Can’t look at another sushi roll? There’s much more exciting lunchtime fare to be had on the cheap.

Udon Yasan, from $5

Build your own bowl at Melbourne's cheapest Japanese noodle bar. The bowls from Udon Yasan at 186 Bourke Street start at under $5 for flavours like teriyaki chicken, sukiyaki beef or beancurd. Customise your bowl with all your favourite noodle toppings. Add on tempura, kimchi and soft boiled eggs for $1 to $2 each. Then go hard at the self-serve garnish station.

Pizza Pizza Pizza, $5

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 start at $32. With eight massive slices they're big enough to feed a crew of famished friends.

Two pieces of pizza on black plates
Pizza Pizza Pizza

Coppe Pan, from $6

If gourmet sandwich spots are a bit of a stretch for your current budget, Coppe Pan has you covered. These thick, juicy cuts of crumbed chicken breast cushioned in freshly baked bread will set you back a slight $6. You can also skip straight to dessert and enjoy a matcha custard filled cube puff for $9, or take home a whole loaf of fluffy Japanese shokupan for $10.

All-you-can-eat vegan, $7.50-$8.95

Hearty, healthy and kind on the earth. Head to Om Vegetarian where the bestselling meal is the $7.50 all-you-can-eat thali meal. You get three curries, rice and naan all of which you can refill to your hearts content. Or follow the sounds of the Hare Krishnas to Crossways at 147 Swanston St, where yet another all-you-can-eat vegan feed awaits for $8.95.

A chicken sandwich on white bread
Coppe Pan

Heartbaker BunMee, $9.90

Uncover a hidden pork roll gem in Melbourne's tiniest laneway. Heartbaker Bun Mee has six fresh flavours, including signature crispy pork belly and caramelised tofu. There's even a vegan roll for plant-based foodies. All the banh mi clock in at under ten bucks, so it'd be rude not to smash a Vietnamese iced coffee or two while you're there.

Butchers Diner, $9.90

Butchers Diner is Melbourne’s best all-day burger joints, open from midday to midnight Tuesday to Saturday. Cop a no-mess, no-fuss hamburger with pickles and mayo for under a tenner. The grilled cheese toastie is an excellent grab-and-go cheap eat option for $9.90, too.

Three people eating at a diner table
Butchers Diner

Uncle Tetsu, $9.90

Is it a crepe? Is it a crème brûlée? All we know for sure is this $9.90 treat is decadent and delicious. Uncle Tetsu is known for its soft and jiggly Japanese-style cheesecakes. Can't eat a cake in one sitting? That's where the crepe brûlée comes in. It's a custard cream–filled crepe with a caramelised sugar crust to crack through.

Seoul Toast Bong, under $10

Bong Seoul Toast (or Sukbong) is a famous chain with more than 200 stores in Korea. Their one and only Australian store just opened in Healeys Lane. Start simple with egg and cheese, or go OTT with added hash browns and beef bulgogi. Everything on the menu is under $10, and the signature bulgogi toastie will only set you back $8.

An egg sandwich with neon sign behind it
Seoul Toast Bong

Soi 38, $10

Soi 38 serves all kinds of noodle soups and dry noodle dishes, but the boat noodles are the rightful signature, the broth rich in galangal and lemongrass, slowly simmered meat and springy noodles. The best bit about Soi 38, though? You’ll be eating lunch in a corner of a CBD carpark, along with a buzzy huddle of other diners in the know. It doesn’t get much more Melbourne than that.

Drums Cafe, under $10

Fresh, flavourful Sri Lankan food is just a market trip away. You'll find Drums Cafe in Queen Victoria Market and it's perfect for a fast feed. Grab a loaded curry buffet plate with rice, meat, two veggie curries and pappadums to scoop it all up. The entrée serve comes in under a tenner. Don't forget some naan or roti.

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