The round-up: Brisbane’s best cheap eats
Rent is due and you are still a few days away from getting your paycheque – but your stomach is growling and you need to feed as soon as possible for as cheap as possible. Instead of hitting the closest drive-thru and settling for fast food, there are plenty of places around town that offer cheap eats that are damn tasty. It’s time to get creative with how you spend your dollars – stretch your money by taking advantage of the following best value for money meals in Brisbane.
Ben’s Burgers, Fortitude Valley: We can’t start a list of cheap eats without first acknowledging the institution that has taken out the Best Cheap Eats category in our EAT/drink Awards for a few years running. The public has picked Ben’s Burgers as their cheap eat spot of choice, most likely due to the fact that its burgers are reasonably inexpensive (a burger, chips and beer will only cost you $20) but also because the taste of the burgs can’t be beat.
The Coop Bistro, Fortitude Valley: You’ve heard of Taco Tuesdays, but what about Taco Thursdays? The Coop’s Bueno Bueno night is putting the fiesta into Thursdays with an offering of cheap eats for Bueno Bueno. Seven kinds of tacos are available for $3 a pop, including 24-hour pulled cola pork with beans, beetroot patties and pearl couscous, barbecue pulled beef with caramelised onion. That’s not all – every Saturday The Coop hosts the Nugg Club, where you can eat all the chicken nuggets you can handle for $20.
Botanica, Red Hill and Teneriffe: A takeaway salad from Red Hill’s Botanica will last you two meals and only costs $12. Botanica’s bonus is the variety so you will rarely see yourself doubling up (unless you find a sure-fire favourite).
Hellbound, New Farm: This graffiti-adorned haunt puts a rock-and-roll spin on its menu, with delicious comfort food up for grabs. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the Hellbound kitchen pumps out serves of its hot wings for 50 cents a wing. Grab some loose change and chow down!
The Defiant Duck, Newstead: We’re not sure who picked Tuesday as the dedicated bargain day, but we’re not complaining. The Defiant Duck in Newstead has gone crazy, offering $5 hot dogs and $5 classic cheeseburgers available all day with a drink purchase.
Barbacoa, Coorparoo: Thank the stars for tacos – without them we’d have a gaping hole in our cheap eats repertoire. Coorparoo Square’s Barbacoa dishes up three of its excellent tacos for just $12, and its tostadas are only $5.95 a pop.
Little Greek Taverna, West End: This West End institution is a popular spot for dinner, with a great selection of reasonably priced meals. A lamb yiros plate will only cost you $12, while a chicken souvlaki pita is only $8, so your next dinner outing needn’t break the bank.
Salt Meats Cheese, Newstead: We swoon at the sight of those four little words – all you can eat. Salt Meats Cheese at Gasworks offers all-you-can-eat pizza for $20 on Mondays, which is a bonza bargain. Vegans shouldn’t be left out of a good deal, either. Salt Meats Cheese agrees, which is why the Italian joint also offers all-you-can-eat vegan pizza every Thursday for $20 with any drink purchase. That’s a deal we can’t ignore – carnivore or herbivore!
PJ’s Steaks, Fortitude Valley and West End: If you are craving a delicious cheesesteak but are scrimping by until payday, shake some change loose and hit up PJ’s any weekday for its lunch deal. A freshly made cheesesteak sub, a small chips and a drink will only set you back $13.90, which is a lifesaving deal when rent is due.
Banoi, Bowen Hills: King Street eaters are spoiled for choice when it comes to appetising options, but if price is a factor, then Banoi’s got you covered. Every weekday it whips up a handy lunch special including a beef pho cup, half a pork banh mi, three spring rolls and a kumquat lemonade for $15. On Fridays Banoi also offers a range of crispy pork specials, including steamed taco buns, noodles and soups for a crispy deal.
Lucky Egg, Fortitude Valley: If you want fried chicken, Lucky Egg should be your first port of call. Tuesdays see the Brunswick Street Mall spot hawk two-for-one burgers, while Wednesday is the day for 50-cent wings. If you ask us, the phrase ‘cheap as chips’ should be renamed to ‘cheap as chicken’.
Heya Bar, Fortitude Valley: If you are meandering through the Valley on a Thursday searching for cheap chow, Heya Bar offers all of its menu items for just $5. That means you can snack on panko prawns, cheeseburger spring rolls, and pork and prawn siu mai until you’ve had your fill.
Wrapture, West End: If you want a bargain bite that is also healthy, then wait ‘til you wrap your hands around this one. West End’s Wrapture serves tasty wraps that are nutritious and good value. The Olympus wrap (with lemon chicken) or the Zen Tofu wrap (with teriyaki tofu and wasabi mayo) will only set you back $11.
Clancy’s Espresso, Norman Park: Those in a hurry to catch the bus on time needn’t skip breakfast to do so, especially if you’ve got Clancy’s Espresso nearby. Pick up a toasted bagel with your choice of spread for $6.50, or spruce it up with chicken, pastrami, or tomato and cheese for $10.
Greaser Bar, Fortitude Valley: You’d be surprised what a crisp tenner can get you these days. Fortitude Valley’s Greaser Bar serves up its signature burgers for just $10 between 5:00–7:00 pm every day, which is a deal we will happily make time for. Oh, and on Wednesdays the price of selected burgers drops to $5 a pop – even better!
Mr Bunz, Brisbane City: Mr Bunz serves up a collection of fluffy and delicious bao buns for cheap, meaning you can grab a few for the road!
Hai Hai Ramen, Paddington: Another early week bargain – Paddington’s Hai Hai Ramen dishes up bowls of its brothy goodness for $10 between 5:00–6:00 pm every Monday and Tuesday. Throw in chicken karaage or miso corn for $5 and you’ve got a deal worth leaving work early for.
