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The Best Auckland Eats on a Budget 

The Best Auckland Eats on a Budget 

As a broke college student, my daily diet consisted of instant noodles. After getting sick of the taste and getting sick quite literally, I decided to make it my life’s mission to curate a list of affordable but good eats.

Luckily Auckland is filled with places that guarantee a big bang for your buck from authentic Chinese food to classic pizza.

So, fellow foodies and frugal eaters, let’s embark on a budget-friendly food trip through the affordable restaurants and eateries in Auckland. 

Treat Yourself to Some Authentic Thai Flavors at Aroy Thai Eatery

Address: 13 Commerce Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 379 7758



  • Open from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 3 pm and 4:30 pm to 9 pm
  • Open from Saturday to Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $10 to $20 

If you’re looking for Thai food on the cheap, then you’ll be glad to discover the Aroy Thai Eatery. Since their establishment in 1998, they have been a well known eatery for producing authentic and quality Thai dishes. 

They also put an emphasis on sourcing everything locally and offering their dishes at reasonable prices. You can get 8 pieces of their roti for $8.50, their Veg Spring Rolls for $10.90, or the curry puffs for $15.90. 

Dessert lovers like us will be pleased with the $3.50 gourmet Thai ice cream that comes in 6 flavors. Our favorite is the black bean with sticky rice!

Pro Tip: 

If you’re willing to splurge on desserts, they also have elevated versions of the Thai mango sticky rice with coconut milk and mung bean chips for $12.90. It serves 2 to 3 people so it’s still worth it if you have people to share it with!

Get a Taste of Korea on the Cheap at the Bamboo House

– Media Credit: vickyroo 

Address: 9 Commerce Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand 

Phone Number: +64 9 377 8377


  • Open from Monday to Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm
  • Open on Friday from 11 am to 8:30 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $15 to $20  

For those of you who are as into Kpop and Kdramas as we are, then you must also be craving for all of the delicious looking dishes the actors eat on the TV shows. 

Luckily, you won’t even have to venture far from Auckland or spend a month’s paycheck to get good Korean food in the city. The Bamboo House or Ye Nal Bab Sang dishes out traditional Korean dishes made by the owners who were born there. 

Their main course meals that come with rice and side dishes range from about $13 to $15 dollars. Some of the best sellers are the Bulgogi Beef, Spicy Squid, Kimchi Fried Rice, Jabchae Vermicelli Noodles, and the Bibimbap on a hot stone. 

Pro Tip: 

Everything they serve here is in family sized portions, so we highly suggest going there with friends or loved ones so you can order a lot of different items. If you go alone, just one serving of a dish will leave you too full to enjoy anything else!  

Bite into a Wallet Friendly Gourmet Burger at Better Burger

Address: 22 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 242 1332



  • Open from Sunday to Monday from 11 am to 9 pm

Average Price Per Meal: $10 to $20

There are plenty of places in the city to grab a cheap burger, but if you want something that’s affordable that doesn’t compromise on taste and quality, then we suggest you drop by a Better Burger location. 

There are 6 total branches in Auckland and each one of them serves up juicy burgers made with good quality beef and served with tasty toppings. 

You can get their classic cheeseburger for $12 and the most expensive one on the menu, the bbq bacon double cheeseburger is priced at $18. The burgers themselves are filling, especially if you opt for more toppings like bacon for only $3. 

Pro Tip: 

Since the team behind Better Burger prioritize customer satisfaction, they always come up with new ways to show their appreciation. They regularly release promo codes that you can show to specific branches for discounts or free sides and toppings. 

Satisfy Bread and Pastry Cravings at Dulcie

Address: 33 King Edward Parade, Devonport, Auckland 0624, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 281 0413 



  • Open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3 pm 
  • Open from Saturday to Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $15 to $20 

If you’re a breakfast for lunch and dinner kind of person, it can get pretty frustrating when all you find are subpar options that are cheap or really good ones but with a hefty price tag. That was our struggle until we stopped by Dulcie for brunch one day. 

At first glance, this place screams expensive with the pretty decor and interior, and there are some items on the menu on the more pricey side. 

But, we were happy to discover their scones that they sell for only $5 to $6 dollars a piece. We expected them to taste well made and be of high quality because of the place and we weren’t disappointed. They were big and pretty filling, not to mention yummy! 

