Cheap eats: Meals for Under $20 in Sydney

1 May 2016

Spice Alley, Chippendale

Spice Alley, Chippendale

Is your budget dampening your fabulous dinner plans? From Japanese to Mexican, here are a few dining favourites that will keep your bank balance in check and your taste buds more than satisfied.

1. Spice Alley, Chippendale

Reminiscent of food alleys in Asia, the narrow paved streets of Central Park’s Kensington Street are transformed into an array of red lanterns, sizzling wok fires and the aromas of Southeast Asian spices. With four permanent stalls, along with a rotating selection of pop-up versions of popular Asian restaurants around Sydney, most of the delicious foods on offer are $10 and under. From steaming rice dishes heaped with tender pieces of chicken to slow cooked pork ribs with flat noodles, take a stroll through the alley and enjoy all the flavours of Asia.

2. Mary’s, Newtown

Best known for their American style burgers, Mary’s in Newtown serves up juicy beef patties sandwiched between two soft buns. With their three famous burgers: Cheeseburger, Mary’s Burger and Mushroom Burger all for $15, throw in a basket of fried chicken, creamy mash or crunchy fries to share for a satisfying feed.

3. Frankies Pizza (all you can eat Wednesdays), CBD

With rock and roll music, postcards stuck to walls and pizza by the slice, Frankie’s Pizza is a lively cross between a dive bar and a classic New York pizza parlour. Their delicious pizzas are all you can eat on Wednesdays for $18, and, with a selection of craft beer and cider on tap, a visit to Frankies is a fun way to shake up a weeknight.

4. Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills

Starting out as a little corner store bakery, Bourke Street Bakery now has stores across Sydney dedicated to handmade bread and pastries. Choose from a selection of melt in your mouth pies, sausage rolls and quiches, or opt for their cakes and fruit tarts for a sweeter and lighter alternative.

5. Gumshara Ramen, Chinatown

Modestly situated in the Eating World Food court in Chinatown, Gumshara Ramen serves up steaming bowls of ramen noodles with soft slices of pork. Their signature dish is the tonkotsu ramen, made from simmering 120 kilos of pork bones, but they offer plenty of other ramen varieties including miso ramen, pork spare rib and tomato tonkotsu.

6. The Henson, Marrickville

Tucked away behind an old pub hotel in a quiet Marrickville street, The Henson may look old and empty, but step through its front bar and you’ll be greeted with a lively atmosphere and the smells of a busy kitchen. With trivia nights, outdoor seating and a children’s playground area, it’s a local secret that’s quickly gaining popularity with its well rounded menu. Try their juicy beef burger in a brioche bun for a pub meal classic, or go their for sticky pork ribs with Asian salad dressing for a fusion inspired meal.

7. Arisun, Haymarket

For a warm and hearty meal, grab some of your friends and head over to Arisun restaurant. Their made to share steaming hot pots come filled with options of marinated beef, spicy kimchi, pork belly and seafood. You can also mix and match from their famous Korean fried chicken and flame grilled meats for a tasty tapas-style dining experience.

8. Bar Luca, CBD

Bar Luca serves up tasty burgers in a relaxed bar and bistro style environment. With outdoor terraces, comfy leather booths and a menu dedicated to burgers, $10 buckets of fried chicken, and chips, Bar Luca is the place to visit for a satisfying feast.

9. Pho Tau Bay, Cabramatta

If you’re after authentic pho, take a trip out to the Vietnamese restaurant filled streets of Cabramatta and visit Pho Tau Bay. Commonly referred to as the best pho in Sydney, it’s a small, family-run restaurant that has been serving giant bowls of steaming pho since the 1980s. Whether you like the classic rare beef, the chicken or the vegetarian, these bowls come heaped with fragrant soup, slippery soft rice noodles and a side platter of bean sprouts and herbs to add to taste.

10. El Jannah, Granville, Punchbowl and Blacktown

There’s nothing quite like the taste of charcoal chicken and chips and El Jannah has become famous for their charcoal chicken layered in garlic sauce. El Jannah started out as a small takeaway shop in Granville and has expanded to several stores throughout Sydney’s west. Available whole, quartered, in rolls or in meals – El Jannah’s delicious chicken will keep you coming back for more.