Jess Lu
March 3, 2023

10 Best Affordable Restaurants in Melbourne

Eating out is a luxury few can afford nowadays, but we’ve got you covered with ten of the best affordable restaurants in Melbourne.

Exterior shot of affordable restaurant in Melbourne suburbs

Eating out is a luxury few can afford nowadays, and it can be hard to choose a restaurant that can serve filling meals at a reasonable price. But don't stress. Whether you’re looking for a date spot or a fun place to try with friends, we’ve got you covered with ten of the best affordable restaurants in Melbourne. Our criteria includes the atmosphere of the restaurant, the price of menu items, and the quality of the food - we can guarantee you won’t go amiss with the choices on this list.

1. Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam

241 Swanston St, Melbourne

This iconic Swanston St eatery is the best stop for quick and delicious pho that has authentic Vietnamese flavours. Its central location makes it easy to get to, the food is delicious, and will get you a huge bowl of noodles for only $17.50. The service is sharp (if sometimes brusque), it’s a fun date spot, and you can drop in for a lunch-time bite, and expect to be out with a full tummy in 30 mins.

2. The Abyssinian

277 Racecourse Road, Kensington

Warm, inviting and beautiful decor, The Abyssinian is the spot for authentic Ethiopian food. A share plate for two goes for $32 (or $27 if you’re vegan), and will leave you so stuffed it’ll be hard to get home! The food is moreish, and so rich in flavour, and as you eat the dishes with Injera you can taste all of the love that is poured into the affordable and delicious meal. Recommend ordering the share plate, and the foul medames.

3. Mr Ramen San

Shop 12A, 200 Bourke St, Melbourne

Mr Ramen San has some of the best ramen money can buy. Creamy and full of flavour each bowl leaves you wanting nothing. Having become popular in recent years you may find yourself lining up, but the wait is worth it for this life-changing restaurant. The vegan ramen is some of the best in the city, and it’s a very cute alley-way spot for meet-ups, lunches and dinners. The ramen will only set you back about $17, with free noodle top-ups!

4. Smith and Deli

107 Cambridge St, Collingwood

In a swanky new location, Smith and Deli has been serving delicious and real tasting vegan deli food for many years. Toasties go for about $15, and the new cafeteria area serves up fresh, delicious meals with sides. The coffee is always delicious, and the vegan meats and cheeses will blow your mind with realism. Once you’re done with the savoury (and there’s a lot of savoury!) you can treat yourself to a vegan sweet from the cabinet!

5. The Borek Bakehouse

Shop 4, 481 Elizabeth St, Melbourne

A staple for Melbourne, The Borek Bakehouse has authentic and mouth-watering Turkish food. From borek to gozleme, and sweets for after, this charming restaurant can feed you for as little as $6. The bread is baked on the premises, freshly made, and will no doubt leave you with a full stomach as you take another bite! You may have seen their stall at the Vic Market, but here you won’t have to line up.

6. Dodee Paidang

Basement, 353 Lt.Collins Street, Melbourne

Multiple locations across Melbourne, this street style eatery is a modern twist on Thai food. The fast paced environment is a fun adventure into street style food, and the food is abundant. It’s hard not to order too much here! The soft rice and noodle dishes can be purchased for a mere $16.50, and there are more than a few fun drinks to try. The atmosphere is bustling, and you can order from your table, making split bills and big groups easier!

7. Bullseye Banh Mi

194-196 Barkly Street, St Kilda

Vietnamese food done right! This little restaurant serves the best Banh Mi in Melbourne. At $15 you will have your teeth sink through some delicious crackling, into soft pork and the crispiest lettuce. The bread is pillowy, and the sauces are *chef’s kiss* perfect! They also do curries and noodle bowls, so if you can’t do bread you can still dine your heart away in this fresh Acland restaurant.

8. Green Refractory

115 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Bustling, busy and always full of people on their lunch break, Green Refractory will bring you the freshest, yummiest, healthiest pies, quiches, slices, salads, juices and anything more you could imagine. Its abundant cabinet gives you choices galore, and their extensive drinks menu is perfect for any weather! Fresh juices in glass bottles you get to keep and re-use, you will be spoilt for cheap choices: pie for $7, salad for $8, and a cake making service to fulfill all your party needs!

9. Gopals

139 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Gopals Pure Vegetarian is one of the cheapest spots for whole meals. You can get the weekly special for $11.90 or an economic meal for $8.50. The food here is healthy, simple and will keep you full for hours, as well as your tastebuds happy! A fresh variety of food, this darling restaurant has greenery, and spacious eating areas that can cater for any big groups that might want to eat here!

10. La Tortilleria

72 Stubbs St, Kensington

Lastly, but in no way the least, La Tortilleria is the most ideal spot for real Mexican food. Their tacos are next level, and the vibes of the indoor/outdoor seating is absolutely superb. It’s relaxed while serving some fine dining food, at $6.50 a pop. While they are small, the tacos here are some of the best in Melbourne: authentic tortilla bread, and the most tender meat. The vegetarian options will also leave you wanting more. While you’re here you cannot miss the house flan, and the horchata drink. Your life will be changed forever.

Up Next

If you care about the environment and you don't mind paying a little extra to support the things you believe in, check out our favourite sustainable cafes in Melbourne. Or if you're after something a little more moody (for date-night perhaps, you lucky devil, you) see our picks for the best ambiance.