Cheap eats in Melbourne

As a student, you’re necessarily poor. Unless your father is an oil baron and you have a massive fortune. In which case, I want your life. Of course, for the rest of us, what little money you do have should be spent on awesome products at the Co-op (and fine wine). You can’t afford to drop $70 for a meal on Lygon Street! I feel you, and I’ve got some good news…

There are one or two hotspots for Melbourne cheap eats. One of the best places is Chinatown, around Little Bourke and Elizabeth. There are lots of great, affordable restaurants, like Empress of China and Shanghai Village Dumpling. At these places, check on the menu for starter “with rice” dishes. These are often massive serves, with lots of rice, but are usually under $10. Great!

Of course, Chinatown isn’t the only place to find cheap eats in Melbourne. If you’re lucky, you might find a bargain just about anywhere. Try Sea Salt in Lygon Street, Café Italia in University Street, or Soul Soup in Cardigan Street. These places all offer a high-quality feed, again for $10 or less. If you’re like me, and a sucker for greasy fast food, there are McDonald’s, KFC, Subway and Hungry Jack’s dotted all around the CBD, so you should be able to get your cheap and nasty fix without too much hassle.

But do you know where it’s really at? Home-cooked meals! Queen Victoria Market provides heaps of healthy, locally-sourced ingredients, and you can often find stuff there for cheaper than supermarkets (like beef!). What’s more, the atmosphere is amazing; the buzz of the market makes it worth a visit. If you are going the home-cooking route (the best cheap eats in Melbourne), I’d recommend you check out the Co-op’s great range of cookbooks and make a night of it!

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You and your oil baron father had better invite me round for dinner…

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