Ten CBD lunches for under $10

It’s 11.30am, you’re sitting in a meeting, and all you can think about is what to have for lunch. You really should’ve made your own lunch, but who has time for that? You had sushi rolls yesterday, and the day before. Where to go? What to eat?

These ten great spots offer great options for $10 or less.

Thai street food at Dodee Paidang

Basement, The Causeway Hotel, 353 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

A little laneway with a whole lot of foodie goodness, Equitable Place satisfies, whether you’re craving healthy or comfort food. Equally delicious as it is cheap, Dodee Paidang serves traditional Thai street food, with many meals available for under $10.

Anything on the menu at Princes Pies

10 Howey Place, Melbourne

The humble meat pie is getting an upgrade. Newly opened in Howey Place, Princes Pies uses top notch ingredients from respected local producers – they even make their own tomato sauce! All your buttery pastry dreams are about to come true. Lamb and potato, steak and caramelised onion, mac and cheese or even bolognese fillings line the menu. The whole menu is under $10 and the decor is decidedly retro – don’t forget to check out the Bob Hawke sauce dispenser between bites.

A shop counter with a display of freshly baked pies and cakes

Princes Pies

The Classic Burger at Burger Project

St Collins Lane Centre – Level 2, 260 Collins Street and St James – 535/555 Bourke Street

Fancy a Neil Perry lunch for under $10? Yes, you read that right… a Neil Perry meal for under $10! Burger Project, in two handy locations in the city, has the ‘Classic’ burger for $9.90. It features 36-month-old grass fed Cape Grim beef, Neil’s secret sauce and house-made pickles. Doing the low-carb thing, or gluten-intolerant? Get the ‘Classic’ in a bowl with no bun for the same.  Find them in St Collins Lane or St James.

A vanilla thickshake, burger and french fries on a blue background.

Burger Project

The noodle soups at Soi 38

38 McIlwraith Place

Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Bangkok is a street known for its night market (‘soi’ is Thai for ‘side street’), where diners sit at wobbly metal tables and order cheap and delicious food from the carts and stalls that line the street. Soi 38 on McIlwraith Place brings a taste of this to Melbourne. You’ll find four types of noodle soup on the menu: boat noodles (so named because they’re often sold from boats in Thailand) with beef or pork, Tom Yum noodles and braised duck noodles. All bowls will set you back $10.

The BoxBox at Drumplings

227 – 229 Bourke Street

Tuck into a $10 BoxBox at Drumplings in the city. There are three varieties to choose from. Try the prawn and chive dumplings with pork crackling, shitake mushroom dumplings with salted cucumber salad or prawn and ginger dumplings with pork crackling. Each served with honey soy rice noodles, picked zucchini salad.

The $10 pizzas at Fatto Bar & Cantina

With yummy, crispy $10 pizzas and $5 Peronis, the bar special at this casual Italian hits the spot rather than your wallet. Sit on Fatto Bar & Cantina’s riverside terrace and enjoy the fabulously free city view, including St Paul’s and Flinders Street Station. Even if you’re not decked out in Prada and Bulgari you’ll feel like a million dollars!

Delhi Streets eats

22 Katherine Place, Melbourne

Delhi Streets offer more sub-$10 eats than you can poke a samosa at, including six scrumptious street chaat (snacks) for $10 and under. The ‘Pani Puri’ (crispy puffed dough stuffed with potatoes, chickpeas, onions, tamarind chutney and spiced water) is a favourite, as is the ‘Papri Chaat’ (Indian nachos with crackers topped with potatoes, chickpeas, yoghurt topped served with mint and tamarind chutneys.). Both cost $9.

Indian street food (chaat) at Delhi Streets (photo: Facebook)

Indian street food (chaat) at Delhi Streets (photo: Facebook)

The $7.50 Indian feast at Om Vegetarian

Level 1, 28 Elizabeth Street, 227 Collins Street, 113 Swanston Street and 546 Collins Street.

Om Vegetarian is exactly that – a family-run vegetarian and vegan restaurant serving hearty and delicious Indian meals. For just $7.50 chow down on ‘All you can eat Thaali’, the vegetable curry and lentil curry of the day served with rice, peas and freshly baked Naan bread. Add to that a vegetable samosa and a mango lassi or soft drink, all for only $11. Find them in four locations across the city.

Selected poke bowls at Poked

551 Little Lonsdale Street

Poke (poh-kay) is a Hawaiian salad that most often features raw fish (sashimi) – and you can build your own poke at Poked. A small bowl featuring one ‘protein’ (salmon, tuna, sous vide chicken, prawn or organic tofu) and three ‘toppings’ (choose from seaweed or crab salad, crispy shallots, wonton crisps, edamame, pickled ginger, coriander, tobiko, pineapple and/or avocado) will set you back $9.95. Or, dig into the select sub-$10 a la carte options including ‘Hula, Hula Chook’ and ‘Bean Me Up’.

Bowl of brightly coloured tofu poked on a grey table. Bowl is filled with tofu, salad, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables.


$6.50 baguettes at B3 Cafe

15 Centre Place and Shop 2, 353 Little Collins Street.

With a baguette to satisfy any lunchtime craving, B3 café is the place to go for a delicious and top-value lunch. All grand baguettes are only $6.50. Choose from roast chicken, smoked salmon, chicken schnitzel, eggplant schnitzel and many more. Throw in a $2 rice paper roll and you still haven’t cracked a tenner.