4 Cheap Asian Eats in Sydney

You don’t have to look hard to find cheap food in Sydney!

Sydney is notorious for being an expensive city. There is no shortage of fancy restaurants that are sure to burn a hole straight through your wallet. For backpackers, it can be a foodie bust and a complete nightmare. But at least Sydney is a big city which means, you’re not entirely out of luck. You have options.

Sydney’s “Asia” district – Chinatown and Thai Town – offers an abundance of restaurants with cheap and delicious good eats. You just have to know where to go.

$3 Menu
Ramen Kan’s Japanese Tapas

Starred Photos2

OK, this place isn’t easy to find. And the ghetto elevator entrance from the street is enough to turn away any normal paying customers. But once you get over the dingy elevator and make it upstairs, the restaurant is actually very nice. The menu is even better! From chicken karaage to salmon salad, agedashi tofu and pork gyoza and more – Japanese tapas for just $3!

Menya Mappen

When you can get Soba noodles for $3.90, that’s what I call a steal deal. In Sydney no less. Obviously here, the more extras you add on, the more you pay. But even so, you can have all the fixings to your noodle bowl and still come out on top – $7 tops.

$5 Menu
Chat Thai’s Everyday Mini 2-5pm


Who knew you can get amazing Thai food for just $5! You can here at Chat Thai during Happy Hour. Signature dishes like Khao Mun Gai (chicken and rice) and Sukho Thai (spicy rice noodles) are available in mini size for just $5. For an appetite like mine, it was the perfect size. Plenty actually.

$7 Menu
Mamak’s Roti

Get in line like the rest of Sydney and taste what all the fuss is about. Mamak’s roti and Malaysian food is an institution. At any given time of day, you’re looking at a 30 minute to 1 hour wait. But it’s worth it. The roti, both savory and sweet, averages $7 a plate! We got the roti telur – classic egg roti. For first timers, we’d recommend roti canai.

So there you have it. Your quick where-to guide for cheap Asian eats in Sydney.

Have any cheap eat options in Sydney you’d like to share?
We’d love to hear from you.

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13 Responses to 4 Cheap Asian Eats in Sydney

  1. Becs March 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    I am so tired of everyone always complaining how expensive it is to eat in Sydney. Maybe because I am from LA (or they just aren’t looking hard enough) but I never had that problem. I wrote a whole post about it here:

    Glad you are joining the “eat cheap in Sydney” movement! It does exist!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin March 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Yea.. when we were there, we couldn’t figure out why people it’s expensive to eat in Sydney. We ate surprisingly well and on the cheap with little to no effort. There’s so much to choose from. :)

  2. Andi Perullo March 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Soooo cheap that’s awesome!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin March 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Right?! Amazing food for $3- $7. It’s unheard of! Especially Sydney! Lol. We ate very well.. ;)

  3. Amy & Kieron March 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Roti Canai at Mamak… *drools*… so good! Get there before 6pm for dinner and you won’t have to wait long at all. :)

    • Kieu - GQ trippin March 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      LOL.. *drools*! We miss it already. Next time you’re in Sydney, ship us some! ;)

  4. Cole and Adela March 23, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    That looks so yum! Some how we always see food posts around breakfast haha

    • Kieu - GQ trippin March 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      LOL.. I find myself in the same situation when reading others posts. Always makes me hungry at the oddest hours. Haha

  5. FrancyR March 23, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Is it really so cheap eating asian food in Sydney? To be honest I’ve never been to Sydney before but I’ve always been told that youìre unlikely to find something cheap! Maybe you should just looking a bit closer and know better the city! Anyway I’ll take these restaurants ino account, whatever I’ll be in Sydney!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin March 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      We were told and read the same. We were pleasantly surprised. Staying in Chinatown has its benefits. There are so many to choose from I find it hard to NOT eat cheap. Hope you get to Sydney soon and see for yourself. ;)

  6. Brock - Backpack with Brock March 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Cheap and yummy suggestions! Thanks for posting this!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin March 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Sure thing. Really wish we stayed longer. I think there’s still so much more cheap eats to try. Oh well, next time. :)

  7. Arribaa October 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    One of the best kept local secrets is called Eating World (fo’ realz!). It’s at the western side of China Town and it’s like a big Asian food court. No frills, no fuss… just fast cheap eats but it’s a life saver on a budget. You can get full-size, full-on Asian dishes for about $8-10 from any of the stalls canvassing you to try their food.

    If you’re out-Asianed, some of the restaurant/ bars in Darling Harbour (eg Cargo Bar on King Street Wharf) and Darling Quarter (eg Braza Churrascaria) have mid-week $10 steak deals.

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