Restaurant Reviews

Australia's best cheap eats, city by city

Our favourite places to grab a bargain bite, according to our 2020 Restaurant Guide.

Super Ling's ma po pork noodles.


A decade on, and the Ayubi family continue to set the nationwide standard for authentic Afghan cooking.
What to order: Narenji palaw made with aged rice, candied orange and nuts.
124b Henley Beach Road, Torrensville, (08) 8443 9001
Jeyuk-bibimbap, kimchi pancakes, fried chicken and other Korean culinary hits are all the rage at this Grenfell Plaza hotspot.
What to order: The killer kimchi-jeon.
Shop 3/25 Grenfell St, Adelaide, (08) 8212 8274
The Street Bites menu at Nu Suandokmai's home-style Thai eatery is a bargain collection of snacks that are satisfying on their own or a perfect prelude to a meal.
What to order: Betel leaves filled with pork belly, prawns or coconut.
10 Selby St, Adelaide, (08) 7078 3559

Earnest Mexican fare is the focus here, and the corn tortillas, lovingly pressed in-house, are a real highlight.
What to order: The red mole is a force to be reckoned with.
Shop 28/18 Amanda St, Salisbury, 0419 934 608


A smart, owner-operated destination that knows its onions.
What to order: The shared banquet roves over several courses and is value for $64.
148 Merthyr Rd, Brisbane, (07) 3254 0595
Laneway cave à manger-style wine bar offering personality-filled plates, with plenty of Euro goodness by-the-glass
What to order: At $60, the 5-course tasting menu is a snip.
44 Fish Ln, South Brisbane, (07) 3255 0010

Nothing on the menu's over $30 at this fun, cocktail-fuelled horseshoe bar with a tiny kitchen and a brick wood-fired oven.
What to order:The charry wood-fired chook with mascarpone and lemon.
2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach, 0424 675 774
There are bigger bowls around town, but Taro Akimoto's devotion to creating exceptional ramen is well-known. His noodles are the ones to beat.
What to order: The lip-smacking tonkotsu.
L2, 480 Queen St, Brisbane, (07) 3839 4840


Industry stalwart Tony Lo Terzo offers a masterclass in service and generous plates of fresh house-made pasta.
What to order: Orecchiette with broccoli.
38 Mort St, Braddon, (02) 6179 8812
In an era of fake meat and fake news, this reliable unfussy Vietnamese restaurant is the real deal.
What to order: Vietnamese spring rolls.
2/7 Sargood St, O'Connor, (02) 6248 6030


Char kway teow, nasi lemak and other Malaysian mainstays rule the roost at this unpretentious local haunt.
What to order: Creamy, comforting laksa.
131 Collins St, Hobart, (03) 6234 3622
A modest corner watering hole that flies the flag for Australian gastropubs, with prices almost too good to be true.
What to order: Fried black-pepper chicken.
87 Macquarie St, Hobart, (03) 6231 4916


One of the original and best Lebanese restaurants in Melbourne is great value.
What to order: Ladies' fingers.
109 Elgin St, Carlton, (03) 9347 0006
Japanese breakfast in this spacious light-filled café and homewares store makes the world better.
What to order: Japanese breakfast plate.
31-39 Keele St, Collingwood, 0481 398 686
Vibrant, fresh Indian street food served to a backdrop of Indian pop music.
What to order: Bhel puri – sweet and sour puffed rice salad.
22 Katherine Pl, Melbourne, (03) 9629 2620

Athens in Oakleigh – trad souvlaki made with fluffy pita stuffed with female pork, oregano, tzatziki and chips.
What to order: The pork gyros platter.
22 Katherine Pl, Melbourne, (03) 9939 3912
Lunchtime at Super Ling is all about the house-made, bargain-priced noodles.
What to order: Noodles with toppings from offal to eggplant.
138 Queensberry Ct, Carlton, (03) 9347 5878


Freakshakes? Doughnuts? Say no and eat dessert at this new-wave gelateria spruiking good ingredients and creativity.
What to order: The chef collab.
180 William St, Northbridge

Hit Seren and Ryan Chu's bakery for Instagram-ready pastries, then head to nearby Hyde Park for a picnic.
What to order: A matcha puff.
498 William St, Highgate, (08) 9328 4740
From groceries to a nourishing feed on the run, this Italian deli is at Perth's service.
What to order: The continental roll.
72 Lake St, Northbridge, (08) 9328 1877


Mezes that'll make you double dip in a communal and convivial cult-favourite sliver of a Lebanese restaurant.
What to order: The ridiculously juicy Moorish chicken.
59 Liberty St, Enmore, (02) 9550 3458

Ambitious, yet grounded in tradition, Ho Jiak exemplifies finessed home-style Malaysian cooking at its finest.
What to order: Silky steamed century, duck and chicken eggs.
92 Hay St, Haymarket, (02) 8040 0252
Newtown's beloved burger joint finds a second home just steps away from Sydney Harbour.
What to order: The vegan Mary's Burger might just be better than the OG.
7 Macquarie Pl, Sydney
This mod ramen-ya established itself as one of the city's best in a matter of months. The queues are proof.
What to order: Tonkotsu all the way.
66b Regent St, Redfern

In a city starved for proper Mexican, Rosa Cienfuego delivers the goods.
What to order: The Mexico City-stylechicken tamale with salsa verde.
463 Marrickville Rd, Dulwich Hill, (02) 8590 1661