Definition of Cheap Eats: A meal that costs $10 or under in the local currency without a sacrifice in quality or flavor.
Address: 156 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
Recommendation: Mongolian Chicken
Notes: If you ask me for a recommendation for a place to eat in Brisbane, this will be the first restaurant I send you to. Just so you have an idea how good their Mongolian Chicken is (recommended dish above), I asked the head chef for the recipe, got denied, and was more disappointed than a human should be over a simple incident like that. On my last day in Brisbane, I actually thought about getting a double order to take with me to the airport, but I didn’t end up having time. That’s how much I love their food, and it’s cheap! My second recommendation would be to try the Hokkein Ho Fun noodles topped off with fried ice cream for dessert.
Address: 2/59 Hardgrave Rd, West End QLD 4101
Recommendation: Mongolian Beef or any of their soups
Notes: Come the weekend, Trang will be packed, and for good reason. The food is fantastic and comes in big portions so you can take some home for a second meal. Get your hands on some Mongolian Beef or any of their soups. Do you remember that scene in the movie Julie & Julia where Julia and her husband, Paul, are sitting in a restaurant in France and Julia is left speechless over her dinner so much that she looks like she’s about to cry? Similar emotions will emerge at Trang’s, especially if you’ve had a long day exploring.
Davies Park Weekend Market
Address: Off Montague Road and end of Jane Street, West End
Notes: Any kind of street food market, weekend market, or farmer’s market is usually a gold mine of cheap, delicious eats. Go to Davies Park on a Saturday, buy some organic fruits and veggies to cook with at home, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Get a falafel pita from the “Eat a Pocket” truck (all vegetarian) and splurge on fresh donuts with cinnamon (optional: chocolate drizzle and strawberries – VooDoo doughnuts ain’t got nothing on these). Among other options, there are also gluten free crepes, juice stands, and German sausages. Bring some water along, especially during the summer, eat good food, and listen to live music. The day won’t get any better than that.
Address: 1/170 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
Recommendation: Whole wheat pancakes with tropical fruit and coconut
Notes: One morning, I ate at Banana Lounge on a whim because it was down the street from my friend’s apartment and resembled an outdoor cafe you might see in Northern Thailand. To my surprise, it was a vegan restaurant and probably one of the healthier meals I had on my trip. From an outdoor table, I casually watched passersby on their way to work and devoured a full plate of whole wheat pancakes with tropical fruit jam and a chocolate and banana smoothie. The food itself was very lightweight but nonetheless filling and fulfilling.
Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 1/82 Vulture St, West End QLD 4101, Australia
Recommendation: Avocados on toast
Notes: Many meals are quite dynamic, full of several different ingredients, that when I eat something simple, I often forget how delicious it can be. My last breakfast in Brisbane was at Govinda’s, a tiny vegetarian cafe that prides themselves on their select menu of breakfast options, coffee, and SE Asian street food. If you go, try the toasted white bread with mountains of smashed avocados. It’s such a straightforward breakfast without a lot of flavor but smooth and just plain delightful.
Easy Way Bubble Tea
Address: 132 Albert St, Brisbane QLD 4000
Recommendation: Chocolate milk tea with pearls.
Notes: Though Easy Way is not specific to Brisbane, I still went every morning to get my chocolate milk tea much like anyone would stop in at Starbucks for coffee. A large cup of bubble tea would fill me up until dinner, and depending on the order, it’ll only set you back $3-5. They’ve earned the name “Australia’s Best Bubble Tea,” and with a wide variety of flavors, types of teas, and pearls/jelly options, nobody can argue otherwise.
See Also: Favorite Cheap Eats – Sydney Edition