In recent years Redfern has flourished into an offbeat dining hub. Home to restaurants, cafes and small bars aplenty, the ‘Fern hosts some of the finest food in the inner city. The best part? Much of it is affordable.
Toasties at Arcadia Liquors – $10
Come for the good booze and friendly neighbourhood vibe, stay for the food. Arcadia does spiced nuts and charcuterie boards, but its range of toasties is where it’s really at. Our pick is the haloumi, za’atar, olive, red onion and spinach version.
Banana, raisin and walnut porridge at Redfern Continental – $9
On weekdays Redfern Continental serves great lighter options, such as bircher muesli; Greek yoghurt with poached fruit; and our favourite, a hearty take on standard porridge – all for nine bucks or less. It also does a variety of toasted paninis for just $10.
Crostini at GDR – $4 each
Return to Redfern Continental during the evening and head out back to the restaurant’s in-built small bar, GDR. Paired with the bar’s cocktails, the crostini make a great bar snack. There are four topping combos to choose from, and at only $4 each, you can easily afford to try more than one.
Beer-battered chips with house-made aioli at Three Williams – $4
A side of chips is ubiquitous at any bar, pub or cafe, but these are easily the best in the area. They’re triple-fried for an audible crunch, and the insides are perfectly fluffy. Plus, they’re an absolute steal.
Sandwiches at Scout’s Honour – $10
This place is renowned for its sangas, many of which are capped at $10. Fillings change often, but regulars include roasted eggplant, red-pepper pesto, provolone and onion, and chicken, walnut, mayo and cos lettuce. There’s also a rotating range of interesting salads on the menu, such as green couscous, and a virtuous soba noodle, mixed veg and edamame number with miso dressing.
Dessert pizzas at Milk Bar Pizza – $7 on Sundays
If you’re in the mood for something utterly indulgent to cap off the week, order a dessert pizza from the pizzeria brought to you by the team behind nearby Milk Bar by Café Ish. How could you go wrong with a banana and bacon hotcake pizza with maple syrup, or an Eaton mess donut pizza with meringue, chopped donuts, choc chips and chocolate and strawberry sauces?
152 Redfern Street, Redfern
Ten dollar lunches at The Norfolk
Head to The Norfolk for a weekday lunch and you can enjoy some of its South American/Mexican/Americana dishes for just 10 bucks. Tacos, chipotle salt-and-pepper squid and mac‘n’cheese balls are just some of the dishes on offer for a tenner, and the menu extends much further if you go for one of the (still affordable) $12 or $15 options.
Chicken baguette at Pitt St Diner – $9
Another good weekday lunch option is the chicken baguette from this charming bistro. Packed with poached chicken, aioli, shallots and cos lettuce, this delicious sandwich – made with a house-baked baguette, no less – is a bona fide taste of France for next to nothing.
96 Pitt Street, Redfern
Special fried rice at Wah Fung HK BBQ – $9
This no-frills hole-in-the-wall serves some of the best Chinese food in the inner east. The dim sum ($5.50 for four pieces) is decent, but the special fried rice is worth the trip alone. Packed with all manner of tasty things, it’s a complete meal by itself.
64 Regent Street, Redfern
Pastries and pies from Breadfern Bakery – from $5
With pretty much everything behind the counter coming in at under $10, you can probably treat yourself to a couple of baked goods and still receive change. The pies are very good, and the sweet things are unreal – we recommend trying the chocolate-and-salted-caramel fondant ($5) or the faultless lemon-meringue tart.