood-fire oven.
Char Char Food Truck
Finally, the savoury answer to the Mr. Whippy van we’ve all been looking for. Their ribs, burgers, chips, and shakes will have you chasing wheels like that kid chasing ice cream trucks. Keep an eye on Char Char’s social pages to find out where they’ll pop up next.
Zeus Street Greek
Socrates would be spitting verses for days at the taste of the pitas. Zeus Street Greek will have you doing Zorba’s dance all along Gerrale Street. You know you want to bathe in the beetroot hummus like the deity you wish to be. Mighty fine Greek food with Instagram aesthetics.
The fight for the best Vietnamese pork roll is an ongoing battle. Contenders join the war, and few make it out alive. Destination Roll in Mascot is a fighter. Their crunchy baguettes with choice fragrant fillings keep them in the race. Throw in a drink for less than a tenner and you’ll be laughing at your enemies for weeks.
Little did young Jimmy know that when he grew up, his restaurant would be a destination where many will flock, and his name forever written in the stars at The Urban List. Prepare to fend off the lunch time crowd, and definitely reach for the Char Koay Teow—flat rice noodles with prawns, fish cakes, and Chinese sausage.
Broke every day of the week? Here's where you can eat.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso at Alex Lee Kitchen