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.
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.
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.
807 Bourke Street, Docklands and 530 Little Bourke Street
Here’s one for those of us who work at or near Docklands. Banoi offers a delectable range of Vietnamese street food including a great selection of sub-$10 banh mi. Baguette rolls are baked daily and filled with your choice of cold meats, BBQ pork, grilled chicken, crispy pork, salad or silken tofu. If you’re after something smaller (and cheaper), Banoi’s tacos are only $5 each!
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.
550 Little Collins Street
Named after the palm tree that was planted in the first Bacardi distillery in Cuba in 1862, El Coco is a colourful bar with a reasonably priced, Cuban-inspired menu and great cocktails. You’ll find Buffalo wings for $10 and popcorn chicken for $9.50. Best of all, pop in on a Friday for $10 pizzas.
Tahini Lebanese Diner
518 Little Bourke Street and Collins Square, Docklands
Tahini serves authentic Lebanese food. Founder, Joseph Haddad, has travelled the world in search of the perfect falafel recipe, so expect a lot from the $10 falafel wrap (house-made falafel, lettuce, parsley, tomato, radish, mint, pickles and tahini sauce). Get your wrap to go or eat in at their 90-seat diner.
22 Katherine Place
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.
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 $6.50 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 $10. Find them in four locations across the city.
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 one of two sub-$10 a la carte options: ‘Holy Shrimp!’ and ‘Bean Me Up’.
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.