Mucho Mexicano, South Bank, and Hawthorne: Mucho Mexicano takes Taco Tuesday seriously. Don’t believe us? These joints host all-you-can-eat tacos for $25 from 5:00 pm every Tuesday, which is a big deal if you love going hard on a bargain.
Bird’s Nest Yakitori, Fortitude Valley: If you love a bit of char-grilled goodness, Bird’s Nest in The Valley dishes up yakitori skewers for $3 every Monday. If you’re keen on something more substantial, you can enjoy a chicken karaage burger or vegetarian-friendly korokke burger with a side of fries for $12 between 12:00–3:00 pm daily.
Kim Thanh Hot Bread, West End: A banh mi is a quick and satisfying snack, and thankfully one of the best spots in town to secure one is the cheapest. Kim Thanh Hot Bread hawks these stuffed rolls for $6.50 ($6 if you opt for tofu), as well as a range of pies for $4 or less.
Bavarian Beerhaus, Bowen Hills: If you’ve got a few dollars in loose change rattling around in your pocket, or a swear jar that needs emptying, Bavarian Beerhaus will gladly exchange shrapnel for chicken wings. On Wednesdays, the bar serves up chicken wings for 10 cents a piece. Round up your coins – this is the best spot to make it stretch.
Remy’s, Paddington: Paddington locals won’t stop raving about Remy’s, the leafy locale that serves up some truly scrumptious brunch and burgers. Did you know Remy’s also hosts Taco Tuesdays? One taco will cost you $3, but you can get four for $10, which we think is a great deal. Every Sunday Remy’s also offers two-for-one burgers, so now you should have a pretty good idea why this joint has such a favourable rep.
Melt Brothers, Brisbane City and Mt Gravatt: Melt Brothers is one of the best places to go for an authentic grilled-cheese sandwich, with the signature Triple Cheese available for just $6.50, or spend a few extra bucks and go for the Morning Glory, which can be all yours for $9.
The Fox Hotel, South Brisbane: South Brisbane’s iconic pub is a great space to get a feed for a low fee. All pizzas at the Trocadero Long Bar and Dandy’s Rooftop are $9.90 each, but that price drops to $4 each during 12:00–2:00 pm Monday through to Saturday, 6:00–8:00 pm Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Oh, and the Trocadero Long Bar also serves $5 burgers and chips from 6:00–8:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 12:00–2:00 pm on Thursday lunch and 12:00–4:00 pm on Saturdays. Just so you know.
The Yiros Shop, various locations: The iconic Greek street-food icon is the perfect grab-and-go option, and The Yiros Shop has got a great incentive to stop by. On Tuesdays you can take advantage of the Tight Greek Tuesday deal, which includes a yiros and a can of drink for $11. Bargain!
Mrs Luu’s Vietnamese Canteen, various locations: $8 for a banh mi is nothing to sniff at, especially when it is filled with Vietnamese porchetta, barbecue pork or pan-fried tofu.
Tippler’s Tap, South Bank and Fortitude Valley: Honestly we could populate a list this long with Taco Tuesday deals, but we’re going to stick with the best. Every Tuesday Tippler’s Tap offers $2 tacos from 5:00 pm ($3 per vegan taco), which is so mind-bogglingly amazing that we’ve made the bar our unofficial home.
The Vietnamese, Fortitude Valley: Dining in or takeaway – $10 for a filling rice vermicelli salad is undeniable value, and don’t even get us started on the gargantuan bowls of pho, which are also $10. Hoo boy – it’s a delight.
New Shanghai, Brisbane City: This Queens Plaza destination is great for bite-sized goodies. Inhale bulk dumplings until you are stuffed with 10 pieces for less than $13.
Bloodhound Bar, Fortitude Valley: This venue should be renamed to the Bargain Bar, because the deals are out of this world. Kick the week off on Monday, when the kitchen dishes up meals for $10 with any drink purchase. On Tuesdays you can scoff down two-for-one tacos all night long, Wednesday offers up a kilo of wings for $10 and at lunchtime on Friday and Saturday patrons can score a meal for $10 with a drink purchase.
NoNo’s, Red Hill: Red Hill’s Lebanese food haven is perfect for an inexpensive lunch. Grab a falafel kebab for $8.50 and a sweet treat to go for less than $3.
Bagel Boys, Brisbane City: The humble bagel is a great choice if you are a) in a hurry, b) broke and c) hungry. Breakfast or lunch, Bagel Boys has got you – no filled bagel on its menu will cost you more than $10 and a bagel with a cream cheese schmear is only $5.
The Burrow, West End: Not only is The Burrow a delightful spot for a weekend brunch, those after a satisfying and inexpensive lunch are also catered for. Grab a 9-inch pepper-noni pizza or margherita pizza for only $10.
Brewski, Petrie Terrace: Caxton Street’s Brewski is killer for those after a bargain. Not only are there a bunch of $10 lunch specials, but you can score two-for-one meals on Mondays and $10 burgers on Tuesdays.
King Ahiram, West End: Fancy a wrap? King Ahiram in West End whips up some of the best, cheapest parcels in town (try the falafel kebab, trust us) while also offering a range of other goodies to sink your teeth into.
Govinda’s, Brisbane City, West End and Fortitude Valley: If you are looking for something filling and nourishing, while still being easy on the wallet, Govinda’s is the place to be. Enjoy all you can eat and drink for $12.90.
Red Hook, Brisbane City: You can get a cheap feed at inner-city joint Red Hook if you bring a friend on Thursdays. The Thursday Double Down allows you and a pal to enjoy a Brooklyn cheeseburger and a serve of fries each for $25 total. Phoning a friend has benefits!
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.