On top of being one of the most livable and expensive cities in the world, Melbourne is also home to some of the trendiest cafes, restaurants and bars. Being spoilt for choice is one thing, but burning a hole in your pocket (especially so if you’re looking to eat out every meal) is quite another.
Here, we suss out five modern venues which serve affordable dining options, to ensure that you can enjoy great food and booze without compromising on the rest of your trip!
#1 Bimbo Deluxe
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The long-running local food establishment continues to draw crowds any time of the day, mainly for their $4 pizzas. They are available during selected hours from Monday to Saturday, and all day on Sunday. Check out the alfresco rooftop bar to soak in feel-good vibes and nosh on light bites like tacos and churros (for less than $10). During the weekend, look out for their $10 cocktail specials at the bar. Opens daily Sun-Wed 11am- 2am; Thurs 11am – 12am; Fri – Sat 11am – 3am, 376 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
#2 Fitzroy Social
Don’t let the giant murals and high ceilings with hanging greenery distract you from the great bar fare and extensive bar menu at Fitzroy Social. Kick back with your choice of $5 wines and $7 spirits during happy hour, which starts from 5 till 7pm from Wednesday to Saturday, and all day on Sunday. And if you’re feeling somewhat peckish, bar snacks like buffalo wings are at a dollar each, and their famous arancini balls and fresh Australian oysters? They are at $2 apiece. Sounds like a deal? Opens daily Sun & Wed 12 – 11pm; Thurs – Sat 12pm – 1am, 222 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
#3 Don Don
For a more substantial meal, head to Don Don, a popular Japanese joint typically packed with university students and office workers during lunch hours. Even though they’re known for their quick service, get there before the crowd comes to beat the queue!
Everything on the menu is less than $10, so take your pick from teriyaki chicken and curry don to niku (beef slices) soba and udon soup. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, get the bento box complete with teriyaki chicken and sukiyaki beef — for just $9.40.
Insider’s Tips: According to the locals, opt to do a takeaway as there are limited seats. Then, walk down the road to enjoy it at the scenic State Library Park. Yummy food? Check. Beautiful scenery. Check check. Opens daily 11am – 9pm, 198 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
#4 5 & Dime Bagel
Start your day right by getting one (or two) bagels from 5 & Dime Bagel for breakfast that is less than $6. Priding themselves in using local ingredients and following the traditional method of boiling and baking bagels, they put their own creative twist on their classics through a variety of fillings and spreads. Think bacon maple chipotle, PB&J and more. These make a hearty breakfast, brunch or lunch! Opens daily 7am – 2.30pm, 16 Katherine Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
#5 Asian Beer Cafe
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Packed even on weekday nights, this bar is widely known thanks to their wide and affordable selection of drinks. During happy hours (4-8pm daily), here are what you can enjoy: $9 house beer jugs, $8 cocktails, and $6 spirits.
Even if you’re visiting out of those hours, you can still find cocktails, wines, and beers for $10 and less. Complete the chill-out experience with their $5 pizzas, too.
Insider’s Tips: Come for DJ nights from 8pm onwards on Wednesday to Sunday and don’t miss out on the daily drink specials. The best part? No cover charge is required. Opens daily 11am – 1am, 211 La Trobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
If you are on holiday, visit the restaurants, bars and cafes during quieter hours (3-5pm), and especially during happy hours. To get the best bang for your buck, look out for special deals posted on their social media accounts and websites. This way, you get to enjoy more of all that Melbourne’s buzzing food scene has to offer!
Main image credit: @zaireen.azman and @socialfitzroybar’s Instagram
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