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Hungry but don’t want to spend a week’s salary on a meal? Sydney doesn’t always come cheap, but it’s overflowing with places to eat that are not only tasty but delightfully affordable. And if it’s variety you’re after, Sydney absolutely delivers with a huge array of global cuisines and unique fusions on offer.
Check out our guide to Sydney’s Best Cheap Eats!

Sydney’s Best Cheap Eats!


Spice Alley

We totally love a bit of Spice Alley action – a little gem of street food action situated a short walk from Central station. Spice Alley is a little laneway filled with buzzing restaurants and takeaway food vendors with open air seating filling the space. It’s a great vibe with BYO drinks available and best of all the food is delicious, varied and cheap! Take your pic of the modern asian food vendors and restaurants that fill the space and you’ll be sure to leave satisfied.


Mamak is a Sydney CBD favourite which in normal times has a line running down the street! The main drawcard is the savoury Malaysian roti served with an array of Malaysian street food dishes although the sweet alternative is also popular. Mamak is definitely delicious, won’t hurt the wallet and well worth the (possible) wait!

Spice I Am

A local Sydney institution Spice I am has been delighting customers for many years with it’s traditional Thai fare. The name gives you a hint that not all the dishes are for the faint hearted – some of them do pack a punch. But no complaints from us as the prices are just as genuine as the food!

Xcel Roll

Xcel Roll is a well loved Coogee local hole in the wall serving super tasty takeaway Vietnamese-style Bahn-Mi and rice paper rolls with a western twist. We totally rate the BBQ Pork roll with chilli mmmm. It’s a great option if you’re looking to grab a delicious takeaway bite (minus the price tag).

Fnky Mnky

For the most conveniently cheap deals you can’t miss the short walk downstairs to Fnky Mnky to enjoy Coogee’s best burgers washed down with a refreshing ale. Enjoy some food on our beachfront balcony, have a few games on our pool table with your mates, and make the most of the cheap prices!

Chinese Noodle Restaurant

There’s a little corner of Chinese restaurants on Thomas Street which are well renowned for being cheap and delicious. Everyone has their own favourite but ours is the Chinese Noodle Restaurant – which oozes authenticity and an extremely low key local vibe and traditional chinese fare. Don’t miss the dumplings and their signature hand pulled noodles.

Hot Star Fried Chicken

This Taiwan fried chicken establishment originated from a night market in Taipei and has exploded with popularity mainly due to its mainstay marinated whole friend chicken breast. The chicken is battered with herbs and spices, fried and wrapped in a paper bag so you can snack till your heart is content. We agree that it’s totally addictive especially with the delicious seasonings including chilli, curry, plum and seaweed.

The Shakespeare Hotel

The Shakespeare Hotel is affectionately known as ‘The Shakey’ amongst locals and has long attracted a young fun loving crowd to their Surry Hills pub. The meals have been a bargain for years and while their $10 meals are no longer on offer it’s hard to complain about their prices or tasty hearty pub grub.

About the Author

Mad Monkey is Southeast Asia’s leading hostel operator — born in Cambodia with more properties in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Laos, and the Philippines. We pride ourselves in creating meaningful and sustainable travel experiences for our guests, whilst promoting socially responsible tourism.