Enjoying Sydney’s food scene is not just about reserving an expensive fine dining table. You need not break your budget when eating in this vibrant city. Whether you are a student trying to save money or someone who simply wants to get lunch or dinner for $10 or below in Manly restaurants, you can find a range of affordable dining that will suit your budget. From pad thai to pizza, pork belly to a decadent dessert, you will have something to feed your stomach, as well as your soul.
Where should you go first? To help you pick your first destination, here are 11 affordable restaurants you must visit in Sydney.
1. Din Tai Fung
Are you craving for Chinese dumplings? This place is what you are looking for. Once described by world-renowned chef Ken Hom as the ‘world’s tastiest dumpling’, Din Tai Fung serves the best dumplings in the area. Their pork wontons and Xiao long bao are also a must-try.
Considered Australia’s best-loved dumpling destination, the once humble stall now has 10 venues across Sydney and Melbourne.
Where: Shop 11.04, Level 1 World Square Shopping Centre
Lunch: Mon – Sun, 11:30am – 2:00pm
Dinner: Mon – Wed, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Thurs – Sun, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
2. Flour and Stone
This place continues to cast spells over Sydney with its totally enticing baked goodies. Their sausage roll is a heavy log of savoury mince with buttery pastry, and their zesty lemon drizzle cake is a favourite! Nadine Ingram’s dedication to quality and flavour is very much evident in their products.
Where: 53 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo NSW
Mon-Fri, 7am-4pm; Sat, 8am-4pm
3. Ayam Goreng 99
If an authentic Indonesian restaurant is what you want, this is the place to go. Under $10, you can have grilled or deep-fried marinated chicken served with their handmade ‘Sambel Terasi’ or spicy belachan chilli sauce. They complement each other well! You can also buy this sauce if you want a jar for your home. And don’t forget to try their Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Bakmie goreng (stir-fried egg noodle). They will let you feel like travelling to an Asian street food market.
Where: 464 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, 02 9697 0030
Wed-Sun, 11.30am-4pm, 6pm-9pm
4. Black Star Pastry
Who wouldn’t be tempted with layers of salted caramel chocolate, flourless choc sponge, dark chocolate cremeux and a light chocolate mousse? Their chocolate mirage is superb! How about their instagrammable strawberry watermelon cake? Strawberry and watermelon in a cake? Yes, it’s layered with almond dacquoise and rose-scented cream and watermelon. The strawberries, pistachios and dried rose petals toppings make it even more irresistible.
Black Star Pastry’s Newtown store is their newest addition, but they also have stores in Rosebery, Sydney CBD and Moore Park.
Where:1/325 King Street, Newtown
Mon – Sun, 7:30am – 5:30pm
This is an award-winning Malaysian restaurant. You will love their authentic and traditional flavours, along with great customer service. Both of their flaky sweet and savoury roti are masterpieces and affordable! You won’t also go wrong with their chicken or beef satay that’s been served with sweet and spicy peanut sauce.
Where: 15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket
Sun-Thu, 11:30am-2.30pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-2am
6. Jimmy’s Recipe
It’s another place for authentic Malaysian dishes that are halal. Your choices can range from laksa, chicken rice, roti and more. With the freshest ingredients used, their spicy Laksa noodle soup with your favourite meat toppings is a good deal.
Where: The Galeries (Ground Floor, 500 George Street) and at Gateway Sydney (Level 2, 1 Macquarie Place)
Gateway: Mon -Sun, 11am until late
The Galeries: Lunch time only
7. Pastizzi Cafe
This is a place known for the flakiest and tastiest pastizzi, with almost 20 kinds available. Their savoury and sweet feelings include beef and dark ale, spinach and ricotta, berry and custard, and apple and cinnamon. Their huge servings of ravioli, kannoli and date slices made in the traditional Maltese way are also crowd-pleasers during dinner time.
Where: 109 King Street, Newtown New South Wales
Mon – Fri, 10am-11pm; Sat – Sun, 9am-11pm
8. Rosso Pomodoro
You want pizza made with artisan techniques? This one’s for you. They proof their dough for 72 hours and cook their pizzas straight on the stone. Could you smell it? Less is more for them so you won’t find ham and pineapple in their traditional Italian recipes. Rosso Pomodoro serves authentic Italian cuisine, and they have vegan pizzas.
Where: 360 Darling St, Balmain, 94 Bronte Rd, Bondi Junction NSW
Tue – Sun, 5:00pm-10pm
9. Belles Hot Chicken
Who wants chicken and wine on a Friday night? This rock n’ roll diner serves southern-style fried chicken, as well as sandwiches and sides. You won’t regret biting into their intensely hot, crunchy yet succulent piece of meat. If you’re not much into spice, you can choose the level of spice you want. And you want a pour in your glass? Their natural wine is for every palate.
Where: 5/33 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo; 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge, 7 Steam Mill Lane, Haymarket
Mon – Sun, 11:30am – 9:00pm
10. Mr. Crackles
Your budget bites are here. Cheap rolls for lunch and tasty pork belly with crispy skin, which is prepared and cooked for three days. This is what Mr. Crackles is known for: flavourful crackling skin with a melt-in-the-mouth meat texture. Another crackles favourite is the roast lamb shoulder that’s flavoured with salts, garlic and rosemary
Where: 155 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Mon – Tue, 11:30am-9:30pm; Wed, 11:30am-10pm; Thu, 11:30am-1:30am; Fri, 11:30am-4am; Sat, noon-4am; Sun, noon-10pm
11. Spice I Am
Whether eat in, take away or home delivery, this multi-award winning Thai Restaurant doesn’t fail to serve authentic Thai cuisine. You can’t go wrong with any of their dishes. They have many options, and you should really try their tom yum goong, pad thai and roast duck massaman curry. You wouldn’t mind waiting in the queues again the next day.
Where: 90 Wentworth Avenue Surry Hills, NSW
Lunch: 11:30am – 15:00pm, Tues – Sun
Dinner: 17:30pm – 22:00pm, Tues – Sun