The cheapest places to eat for students in Melbourne

It’s time to put down those frozen meals and the instant ramen noodles, don’t you think? You may think eating out in Melbourne is very expensive (and it sure is, in some cases). However, if you know where to go, you can get a nice affordable lunch or dinner in many different places across the city. If you are a student you need to manage your money well, and this is especially important when it comes to food. If you are working remotely or doing a remote internship, you can save a lot of money on cheap lunches at home. 

Below are some of my favourite, affordable places to eat (to help make the dollars of students last that tiny bit longer).

Bakery Banh Mi At Trang 

When I was in Melbourne doing an international student internship, I would always eat at this place. Banh Mi At Trang have locations in Prahran, Collingwood and Camberwell. What makes this bakery so different from the rest is that it spoils its customers. You can get the usual crispy pork, barbecue pork and roast chicken along with great options for those following a vegan diet. On the menu, you can find vegan duck and lemongrass tofu, tempura eggplant and vegan roast chicken which are all available for you to have in your Bahn mi.

Pizza at Bimbos

In Fitzroy, you will find great value pizzas at just $4. This pizza place is a casual restaurant that is popular with its generous toppings and fully flavoured pizza bases. If you are on the south side of the Yarra, the little sister to this restaurant is known as Lucky Coq, and has $4 pizzas at different times of the day. Make sure that you check the times that they have the $4 pizzas going, otherwise you may be caught paying the full price of $9.90 (which, to some, is still a bargain).

Tostados, Tacos La Tortilleria

Found in Kensington is this authentic Mexican place, a great value restaurant for students in the Melbourne area. The tostadas and tacos can all be purchased for under $10. The teams are the makers and suppliers of the stable corn tortillas, and they come to you fresh from the oven topped with cauliflower, prawns, slow-cooked lamb and plenty more options. If you like to make them at home, you can purchase a tub of their guacamole which is one of a kind for only $9.50, and it lasts a long time.

Bao Wonderbao

In the Melbourne CBD, there is a tiny hole in the wall that serves up a beautiful steamed fluffy pillow of bao. There are plenty of vegetarian options, such as the silken gua bao, which is tasteful. They even have a dessert bao, but don’t forget you cannot go past the traditional chicken bao with shitake mushrooms and egg. Most purchases can be found for under $10, so it is a great budget meal for students.


In Collingwood, you can get yourself a parma for only $10. That’s right. While it might be hard to believe, you will get a decent sized meal of free-range chicken (or an option for vegetarians is the eggplant parma) for nearly nothing. You can order chips or a green salad as a side. You can also get penne puttanesca that is on offer for only $10, with anchovies, olives and capers.

Students living in Melbourne won’t have to go hungry with all the variety of restaurants they can get an affordable meal at. The best thing about these places is the fact that you get a decent-sized meal for your money.