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. 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.
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).
Empire Chicken, Fortitude Valley: When we hear the words, ‘quarter chicken and chips’, we think value. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Empire Chicken, which serves the classic combo for $10. If that’s not enough, you can get half a kilo of wings for $10, so it’s winner, winner, chicken dinner as far as we’re concerned.
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 $10.95, and its tostadas are only $6.95 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.
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 shipping container 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 Tuesday searching for cheap chow, Heya Bar offers half-price food all from 5:00 pm until 1:00 am. Giant cheeseburger spring rolls? We’ll take two.
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 a tenner.
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, or spruce it up with chicken, pastrami, or tomato and cheese for $10.
Greaser Bar, Fortitude Valley: You’d be surprised what a crisp fiver can get you these days. Fortitude Valley’s Greaser Bar serves up its signature Greaser Burger for just $5 on Wednesdays, which is a deal we will happily make time for.
Mr Bunz, Brisbane City: Mr Bunz serves up pork and chicken bao buns for $6 a piece, or you can splash out an extra piece of silver for a duck bun for $6.50.
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.
King Tea, Paddington: What’s better than cheap? Free, of course! Every Friday King Tea in Paddington plates up free pinxtos between 5:00–6:00 pm to get your happy hour off on the right note
Coyotito, Brisbane City: The taco loving doesn’t stop, with Coyotito also throwing its hat in the ring for your patronage on Tuesdays. All tacos are $5 at this Eagle Lane eatery all day on Tuesday, which means you’ll have some change left over for a cheeky frozen margarita.
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.
Super Whatnot, Brisbane City: Tucked away on Burnett Lane, Super Whatnot serves some great cheap eats with its $11 Nachos Locos and its $13 chilli cheese dog.
The Yiros Shop, various locations: As good as the pita-wrapped delights at The Yiros Shop are, the brand offers so much more. On Thursdays all locations offer a lunch deal including a small meat and salad or loaded chips and a can of drink for $10. That’s not all – on Tuesdays you can take advantage of the Tight Greek Tuesday deal, which includes a yiros and a can of drink for $10. 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: 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, which 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.
Brisbane Brewing Co, West End: For most of us, Friday coincides with payday, but if you can’t stand instant noodles for dinner again, Brisbane Brewing Co. dishes up its heroic hoagies for $13 from 5:00–9:00 pm every Thursday.
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.
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: 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!