Like many, you might be feeling the pinch at the moment and seeking food options to take advantage of that don’t take a huge toll on your bank balance. You've come to the right place. There are plenty of cheap eats and drinks around the city to take advantage of – and we’ve got your guide to finding them.
El Jannah, Granville
Once a small, somewhat obscure gem in western Sydney, El Jannah has now become one of the most popular chicken shops in the city. Founded in 1998 with just one store, and now with over 10 outposts, El Jannah is iconic to Sydney, and it’s absolutely worth the wait in line.
On the menu are charcoal chicken classics including a half-chicken meal for $17.50 which includes charcoal chicken, chips with chicken salt, a small toum and your choice of drink. Whatever you order, just make sure you include the garlic sauce, an absolute standout. Many items on the menu come in at under $10, so you’re sure to find something that works with both your budget and hunger levels.
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The Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale
The Lansdowne Hotel has been pulling pints since the 1920s. While it’s long been a student favourite, thanks to its drink specials and late licence, it’s also part of the fabric of Sydney’s live music scene, with frequent gigs from local and international acts.
In recent years, it’s been taken over by the team from Oxford Art House, ushering in a new era for the venue, which means a thoughtful menu of pub classics for reasonable prices. Pop in for a gig, Wednesday night trivia or to catch the sunset up top, and grab a bite to eat while you’re there. Think classic burgers, no-nonsense pizzas and gyros (available for $7 after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays). If you’re there on a Sunday, get your hands on a slab of lasagne and a drink for $20.
Pastizzi Cafe, Newtown
Pastizzi Cafe is an iconic King Street spot, dearly loved by both locals and those coming from afar. Expect to see a line out the front most days, which shouldn’t deter you, but rather be a testament to the food.
Tradition is abandoned here and fresh batches are baked daily, with a wide range of fillings including chilli con carne, vegetable curry, beef curry chicken and mushroom. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, options include chocolate and ricotta, apple and cherry. There’s more than just pastizzi on offer though. If you’re feeling like something more substantial, the cafe serves big pastas and salads – all under $20.
Flour and Stone Pantry, Woolloomooloo
Flour and Stone Pantry is a haven for bakery lovers, headed up by owner Nadine Ingram. The menu is diverse and reflective of the staff working there – as each chef has been tasked with creating their own item for the menu. There is plenty available for under $12 for whatever mood you’re in. On the savoury side, you’ll want to get your hands on the pork and veal sausage rolls, for under $6, or try chef Sarah Ghantous’s famous lavosh crackers, made with her grandmother’s za’atar.
If you’re feeling something sweet, the bakery’s famous chocolate raspberry buttermilk cake is just $11. Similarly, the brûlée also comes in at $11 and is definitely worth getting your hands on.
Xi’an Eatery, Burwood
Shining the spotlight on the Shaanxi region in north-west China, Xi’an Eatery’s signature dish is biang biang noodles – thick, hand-pulled noodles that fold over each other like ribbons. The restaurant makes its own noodles daily and serves each bowl traditionally, with a final splash of searingly hot oil to burn the chilli on the noodles and further bring out the flavour. Expect to pay just over $12, with a bunch of different bowls at different price points on offer.
There are other dishes on offer as well though, if you’re not feeling noodles. Try the roujiamo (a pita pocket-style bun, filled with pork, coriander and capsicum), the leek pancakes or the wontons, all coming in at under $20.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Destination NSW.