Pro Tip: 

They have 2 varieties of the scones you can get. For those with a sweet tooth, we suggest the classic scone which they serve with vanilla cream, house made jam, ricotta cheese, and raw honey comb. 

Get a Classic Hotdog with a Fancy Twist at Good Dog Bad Dog

Address:  7/21 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number:  +64 21 111 111


Hours: Open everyday from 11 am to 8 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $10 to $20 

No best eats list will be complete without an entry for a good hotdog joint. You can visit any of the 4 locations of Good Dog Bad Dog spread out all over the city. 

Starting from $12.50 for their classic Frankfurter hotdog with all the fix-ins and toppings, their menu has a big array of offerings that are as good as they are affordable. 

Their premium hotdogs like their Double Beef Bulgogi Cheese Hoagie range from $15 to $18. Another great option that’s perfect for vegetarians is the Good Dog made with a vegetarian sausage and served with jalapenos, fried tofu strips and shitake.

Pro Tip: 

If you want something else to go with your hotdogs, we suggest trying out one of their sides like mac and cheese or their quesadilla that go for anywhere between $11 to $18. The $11 Fried Oreo balls are a great way to end your meal on a sweet note!

Pair Good Food with Cheap Margaritas at the Mexican Cafe

Address: 67 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 373 2311



  • Open from Monday to Thursday from 4 pm to 9:30 pm 
  • Open on Friday from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm 
  • Open on Saturday from 12 pm to 10:30 pm 
  • Open on Sunday from 12 pm to 9:30 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $20 to $25  

To satisfy your craving for Mexican food without splurging an entire week’s worth of food money, then we recommend trying out the food at The Mexican Cafe. 

They’ve been in business since 1983 and the locals all rave about it, so they must be doing something right! And, they are. They start the meal off with a free bowl of their signature salsa and freshly fried corn chips that always leaves us half full already. 

The rest of the menu is divided into 2 categories based on price. The $20 options include burritos, taco salads, and papa locas. The $24 part features enchiladas, quesadillas, gringo rolls, and vegan/vegetarian options. 

Pro Tip: 

It’s not only the food at the Mexican Cafe that’s a good deal. Everyday from 4:30 pm to 6pm, they offer Happy Hour discounts on their famous margaritas. You can get these in jugs good for 4 to 5 people for just $20. 

Try Your First Korean Pancake at No.1 Pancake

Address: Unit 6/18 Airborne Road, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 22 534 1396


Hours: Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $6 to $9 

If you’re thinking that Korean pancakes are just the same as the traditional ones we eat in continental breakfasts, then you’re missing out. 

These treats that are a popular snack in Korea are made with chewy pastries that they fry on griddles. The pastries are coated in sugar that caramelize with the heat. And, they’re filled with all different kinds of fillings. 

No. 1 Pancake has 2 branches in Auckland and they offer a variety of sweet and savory versions of these goodies for as low as $6. 

Pro Tip: 

The classic flavor is the brown sugar and cinnamon option, but the red bean and cheese one is also pretty good. These cost $6 and $7 each. For savory options, the potato cheese pancake for $8.90 won’t disappoint you either!

Indulge in Different Japanese Dishes at Ichiban

Address:  17 Albert Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 303 4372



  • Open on Monday from 11:30 am to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 9 pm 
  • Open from Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 am to 12 am 
  • Open on Saturday from 5:30 pm to 12 am

Average Price Per Meal: $25

The only thing that stops me from devouring Japanese food for every meal of every day is the common high prices that come along with them. 

Luckily, there are still some restaurants in the city that you can visit to get authentic Japanese dishes at affordable prices. At Ichiban, you can get ramen bowls for as low as $22.50 depending on the toppings. 

They also have plates for sharing which are good for 2 to 3 people priced at  $22.50. You can choose from Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ meats), chicken karaage, teriyaki chicken, chicken katsu, or pork katsu. 

Pro Tip: 

Since they’re pretty generous with the meats and toppings of the dishes at Ichiban, what we always do here is order a bowl of ramen or rice and get the $3 add ons for more noodles and rice and the $5 add on for chashu (roasted pork) and share.

Fill up with Authentic But Affordable Indian Cuisine at Raviz 

Address: 61 Hobson Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 309 8800


Hours: Open everyday from 11:30 am to 12 am 

Average Price Per Meal: $15 to $25 

Are you craving Indian food, but you don’t know which restaurant will give you your money’s worth? Then, we suggest checking out Raviz. They use traditional spices and techniques passed from generation to generation. 

