Cheap lunches are hard to find these days (but oh so satisfying when you do), so here’s your guide to navigating the Surry Hills food scene when you’re on the hunt for a cheap but tasty lunch.
You can never go wrong with a cheeky pub meal and the Shakespeare Hotel knows how to do it right! Take your pick from hearty $12.50 mains, including the chicken schnitzel, nachos, steak or grilled barramundi that's sure to curb your midday cravings. There are also some nourishing salads on the menu. Our picks are the poached chicken salad or the Mediterranean lamb, both delicious! The bistro is also open all day for those who prefer a late lunch.
Orto Trading Co.
Orto is the perfect place for a light and healthy lunch – whether you’re after a sandwich or something a bit different (the cauliflower fritters are amazing!) there are plenty of options around the $15 mark that are sure to please. Some of our favourites include the bacon and egg roll, Orto's muesli or their rotating menu of signature sangas. Dig in!
Think Pizza Hut for adults (but with class!) – Pizza Autentico’s is communal eating at its best. Available from midday Tuesday till Friday, the lunch special downstaris includes one-hour of unlimited dining, where food is brought round by waitstaff yum-cha style for a tiny $15 per person. There's proscuitto pizza, spicy sausage rigatoni, eggplant and ricotta orecchiette and loads more to keep you satisfied. Got a big group? Pizza Autentico has a large space upstairs which is perfect for a team lunch or celebration. Makes for a fun yet super cheap lunch!
Sushi is an obvious option when it comes to cheap lunch deals, but good sushi can be hard to find. That’s where Zushi comes in, with a huge menu that offers delicious teriyaki, tempura and sashimi, a tempting range of inside-out rolls, maki rolls, and nigiri. Grab-and-go packs start from $5 a pop, while the super satisfying bento boxes range from $15 - that’s lunch sorted!
The Sandwich Shop
Sandwiches are a classic lunchtime option but look no further than The Sandwich Shop for a well priced lunch on the go. From a simple $8 BLT or the ultimate salad sandwich for $9 to the Philly cheese steak sandwich with many more options available, all your bases are covered with this little mecca of all things sandwich.
A lunch that’s good on the wallet and the tastebuds is a wonderful thing in our books and Chur Burger’s tasty and simple $10 burger menu (the pulled pork with fennel mayo is our fave!) ticks all the boxes.
A new addition to Surry Hills, Aboutlife has so many options with the well-stocked salad bar and DIY pizza bar, both of which are perfect for those who just want an affordable grab-and-go lunch.
O Organic Produce Café
O Organic Produce Café is famous for its delicousness, with a huge menu that caters for all, whether you’re eating in or just grabbing something on the go -there’s something for everyone. The rice paper rolls are up there as some of the best in Sydney, but they sell out fast so get in quick.
Bourke Street Bakery
One of the best cheap eats in Sydney, Bourke Street Bakery’s selection of easy lunch options make for the perfect feed on the go. For under $10 you can grab a mini pizza, a bacon Gruyere and leek quiche or one of the amazing sandwiches - our favourite is the slow roasted lamb, roast eggplant and tomato relish.
If you’re after a healthy but not overly leafy lunch then The Foundry café’s delicious salads are the way to go. Pick and mix from the daily options made from seasonal fruit and veg, so whether it’s a bit of roasted beetroot with a orecchiette pasta and zucchini salad – they are a deliciously simple yet healthy approach to lunch time.
We love a delicious and cheap eat in Sydney and Lucky Pickle is just that. Hidden in a little back street off Crown Street, this hole in the wall shop serves some of the best rolls in town. Think crispy chicken katsu, a modern take on the banh mi and a damn fine beef brisket roll. Make it an early lunch though, the more popular flavours sell out by 1pm.
Image credit: Tanya Lee