8 Affordable Yet Delicious Gems In Melbourne CBD That Won’t Break The Bank

8 Affordable Gems in Melbourne Collage

It can be pricey to eat out every day, especially if you are a student living in Melbourne with limited budget for meals.

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There are many kinds of cuisine that will cover your meals from brunch to dinner time in Melbourne.

Yamato Japanese Melbourne Shabu Shabu

Photo Credit: Yamato Japanese


A cosy space hidden away at the end of an alleyway in the heart of Chinatown, Yamato Japanese is a small restaurant that serves as authentic Japanese food.

Stepping into the charming little restaurant immediately transports you to an izakaya in Japan, the air filled with the smell of delicious greasy bar food and friendly Japanese waitresses taking orders in fluent English. The menu serves a wide variety, from everyone’s favourite sushi rolls to curry rice bowls and ramen.

On a cold day in Melbourne, tucking into their Shabu Shabu (A$15.80/pp) served on a hotpot is great for keeping warm in this homely restaurant.

28 Corrs Ln,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9663 1706
Mon to Thur: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 10.30pm
Fri: 11am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 10.30pm
Sat and Sun: 5pm – 10.30pm

Little Rogue Melbourne Matcha Latte

Photo Credit: Little Rogue


This little café is also tucked away in an alley outside Melbourne Central shopping centre, it is a gem that many only know through word-of-mouth recommendations. Despite being located right next to the ever-crowded Swanston Street, Little Rogue provides an escape away from the hustle of the city.

A popular favourite amongst its young visitors is the Matcha Latte (small for A$4.30, large for A$6) and the Iced Matcha (A$6.50), which is also available in a large takeaway bottle for enjoyment in the comfort of your own private space.

It is easy to understand why these are favourites as they are not overly sweet, which allows the fresh bitter and earthly taste of the matcha flavour to come through just right. Start your weekend right with one of their coffees and a cake pairing.

12 Drewery Ln,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Mon to Fri: 7.30am – 6pm
Sat and Sun: 9am – 6pm

Sushi Hotaru Melbourne Takoyaki

Photo Credit: Sushi Hotaru


Sushi is a popular lunch option for Melbournians who are looking for a quick bite. Sushi Hotaru is one of the few sushi joints in Melbourne that serve the well-loved Japanese dish on a conveyer belt.

Dishing out a wide variety of hand rolls, sashimi, sushi and nigiri, Sushi Hotaru is a favourite for its no-frills ordering system, sushi train and budget friendly experience if you’re tired of the usual hand rolls.

Midcity Arcade, 118/200 Bourke St,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9663 7538
Mon to Sun: 11.30am to 10pm

Brown Bagels Melbourne Chicken Breast Bagel

Photo Credit: Brown Bagels


A great casual breakfast or lunch alternative is Brown Bagels.

Choose something sweet with a coffee for breakfast or switch it up with one of their gourmet bagel sandwiches, some of which take on a unique Korean twist.

25 Equitable Pl,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9670 9114
Mon to Fri: 7.30am – 3.30pm

Dodee Paidang Melbourne Noodles

Photo Credit: Dodee Paidang


Situated right beside Brown Bagels is Dodee Paidang, a casual Thai restaurant that is usually packed with students and workers.

Instead of sitting along the lane outside, head down the stairs to a larger seating area. Their menu offers a wide selection of food, including the usual favourites of Pad Thai with Chicken (A$10.90) and Pad See Ew with Beef (A$10.90), as well as an extensive menu of customisable noodles: from the noodle type to the spice level.

353 Little Collins St,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9602 4968
Mon to Sun: 6.30am – 1am

CJ Lunch Bar Melbourne Cheese Chicken Bulgogi

Photo Credit: k aren


Right along the ever-popular Hardware Lane is the simple CJ Lunch Bar, which serves value-for-money casual Korean food with generous portions, from dons to bentos.

A favourite amongst diners is the Cheese Chicken Bulgogi (A$17.50) and comes out smoking with a heaping pile of chicken marinaded in spicy Korean sauce.

391 Little Lonsdale St,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9602 5559
Mon: 11.30am – 10pm
Tues to Sat: 11.30am – 9pm
Sun: Closed

Roule Galette Melbourne Chocolate Crepes

Photo Credit: Roule Galette


Near the famous Flinders Street Station is Roule Galette, a cute little French creperie that is concealed from the busy Flinders Lane.

Upon stepping into the creperie, you will be given the option to either sit outdoors or the cosy and homely indoors, where you will be able to observe them making crepes while singing along to French tunes. Offering both sweet and savoury options, their crepes are warm and perfectly soft yet crispy.

237-241 Flinders Ln,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9639 0307
Mon to Thur: 7.30am – 8pm
Fri: 7.30am – 9.30pm
Sat: 9am – 8pm
Sun: 9am – 5pm

Don Don Melbourne Beef Bowl

Photo Credit: Takahiro Shimizu


A favourite amongst Melbournians for cheap eats, Don Don has several joints spread across the city serving quick Japanese rice bowls at great budget prices.

Choose from a Teriyaki Don (A$7.70) to Beef Curry Don (A$8). Their food is great for students seeking a quick bite to eat that isn’t greasy fast food.

198 Little Lonsdale St,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9670 7113
Mon to Sun: 11am to 9pm