12 of the best cheap eats and drinks

Sometimes the best eats are the cheapest. And while Sydney isn’t at the centre of South-East Asia, or anywhere near the streets stalls of the Indian sub-continent, or the aromatic wok stations of China, many of our migrant population have taken their cheap eats to new shores.

There are varying levels, from inexpensive fried chicken to a multiple course vegan brunch that will set you up for a day of rigorous tourist activities. Here are just a few to choose from.  

The Streets of Barangaroo 


There are some great deals and happy hours at this new precinct which blends business district with tourist hub meaning that as the sun sets in the west post work everyone benefits with cheap eats and drinks at Barangaroo.


Untied: On Sundays they have $12 cocktails from 12pm, or a 5 course vegan brunch for $55pp. Their ‘Brunch With Soul’ on Saturdays is a 2 hr bottomless cocktails and southern-style brunch package with live entertainment for $79pp. For bookings and information click here

barangaroo cheap eats

Born by Tapavino: Happy hour runs Monday to Friday 3.30-5.30pm choose from $7 beer, wine, rose $13, Aperol spritz, $13 sangria. On Wednesdays they also have 25 per cent off the cost of their set menus between Noon-3pm. For bookings and information click here

barangaroo cheap eats

Bottega Coco: From Monday to Friday 11.30am-3pm they have a lunch deal: choice of one pasta or main and a dessert or house wine for $35pp. They also have happy hour every day from 3pm-5pm: $8 wines $10 beer, $10 spirits (gin and bourbon). For bookings and information click here

Cardea: Happy hour runs Tuesday  to Saturday 5pm-6pm. It features $16 cocktails, $10 wines, $12 spirit or beers. Cardea is an intimate hideaway that offers cutting-edge cocktail creations and alongside a menu of bar snacks using seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. For bookings and information click here

NOLA: Happy hour here is Tuesday-Saturday 4pm-6pm with $7 spirits, beers for $5, wines at $8, and cocktails for  $12. For food, tuck into fried chicken for $10 and there is an all-you-can-eat BBQ lunch every Saturday for just $60pp. For bookings and information click here

Winghaus: Hit Winghaus Monday-Friday 5pm-7pm for 50-cent classic wings and $5 side dishes (hot chips, mash & gravy, onion rings and deep-fried pickles) plus $8 wine and spirits, $8 pints, $15 steins, $10 cocktails (Aperol spritz, negronis, espresso martinis and $10 margaritas). For bookings and information here

Wild Sage: Aperitivo Hour (Tuesday to Saturday, 4pm-6pm) here features $10 Espresso Martinis, $6 beers, $6 wines and Aperol Spritz for $12. Bookings and further info here

Sax Cafe and Lounge Bar: Happy hour is on offer Wednesday-Friday (3pm-7pm) and includes tap beer and cider for $8, wine for $10, premium spirits for $11 and cocktails for $15. For bookings and information click here

Belles Hot Chicken: every weekday from 3-6pm they have $2 big wings and $5 schooners. For bookings and information here

Chinatown cheap eats


Head to Haymarket if you want to get the feeling of being in downtown Hong Kong, sitting in the hawker markets of Singapore, tucking into real Thai or hoovering down a  bowl of pho in the eat streets of Hanoi.

Market City Level 1 Food Court, Paddy’s Market

With a spacious seating area and a wide selection of delicious dining options including Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Taiwanese, this spot is ideal to rest up and eat up after some shopping at the famous Paddy’s Market. Situated directly above Paddy’s Markets and centrally located in the heart of Chinatown, Market City shopping centre is the premier hub for authentic Asian cuisine.

While the 1909 fully-licensed Dining Precinct on level 3 is at the premium end of the offering, with eight deluxe Asian restaurants, the Level 1 Food Court is the go-to for authentic Chinese and south-east Asian food, including deliciously popular 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle, Taste of Cho and Super BBQ Chef. From noodles to BBQ, rice dishes and dumplings, there is definitely something for everyone at a price that all can afford. Save room for delicious Asian-style baked good and fluffy sponge cakes. Open 365 days a year, Market City is a bustling destination attracting students, travellers, locals and Sydney siders alike. If travelling by public transport, jump on bus or the light rail to Haymarket, or the train to Central Station, just a few minutes’ walk from Market City. For information click here

chinatown cheap eats

Chon Siam Thai Restaurant 

A tiny drop-in kind of place with Thai food straight from the streets of Bangkok. The go-to dish here is Boat Noodle Soup for a tiny $6.50. 83 Campbell St, Haymarket. For information click here

chinatown cheap eats

Mr Chen Beef Noodle

These guys specialise in house-made, beef noodles and dumplings. All Mr Chen noodles are made fresh on-site with a viewing window which allows you to see them being made. The go-to dish here is Lanzhou-style beef noodle soup. Prince Centre TG5 Quay Street Enter via, 8 Thomas St, Haymarket. For information click here

Chinatown cheap eats


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