Sometimes you’re out all day, you didn’t bring lunch with you, and you’re going to need to stop to eat. Buy you’ve only got a $10 note in your wallet. What do you do? Many Sydney cafes will charge you $15-20 for a good lunchtime meal. If you’re on a budget, you’ve gotta be smarter than that – so here’s some tips on a few cafes that leave you well fed for $10 or under. Of course, if you have more than $10 to spend, double up on the food or get drink or dessert!
- Bourke St Bakery – Kirrawee, Surry Hills, Alexandria, Multiple Locations
If a big sandwich or a well baked pastry is the only thing you crave, Bourke St Bakery is the place to go. $9 will get you a beef, chicken or vegetarian sandwich – or you can get a Ham, cheese & ‘dijonnaise’ toasted sandwich for only $7. Being a bakery, the best thing about their sandwiches is the quality of the bread – meaning you’re getting a filling and nutritious lunch or breakfast. For the more indulgent types, you can also get a great pie, quiche or sausage roll for a good price. Pies range from $5.50 – $6. Quiches are $5. Sausage rolls and spinach turnovers are $4.80. (Sauce is 20 cents.) They also have many vegetarian options.
If you think that’s expensive for a humble pie or sausage roll – remember that these aren’t your standard corner shop bakery items. These are your gourmet style ‘Beef Brisket, Red Wine & Mushroom’ pies and your ‘Lamb, Almond & Harrissa’ sausage rolls. Fancy and affordable. And don’t forget that you can try one of their popular cakes, tarts, cookies or pastries, which range from $4.50 – $6. The one cheaper exception being the $3.50 croissant. If you’re going for a sweet meal, pair the cheap croissant with one of their house made chocolate milks, iced coffees or iced chai drinks – $4.50 each.
I don’t know about you, but a Iced chai + a fresh croissant for $8 = Happy me.
- Bahn mi – The Foodie House, Miranda and multiple locations
The two specific stores that I can personally recommend are firstly, a small asian bakery in Kiora Mall and secondly, Foodie House restaurant inside Westfield Miranda’s newer food court area. Things can definitely go wrong with a bahn mi, so you want to make sure you’re getting yours from a trustworthy place. The two that I’ve recommended are always delicious, and pretty trustworthy based on experiences myself & family have had with them.A bahn mi at The Foodie House, Miranda – $9.90 for your basic crispy chicken, though other meats like crispy duck or pork will cost you a few dollars extra.Generally, bahn mi sandwiches are a great lunch option – and they are rarely overpriced for what you get – a whole lot of fresh meat, pâté, vegetables stacked generously and usually mayo and sauce. Definitely no shortage of flavour!
- Oregano Bakery, Hurstville
For only $3.50 (or 2 for $6.00) you can get a traditional Lebanese Zaatar pizza.
Though not very substantial on their own, they would definitely keep you going.
To bulk it up, you can add cheese and pay $5.50 or have a full base and full topping deal for $6.50. Their meat pizza will set you back $6.90, while meat and cheese will cost you $8.00. All the pizzas on the menu are under $10, so you’ll likely find something you like! Also, as most people would know, Oregano Bakery are best known for their Scrolls.
The scrolls are giant, perfect for sharing between two, and are also all under $10 – coming in at around $5.90 each for one generously sized sweet scroll.) My personal recommendations from Oregano Bakery would be the Zaatar Wrap 1 (Sonia Special) and/or the tahini scroll, which is made up of a sweet tahini (sesame) paste.
- Bread top – Asian Bakery, Hurstville, CBD, Multiple Locations
BreadTop is the ultimate cheap and fun food option, and they have many stores throughout Sydney. Most items will cost you a few dollars, and you can pick up a couple of different small items and keep it at or under $10. Some of the savoury options at BreadTop may seem a little bizarre, and some of them aren’t the best. But one of my favourite savoury treats has to be their perplexing NAAN pizza. “Nourishing and hearty Indian style bread with liberally applied olive oiled onion, melted cheese, and a dash of mayonnaise.” If you love naan, cheese, and things that are kind of greasy (in a good way) – then you’ll probably enjoy this. Think Asian + Indian cheesy onion pizza bread. If you aren’t game to try a pork floss bun or a naan pizza, their sweets are always on point. My sweet recommendations: their blueberry bun, their caterpillar (sweet bread bun filled with sweet cream and shaped like a caterpillar), almond custard bun, egg tarts, Portuguese tart, mini muffins and milk custard. Also take home a loaf of Japanese white bread – sweet and delicious.
- Luneburger Bakery – Miranda, CBD, Multiple Locations
If you ask me what I’ve had for lunch on any given day of the week, there is a fairly high possibility that I may say that it was a sandwich from Luneburger (and often a sneaky pastry.)In my opinion, these are the best sandwiches you can get – and they are fairly consistent.
Luneburger is a German Bakery and franchise that has a great selection of dark and light rye breads, sandwiches, pretzels, sweet cakes and pastries.They usually have a number of pre-made sandwiches (made fresh) ready for you to buy and take away, but they also let you choose your own bread and toppings to create your own perfect sandwich, if that takes your fancy. My favourite thing to get is always their pesto, tomato and bocconcini sandwich. I don’t think there’s much better than fresh bocconcini on a sandwich – and when isn’t pesto a great choice?The sandwich I purchased cost $6.50 + cherry crumble will cost you around $3.50.That’s lunch and dessert for $10 – perfect. There’s so many of these stories throughout Sydney, I would recommend Luneburger to everybody and in all situations.
Most of us have been on a tight budget at some point in our lives, so we all know how it feels to look at a menu and have to walk away based on the prices. But there are lots of budget-friendly options in Sydney, so hopefully some of these suggestions can fit into your budget! If you have any hot tips on where to eat when you’re low on cash, please leave a comment below – because food is meant to be enjoyed and sharing tips definitely helps!