Dining out on your spare change doesn’t have to mean fast food. When you know where to go, it’s like you’re in on a (very cheap) secret. Here’s what you can get with a single kangaroo coin.
$1 dumplings at Monkey King Bar
68 Menzies Alley, CBD
These inexpensive doughy balls of joy are most people’s cheapy go-to. When they’re only $1, though, there’s an excuse to have even more. The newest venture from the team behind Oriental Teahouse and Zhou Zhou offers an array of dumplings to tempt every palate, including wagyu beef, sinkiang-spiced lamb and mixed vegetarian options.
Pinxtos at Naked For Satan
285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Bite-sized pinxtos (pronounced pinchos) are a great nibble to pair with any drink. Choose from a selection of seafood, vegetarian, meat and vegan options at Naked for Satan’s Bar de Pinxtos y Vodka. All are designed to be skewered with a toothpick and eaten in two or three bites. Remember to hold onto your toothpicks to tally your bill, but at these happy hours you can afford to lose count.
Lunch Mon to Fri 12pm–4pm
Dinner Mon to Wed 4pm–late
Oysters at … everywhere
Sip, slurp, suck (even chew): however you eat them, fresh oysters are a treat. And they don’t need to be saved for fancy entrees. Enjoy freshly shucked oysters on the go while you wander the South Melbourne Market, or shoot the breeze over drinks and oysters at Panama Dining Room.
Panama Dining Room
Level 3/231 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Mon to Fri from 6pm–7pm
South Melbourne Market
322–326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne
Wed, Sat & Sun 8am–4pm
Pizza at 29th Apartment
29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
At 29th Apartment in St Kilda you can get nine inches of your favourite classic pizza for just $1. It has thought ahead for amusements while you digest, with games of Battleship, Connect Four and even Giant Jenga.
Wed 8pm–10pm with any drink purchase
Chicken wings at Transport Bar
Federation Square, Melbourne
Transport Bar offers those in the know the perfect post-work comfort food: wings. This bar snack is hard to ignore at the best of times, but when it’s only $1, it becomes irresistible.
Mon to Thu 5pm–7pm
Tacos at the Dan O’Connell Hotel
225 Canning Street, Carlton
Taco Tuesdays at the Dan O’Connell Hotel make for a very cheap fiesta. Serving tacos for $1, as well as enchiladas and a number of craft beers, it would be hard to walk away with an empty stomach … or empty pockets.
(The original version of this article listed $1 oysters at the Albert Park Hotel. This has been removed, as the offer is no longer available.)