Whether you’re craving a quick bite, dumpling feast or happy-hour cocktail, these tasty cheap eats won’t break the bank.
Pizza Pizza Pizza
Slices of NYC-style pie at Pizza Pizza Pizza cost just five bucks a pop. That includes the oozy triple cheese or de rigueur pepperoni and pepper. Whole pizzas (8 massive slices) go for $32, big enough to feed a crew of famished festival-goers.
Open until 2am, Butchers Diner has a burger or sanga to suit all tastes. Wolf down a blood sausage and devilled egg roll for $12.50. Or classic cheeseburger with bacon for just under $16. A vego-friendly sweet’n’sour eggplant roll with chips rounds up at $16.50.
Go Noodle House
Go for broke with a bargain-priced meal at Go Noodle House. This Chinatown staple has some of the city’s best Asian eats in town. Think pork belly noodles ($13.90), chilli pan mee soup ($14.90) and more. Top your dish with mixed mushrooms ($2.90) or an oozy poached egg ($2).
Greta opens till 8pm on Fridays, so stay on for a glass of wine served with complimentary snacks. So European! Or pair your aperitivo with one of Greta’s made-to-order sandwiches. Mortadella and cheese costs $14, egg with rocket just $12.
For a pre-show aperitivo, pop into Brunetti’s Campari Bar in Flinders Lane. A Campari spritz is a sassy $10. Add a slice of pizza or maybe a grilled panino, and you’ll still have change from $25.
It’s all about the pork broth at Russell Street’s Hakata Gensuke. A steaming-hot serve of signature tonkotsu ramen comes with homemade noodles, black fungus and spring onions. And it will set you back a mere $15. Or for a dollar more, dare to try a bowl of God Fire, spiced with Gensuke’s secret blend of heat.
Hawker Chan’s soya sauce chicken rice has local cult status. At $8.30 it’s also a steal. Or push the sauceboat out and order from the new crispy skin roast duck menu. A plateful of duck with rice is $13.80, with noodles $15.80.
Bodega Underground, that charismatic Mexican dive bar, has some excellent food and drink specials. Drop in for a late-night supper combo from midnight to 3am. Maybe corn with mayo served with a Paloma cocktail for $13. Or a cheeky Tecate lager and tacos for $15. Any time of night, a pair of regular tacos costs $12 a serve.
At Shanghai Street, homemade dumplings come boiled or fried. They also come swimming in chilli oil ($12.80) or bobbing in soup ($13.80). Fillings include pork, beef and our favourite, kung pao chicken. Vegetarians have some un-bao-lievable options too!
Happy hour deals
Got time for a drink before heading to a show? Cocktails are a snip at $12 at Fed Square’s Time Out, from 3pm. The Moat has joined the $12 cocktail club, Wednesday to Saturday from 4pm to 6pm. And it’s $10 Negroni Time at Campari House, Tuesday to Saturday, 4pm to 6pm. Down at Mejico, if it’s Monday, it’s $10 margaritas all day long.
More of the best bars for comedy festival drinks
Bijou Bottle Store & Bar
A bottle store and bar with a large selection of boutique wine and spirits.
Nick & Nora's Melbourne
A cocktail and champagne bar with a decadent menu that includes oysters and caviar.
A laneway cocktail bar and rooftop gin garden hidden in Melbourne's Chinatown.
Last updated on Fri 16 Apr 2021
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Large bar and grill that serves up an American southern-style steakhouse menu.