Brisbane’s Best Budget-Friendly Eateries

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We get it: Student living isn’t always the most luxurious. But when you’re at University of Queensland in Brisbane and want to immerse yourself in the culture, try some of the key cuisines and restaurants. Brissy is Australia’s fastest-growing city, so it has a stack of great eateries that won’t break the bank.

First, though — what kind of food can you expect? Brisbane is a melting pot of culture and cuisines, so you’ll never be short of tasty new dishes. Check out some of the most popular:

  • Indigenous Australian Cuisine — The First Nations people of Australia have a rich culinary tradition that draws on native plants and animals. We’re talking salt and pepper crocodile, barramundi with finger lime, and kangaroo skewers.
  • Pacific Islander Cuisine — Many restaurants and food trucks serve traditional dishes, like Tongan lu sipi (lamb stew), Samoan oka (raw fish salad), and Fijian kokoda (coconut ceviche).
  • Asian Fusion — Catch plenty of traditional Asian flavors with exciting modern techniques across Brisbane. The more inventive twists, like Peking duck pancakes with truffle and Thai-style green curry risotto, take you on a bit of a journey.
  • Modern Australian — Modern Australian cuisine is a fusion of European, Asian, and Indigenous flavors and techniques. There are plenty of new spots popping up all the time, each one a splendid frenzy for your palate.

If you want to dig into any of these — or something different — the below spots are a strong starting point, and they’re not going to cost you too much either.

  • Mappen Noodle Restaurant — In the CBD, Mappen offers Japanese-style udon and soba noodles starting atjust a few bucks. Yum.
  • Greaser Bar — A Fortitude Valley dive bar with great burgers and snacks, on the cheap.
  • Sing's Asian Kitchen — A Sunnybank Plaza staple, offering authentic, delicious Asian dishes that won’t set you back too much.
  • Govinda's Vegetarian Buffet — Govinda's offers an very affordable all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet. And it’s pretty special.
  • The Burrow — A cozy café in the West End with delightful breakfast and lunches at really decent prices.
  • Fat Dumpling — A casual Fortitude Valley number that serves perfectly cooked Chinese dumplings. Get yourself six pieces, you won’t regret it.
  • Yum Yum Peking Duck — A West End favorite, renowned for its duck (go figure!) because it’s freshly cooked to order every time. The steamed buns, cucumber, and hoisin sauce make the perfect dish.
  • Kebab Palace — An unassuming spot in Fortitude Valley is a hidden gem for Middle Eastern food. The house-made sauces are a must.
  • The Bun Mobile — A really good food truck specializing in wallet-friendly gourmet steamed buns. Think outstanding meat, teriyaki tofu and veggies. Grab and go!