Cheap Eats in Sydney

It's easy to eat like a king in Sydney even if your budget is less than regal. The Harbour City is full of cheap and cheerful eateries, you just have to know where to find them. Whether it's an authentic laksa, juicy burger or cult favourite sandwich, just look for the queue snaking around the corner. You can even find freshly shucked oysters and discounted fine dining.

Friends buying Thai street food style desserts from Thanon Khaosan restaurant in Haymarket, Sydney City

Inner city

Find the best laksa in town smack bang in the middle of the CBD at Malay Chinese Takeaway, where you can also eat in. Head down George Street to Chinatown where you'll find more restaurants and food courts serving cheap, delicious Asian cuisine. On Fridays, the street food from the vibrant Night Markets is a must. There's more hawker-style market food at Spice Alley in nearby Chippendale.

Friends enjoying food and drink at Cairo Takeaway on Enmore Road in Newtown in Sydney's inner west

Inner West

Newtown and neighbouring Enmore are great places to hunt down a bargain meal, thanks to the large numbers of students in the area from the nearby University of Sydney. Choose from a huge range of Thai, Indian and Vietnamese restaurants, or head for Cairo Takeaway and Emma’s Snack Bar for great Middle Eastern food.

Nearby Marrickville is the best place to get one of Sydney's favourite sandwiches, the banh mi from Marrickville Pork Roll. This classic Vietnamese sandwich made from pork, salad, chilli and fresh herbs on a crunchy white roll will set you back around $5.

Potato and gravy, wine, cheeseburger, fries, fried chicken and a Bloody Burger Mary from Mary's Newtown, Newtown

Burgers

It's hard to beat a burger when your budget doesn't quite match your hunger levels. Get an American-style cheeseburger at Mary's in Newtown or the CBD while Bar Luca in the CBD or its offshoot, BL Burgers in Darlinghurst, specialises in mammoth burgers that require two hands and a hearty appetite.

Oyster happy hours

Think these tasty treats are too expensive? Not if you slurp them down at oyster happy hour. Cosmopolitan Double Bay serves up freshly shucked oysters for just $2 every weekday between 5pm and 7pm. During Black Bottle's aperitivo, oysters are only $1.50 each from Wednesday to Saturday, 5pm-7pm. Riley Street Garage has $2.50 oysters from 5pm-6pm, Wednesday to Friday. You’ll find $1.50 oysters at The Morrison on Wednesdays, $1.50 oysters at Grain Bar on Thursdays and $2 oysters at Maybe Sammy on Saturdays.

Hawkesbury Valley confit duck,  Fresh currant grapes, black fungi Kampot pepper at Bennelong restaurant in Opera House

Fine dining on a budget

If you plan carefully, you can dine at Sydney’s top restaurants on a budget. Rockpool has a $25 lunch special of a wagyu beef burger and a glass of wine while weekday lunch at Glass Brasserie is a very reasonable $29. Sit at the bar at Bennelong and try the chef’s tasting menu for $70.