Sydney eateries are all too happy to prove that an amazing meal needn't break the bank. If you've got champagne tastes on a cava budget, fill your belly with some of the city's most fantastic cheap eats. Here are a few of our go-to places to find them.
1. Dumplings and Beer
A Potts Point hole in the wall, Dumplings and Beer focuses on getting its dumplings just right. All of the dishes on the menu are under a tenner, so you'll get plenty of bang for your buck. The steamed buns are heaven-sent, whether you order the hoisin BBQ pork or luscious vegetable varieties. Silken soup dumplings explode with flavour in your mouth, and you can't go wrong with the standard pan-fried pork and cabbage option. If you can look beyond the dumplings, there are other mini morsels to tempt you from bean curd rolls to roast duck sliders.
2. Rosso Antico Pizza Bar
Pizza is an obvious choice when you're feeling a bit skint. This doesn't mean you have to settle for a cardboard-like frozen slice, however. Treat yourself at Rosso Antico Pizza Bar, where the pies are topped with luscious fior di latte cheese and San Marzano tomatoes. Keep it simple with the wallet-friendly Margherita or spend a few more dollars on the Tartufo, with Italian sausage, porcini mushrooms and truffle paste. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven at blistering hot temps, which means they're done in 90 seconds flat like magic.
3. Milk Bar by Café Ish
The humble milk bar has long been a prime location for budget fare. Milk Bar by Café Ish is a retro-tinged ode to the good old days, with milkshakes galore. One of these alone will fill you up, with creative flavours like peanut butter and jelly, snickers or miso caramel. Milk Bar does a roaring trade in doughnuts as well. If you're after a cheap brunch, one of the maple bacon doughnuts is equal parts sweet and savoury. For something more substantial, order a grill-fired burger. Massive creations like the W.T.F. are a good investment. With two beef patties, double American cheddar, pulled pork, bacon and hash browns, it's unlikely you'll need to eat anything else for the rest of the day.
4. Al Aseel
Freshly baked flatbread, handmade pastries and silky smooth hummus bring the crowds to Al Aseel. This Lebanese restaurant puts the emphasis on high quality ingredients and making everything from scratch. It's the ideal takeaway if you need to feed a crowd without paying a fortune. You can order a few small plates and let your friends go to town on falafel, lemon grilled chicken and spicy potatoes with coriander. The smoky baba ghanoush is a must-have, topped with fruity olive oil and served up with that impossibly moreish Lebanese bread.
5. Traditional Gyradiko
It's easy to write off gyros as a drunken late night snack. At Traditional Gyradiko, you'll want to give this Greek treat the full attention it's due. Freshly fired up handmade pita bread is filled with lamb, chicken or pork, carved off of the vertical rotisserie. Add some red onion, parsley, tomato and garlicky tzatziki sauce as well as a good handful of chips. Carb-heavy, juicy and delicious, the end result is a budget-minded meal that doesn't skimp on the flavour.
Whether you've put wood-fired pizza or burgers from an American takeaway on the menu tonight, your bank account will thank you with Sydney's best cheap eats. Order a meal from Deliveroo that's light on cost but heavy on taste today.