The owner is dedicated to sharing his culture through authentic Indian dishes, and since he wants lots of people to be able to try it, he also made it affordable.

We always get their lamb seekh kebab and the chicken malai kabab which are both just $12. Their squid pakoras and fish fry which are priced at $14.50 are also great! 

Pro Tip: 

The menu item that got us hooked were the vegetable samosas. These conical pastries are filled with potatoes and peas with Indian spices. They go for $6 for 2 pieces. The $10 mushroom fry with garlic and garam masala is also worth the try. 

Finish a Slice of Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza

Address: 265 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 300 7257



  • Open from Monday to Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm 
  • Open from Friday to Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $5 to $15 

If you’re on a budget and on the go too, then nothing is more convenient than grabbing a slice of pizza. No one does them better than Salvatore, one of the 2 owners who was born in Italy and later immigrated to New York. 

He learned how to make great NY pizzas and in 2009, he brought them to New Zealand. The main star of the show is their slow risen dough and premium ingredients. 

You can get any of their pizzas for $7 to $8 a slice. They gave classic flavors like pepperoni, cheese, sausage, and meatball. But they also have their own creations like the famous Nonna pizza and the 5 Boroughs that you have to try. 

Pro Tip: 

If you’re really trying to maximize savings, you can also opt to get one of their specials. Sal’s Famous lets you get a slice of pepperoni and a slice of cheese for $12. We also recommend getting their filling garlic knots for $7 per 3 pieces.  

Test Some Local Malaysian Dishes at Selera Cafe

– Media Credit: fayejohn.lb_sky

Address: 487 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 520 7977


Hours: Open everyday from 11 am to 10 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $15 – $20 

Eating on a budget doesn’t necessarily have to mean skimping on the flavor and quality of food. Selera Cafe Limited is one of those places where you leave with full and satisfied stomachs without the guilt of spending too much on a meal. 

The Selera Cafe serves up flavorful Malaysian food right in Newmarket. The service is fast and the staff there are super friendly which comes in handy when you’re unfamiliar with the cuisine. We suggest getting the laksa for $18, just be warned that it’s spicy. 

Other options that we enjoyed here were the pandan chicken for $12, the Selera Malaysian style tofu for $12, and the wanton soup for $16. 

Pro Tip: 

Their portion sizes are big! Don’t be tempted to order a lot of dishes because of the low prices. We made the same (happy) mistake and ordered 4 to 5 dishes for 2 people and ended up with food that could have fed 7 to 8 people easily. 

Visit the Authentic WoodSpirit Turkish Pide

Address: 20 Broadway, Papakura, Auckland 2110, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 21 205 0288



  • Open from Tuesday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm 
  • Open from Friday to Saturday from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm 
  • Open on Sunday from 11:30 am to 8 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $20 

WoodSpirit Turkish Pide is run by 2 Turkish chefs with culinary experience from their travels around the world. The main tool they use is their wood fire oven where they cook the Turkish pides. Everything is made from scratch and fresh to order. 

Turkish pides are thin crusts from sourdough bread with cheese, Turkish meats, and other options. All of the pides are priced at $20 or less and most of them are actually in the $17 range. 

Our favorite item on the menu is the Sucuk Pide with authentic Turkish chorizo and mozzarella cheese for $17. 

Pro Tip: 

Aside from the physical store, they also have a food truck that you can catch while it roams around the streets. The schedule for the truck’s next location and when are on the website

Chow Down on Chinese Food at the Xi’An Food Bar

Address: 11 Anzac Avenue, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone Number: +64 9 368 7600


Hours: Open everyday from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm 

Average Price Per Meal: $10 to $20

Nothing beats Chinese food as my go-to comfort food these days, and luckily I can satisfy my current food obsession at the Xi’An Food Bar and not worry about spending more money than I have. 

The most expensive items on the menu are capped at $15 while the cheapest go as low as $8 like their braised pork burger or the cumin lamb burger. 

I usually get the Xi’An style clear jelly with sauce ($11) for my appetizer and then the shredded pig ear in chili sauce ($15.50) as my main. 

Pro Tip: 

If you want to try a bit of everything, go for their set meals which go for $21 where you get a main, an appetizer, and a drink!