A place where some of Melbourne’s finest restaurants sit alongside casual eateries and late night kebab joints, the food scene in St Kilda is a cultural mixed bag. From spicy Mexican to a classic French baguette, we navigate through some of the best meals for $10 or less.

1. Fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella margherita at Dog's Bar – $10
54 Acland Street, St Kilda
Set back from the chaos of Acland Street in an old European-style building with a casual Italian menu, the Dog’s Bar is a St Kilda favourite for good reason. Snag a seat outside if it’s sunny and people-watch while you eat.

2. Rare roast beef sandwich at Galleon – $10
9 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
The Galleon is an institution in St Kilda. Set yourself up at one of the retro linoleum tables and tuck into a rare roast beef sandwich, served with rocket, cream cheese, tomato, onion and chutney. Other items that will cost you $10 or less include the smoked salmon and avocado bagel and the big salad sandwich.

3. Classic sandwich at Garage Espresso – $7.50
126a Chapel Street, St Kilda
Sometimes, nothing is more satisfying than wrapping your laughing gear around a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich the way mum used to make. This small, cleverly designed space is the perfect spot to while away a quiet lunch. Take your $2.50 change, add another coin from the bottom of your wallet and get a coffee to go.

4. Two tacos at Acland St Cantina – $10
2 Acland Street, St Kilda
At just $5 a pop, grazing on some Mexican for lunch is cheap and cheerful at Acland St Cantina. Meat eaters can choose from the goat, spit-roasted pork with pineapple salsa or chorizo with tomato salsa. The otherwise inclined will find comfort in the fried fish taco served with slaw and chipotle mayo, a blue corn prawn taco with wild mushroom or the wild mushroom, goats cheese and corn taco.

5. Quesadillas at Radio Mexico – $9
11–13 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Another Mexican favourite in St Kilda, Radio Mexico is a bit like going on a little holiday. At two pieces per serve, the corn tortillas with cheese filling and your choice of potato and chorizo or bean, corn and roasted capsicum are a comforting winter warmer with a Mexican twist.

6. Avocado, tofu and wakame salad at Ichi Ni – $10
12 The Esplanade, St Kilda
Taking advantage of the esplanade location, this modern Japanese restaurant is a favourite for its setting as much as its food. Creamy and refreshing, the diced avocado, firm tofu and wakame salad with sweet sesame and soy dressing is rich in flavour, but not in price.

7. Toasted pork belly roll at Stokehouse Café – $9
30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda
Served with coleslaw and onion relish, not much beats looking out over the bay while eating at the recently renovated Stokehouse Café. With a cool new fit-out, delicious menu and beautiful bay view, eating at Stokehouse with a $10 note is a steal.

8. Chicken coconut curry at Chinta Blues – $7.50
6 Acland Street, St Kilda
A classic Malaysian restaurant, Chinta Blues has gained a loyal following for traditional and healthy Asian fare over the years. The coconut chicken curry broth served with vegetables is packed with goodness, making for a hearty meal to keep you warm for the rest of the day.

9. Vegetarian at Lentil As Anything – pay what you want
41 Blessington Street, St Kilda
The not-for-profit group of Indian and Sri Lankan-inspired vegetarian restaurants offers a unique dining experience while restoring our faith in community. Putting funds back into projects to help acclimatise and re-establish the lives of new migrants and refugees, Lentil As Anything serves up generously sized dishes on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis. Take your pick from curries, salads and more while giving back to the community. We recommend giving more rather than less.

10. Ham and cheese baguette at Dr Jekyll – $9.50
107 Grey Street, St Kilda
Get your French on in the quiet, leafy courtyard with a hearty baguette, oozing with melted cheese and Istra leg ham. Not much else needs to be said for something so simple and perfect.