Cheap food is the best. Especially when it’s actually delicious (read: not a sad, soggy schnitzel with gravy that has a skin forming on top), and makes you scream ‘OHHH YAAASSS’ like the basic bitch you wish you weren’t but definitely are.
And because I understand you like to save cash for important things like Netflix subscriptions and a new pair of Nikes, here is a list of the best cheap eats at some of the best cafes, restaurants, and pubs in Sydney, erry day. Because hustling is a job, and we are damn professionals here at The Urban List.
Go forth and be tightasses, guys, you have my permission.
$12 Lunches at The Balmain Hotel
Fact: Mondays were put on this earth to teach us tolerance; because there is very little fun involved in them. The memories of your weekend past are lingering in the air like a fart on an airplane, and the week ahead seems oh so daunting. Worry not, my little hungry caterpillar, you will be rewarded with some tasty cheap eats in the form of $12 lunch specials at The Balmain Hotel. Park your fine behind in their beer garden and choose from the daily specials list. Then send me a carrier pigeon that coos ‘Gee thanks!’
$10 Margarita Mondays at El Topo Mexican
Before you get all technical on me, yes, tequila is a food group. And no, I won’t be swayed on that one. Lime is a serving of fruit, mmkay? One of Sydney’s best Mexican joints, El Topo in Bondi Junction, make it their business to supply punters with $10 Margaritas on Mondays, so you can drink the weekend back if you so desire. The full food menu is reasonably priced too, so grab some delicious charred corn as a snack for only $5.
$3 Taco Tuesdays at The Norfolk
Tuesdays, amirite? Monday is gone, Wednesday hasn’t even happened yet, and it’s definitely too early to get excited about the end of the week. Obviously, the earthly creator of the delicious treats we call tacos knew there would be a day of the week dedicated to them, because why else would it begin with a T? There are five mouth-watering taco choices for you, including the asado beef, which might confuse you on a sexual level, but you won’t care because it was $3. The Jalapeno popper taco is a top option for our vegetarian friends.
Five Buck Feeds at The Cotton Thief
When a bar has a slight convict theme, you just know they are in the business of giving things out for a steal (geddit?). Cremorne small bar, The Cotton Thief, has taken on the noble tradition of $5 buck feeds every Tuesday at lunch and dinner. It’s different each week, but they’ve had a stellar line up in the past, including beef hot dogs or Vietnamese pork rice paper rolls. The people have spoken, and the people like cheap eats in Sydney that don’t suck.
$1 Oysters at The Morrison
Who said cheap eats had to be casual food? Not us, and certainly not The Morrison. Every Wednesday between 6pm-7pm, oysters are just $1 each at the bar. They won’t be those tiny, sharp tasting ones, either. We’re talking impossibly tasty, freshly shucked oysters that won’t set you back half your rent. If you’re sting hungry after oyster hour, stick around for dinner. Deeee-friggin-lish.
Love Thy Neighbour | Two-For-One Meals At The Animal Newtown
Do you love your friends? Really? Well, why don’t you marry them? Unless I just brought up some seriously repressed feelings, I’m going to need to make up for that trainwreck of a joke. And I will. Located in The Newtown Hotel, The Animal offers a handy special with two-for-one main meals every Wednesday. What says “I don’t want you to touch other people” like sharing a spinach, ricotta and feta pie and some suckling lamb? Nothing. But seriously, if you want to share your feelings with your mate, there’s no better place to do it than this Newtown pub. Especially if you want to make hump day a real thing. I’ll just see myself out…
Mussel Night at Ms Miller
Do you even lift [mussels into your mouth]? If not, hop down to Cammeray’s Ms Miller, the home of mussel Thursdays. Even if you do, this is an excellent spot to get stuck into these moreish shells of love. Want to keep your date nights frugal? Look no further than this joint, where a sultry, steamy pot of mussels, a drink, some heavenly patatas bravas and a side of crusty bread will only cost you $25 per head. Go forth and eat, my shellfish loving friend, you have earned this.
$12 Burgers at The Oxford Tavern, Petersham
*Cue Oprah voice* Who wants a burger? You get a burger! You get a burger! Everyone gets a burger! If you pay for it, that is. It’s not like they’re cars, geez. But seriously, four of the most delectable burgers you’ll ever meet are just $12 at The Oxford Tavern in Petersham from 6pm-10pm every Sunday. I like the west coast double dawg (because I like anything double), but the fried chicken burger is supposedly a winner (not unlike the chicken dinner it is). These guys also offer $12 lunches every day, including something called a health attack salad, for the greenies among us.
$10 1kg Korean Fried Chicken at The Forresters
Yup, a whoooolllee kilo of crispy, crunchy, moreish Korean fried chicken for just $10 dollarydoos. Now that’s a bargain if I’ve ever come across one. Park your behind in Surry Hills pub The Forresters and take in the quirky atmosphere while getting all kinds of greasy with a big ol’ bucket of the best thing in the world: friiied chicken. You can also partake in a $10 cocktail from a selection of classics from 6pm-8pm on Fridays, because all that chicken will have you building up a thirst.
$20 All-You-Can-Eat Pizza At Pizza Autentico
This is not a drill, guys, I wouldn’t even joke about such a delicate topic. Because they’re general legends and just want everyone to have a good time, the guys at Pizza Autentico offer all-you-can eat pizza for $20. You’ll have an hour to stuff yourself senseless. Still hungry? Oh yeah. $29 will score you two-and-a-half hours of endless pizza, pasta, and sides. This is the place where dreams come true, and I know because it happened to me.
Prix Fixe Menu at Felix
Ooh la la! Nothing is more exciting than daylight dining at Felix, and feeling like you’re truly on the streets of Paris (but really in Sydney’s CBD). Our friends at Merivale never want you to miss out, so they’re offering two courses ($50) or three courses ($60) from a specially curated menu between 5:30pm – 6:30pm every day. You can book for up to eight people, so feel free to order three of the twice-baked Gruyere soufflé. Sure, you’re going to have to eat at Nana time, but who can argue with a discounted meal at one of the best French restaurants in Sydney? No one I want to associate with, that’s for damn sure.
$12.50 Mains at The Shakespeare Hotel
Is this a schnitty I see before me? Sure is. Home of the $12.50 feed, Surry Hills pub The Shakespeare Hotel are the kings of keeping you satisfied all year round, and won’t have you asking ‘where for art thou dollar billz?’ when you get a nice chunk of change back after you order your crispy beer battered dish and chips or spicy vegetarian nachos. To be, or not to be hungry? I choose not. And maybe a $4 glass of red during their Happy Hour (4-6pm weekdays).
The Secret Burger at Neighbourhood, Bondi
Don’t panic, there won’t be any pig uteruses or bull testicles in these guys (Ahem, El Loco…), but there will be a delicious rotation of burgers that you will immediately want, nay, need to have inside you. The legends at this Bondi bar and eatery change up their burger offering every week, so it’s always fresh to death and ‘grammable as ever. Wash it down with one of their famous cocktails for a Sunday that makes you forget your alarm is going off in the morning.
Kids Eat Free at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
All hail the kids meal! The humble, small serving that keeps your ankle biters happy for a few minutes while they cover themselves with ketchup, and then you pretend to point at something while stealing their chips. Classic. You can get the kids eat free meal from 5pm-7pm every Sunday when you purchase any main meal. The picturesque pub also put on hermit crab racing at 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm every Sunday, which the kids go completely nuts for. You’ll have them home and zonked by 8pm. Win.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso at Pizza Autentico