Sometimes you spend money. And then keep on spending money. And then you get hungry. We’ve all been there. It’s not fun.
Sure, your wallet may be empty but we guarantee your stomach will be full (of happiness) after these seriously good cheap eats. We like to think of this as Sydney’s most affordable food safari.
Here are 14 of Sydney’s best cheap eats under $10.
Hummus Plate At Shwarmama
Ester's Mat Lindsay is easily one of Sydney's most exciting chefs. He's done a wine bar, and he does room service to perfection for one of Sydney's sweetest design hotels. Shwarmama is his latest venture—a slick standing-room-only kebab spot that breaks a few rules of the traditional kebab shop set up, and ups the ante on taste. Unlike Lindsay's other restaurants, Shwarmama is very (very affordable).
The menu is short and sweet (just six items and nothing over $16), but if we're sticking to the $10 rule, the creamy hummus plate loaded with chickpeas, tahini, harissa and laffa bread is your go-to.
Pork Roll At Marrickville Pork Roll
Marrickville, Darling Square
For years, Marrickville Pork Roll's winning formula for Vietnamese banh mi has remained unchanged: a crunchy baguette, a swipe of pâté and mayo, generous slabs of barbeque pork, plus fresh herbs, a good kick of chilli, and tangy pickles, all for just $6. Get yours at the original Illawarra Road hole in the wall spot, or head to the newer Darling Square outpost—the quality and the price are the same.
Truffle Mac N’ Cheese At The Horse
Head upstairs to the rooftop deck at Crown Street pub, The Horse. Here you'll be able to take in the fairy lights while ordering up a small but hearty bowl of truffle mac and cheese for only $8. This bad boy is made up of three cheese bechamel, macaroni and truffle oil.
Hot Chips Roll At El Jannah
The Lebanese eatery kings of Sydney, El Jannah always do their patrons a solid when it comes to pricing. The standout here has to be the epic hot chips roll packed with all the fried potato-y good stuff, garlic sauce, tomato sauce, crunchy coleslaw and green pickles for $6.90.
Chicken Schnitzel Burger At Out Of The Blue
Out of the Blue is an iconic Sydney takeaway joint in the Eastern Suburbs, known for its burgers, their fish and chips and its breezy beachy location. Hit the chicken schnitzel stack (sitting at $9) which is loaded with Out of the Blue’s iconic garlic mayo, beetroot, lettuce, tomato and carrot.
Pizza By The Slice At Frankie’s Pizza
If you’re in the mood for a night of grungy rock n roll and greasy pizza, then Frankie’s Pizza is your go-to destination. You can grab any of their pizzas for as little as $6 a slice, in between rounds of pinball and guitar noise. We highly recommend the Italian sausage pizza with mushrooms, mozzarella, shaved parmesan and truffle paste. It’s a no-brainer.
Xiao Long Bao At New Shanghai
Naturally, some of Sydney's best dumplings had to feature on this list. If you’re looking for the comfort that only Chinese food can provide, New Shanghai’s xiao long bao at $9.90 a pop (which is made up of eight pieces) is the dish to order. That hot, soupy dumpling will explode in your mouth.
Giant Cookie At Flour Drum
You'll find Flour Drum at the quieter end of King St—but it deserves a whole tonne of attention for its pretty sweet treats. If you have $8 lying around and are desperately craving a warm, gooey giant chocolate chip cookie, then you’re in luck. These legends bake cookies bigger than our faces each day and the regular flavour is M&M and choc chips.
Noodle Soup At Gourmet Noodle House
The majority of the feeds on Gourmet Noodle House’s mammoth menu are under $10, so you’ve just scored big time here. Try some of the best and greasiest spring rolls in Sydney for $6 a plate or slurp down a bowl of beef brisket noodle soup for as little as $8.
Giant Sandwiches At South Dowling Sandwiches
Darlinghurst and Alexandria
This family-run favourite amongst locals is exactly what you’re in need for when a cheap office lunch is on the cards. South Dowling Sandwiches boasts absolutely enormous sandwiches, most of which cost around $9 (shout out to the chilli chicken stack with red pesto and rocket) and are created with fresh ingredients and service so fast you won’t have time to blink.
Meatball Salad Box Or Chicken Rolls At Hong Ha Bakery
Saving money? The entire menu at Hong Ha Bakery is your feasting dream. Everything slides in under the $10 mark, which means dim sum for $1.50 each, a meatball salad box for $8.50 or even a sweet chicken roll and a soft drink for $7.50. You’re welcome.
Cheeseburger Tacos At El Camino Cantina
The Rocks and Manly Wharf
It's one of the most popular Tex-Mex establishments in Sydney for a few reasons. Firstly, El Camino Cantina plates up some of the tastiest tacos, nachos and guac and in the city. Secondly, they serve extra-large slushie margaritas, but also—El Camino's softshell tacos slide in under a tenner making them perfect for your next cheap feast.
For only $6 a piece, grab their cheeseburger taco with ground beef, queso, lettuce and mustard aioli. Or, for your plant-based friends, the mushroom street taco with chipotle coleslaw, mushrooms, yoghurt and scallions is a heavy-hitter at the same price point.
Toasties At Dutch Smuggler
Toasties are the pride and joy of CBD cafe Dutch Smuggler. Known for packing these babies to the brim, there are plenty of warm breakfast sambos under $10 to try—but the real MVP is the now-iconic Mi Goreng noodle toasty built with a fried free-range egg, cheddar and magic sauce for $9.50.
Beef Burger At Happy Ending Burger
Happy Ending Burger is a bucket list burger joint for any and all burger aficionados. Back in the day, this gem started off as one of Sydney’s most popular burger trucks and its bricks and mortar outpost carries the same level of hype (meaning, you can expect lines out the door but in true H.E.B-style, it’s always well worth the wait).
Here, you’ll want to scope out the classic $10 “Amuse Bouche”, a glorious combo of dry-aged beef, American cheese and Happy Ending’s secret no.11 sauce.
Saving money? Here are all the best free things to do in Sydney this month.
Image credit: Dutch Smuggler, Portland Press Herald, El Jannah, Eiliv-Sonas Aceron, Kerabeareats, Charles Deluvio, El Camino Cantina, Dutch Smuggler