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Best Cheap Eats in Auckland CBD

With the cost of living seeming to rise faster and faster, finding a genuinely good meal that won't break the bank can feel like a breath of fresh air.

But fear not - despite the upward trend in food prices, affordable dining options exist in the heart of Auckland. Whether you are craving a delicious meal without the hefty price tag or need to buy an affordable, hearty meal because you forgot your packed lunch, this list has you covered.

Note: this list is not in a particular order.

Poke bowl from Sam Choy's in Auckland CBD

1. Xi'an Noodle House

11 Anzac Avenue, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

This authentic noodle house offers traditional Xi'an-style hand-pulled noodles and Chinese "burgers". Don't focus on its humble interior because the noodles are very popular for one main reason - its taste.

Packed with authentic flavours, the hand-pulled (or stretched, you can pick between the two) noodles are chewy and firm, soaking up all the flavours from the sauces/soup. And of course, it is one of the most affordable noodle places in Auckland overall.


  • Hand-pulled noodles with cumin lamb

  • Braised pork burger

2. Sam Choy's Poke to the Max

Level 2 Commercial Bay, 7 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Visit Sam Choy's Poke to the Max if you want a delicious, refreshing bowl of poke. Pick your protein from choices of ahi tuna, salmon, chicken and tofu and a base of rice or salad for an authentic, original Sam Choy experience.

Unlike most poke stores, Sam Choy's offers a large amount of delicious poke for fewer dollars - their regular is big and under $18!


  • Chicken poke rice with classic shoyu sauce if you want a filling, cheap high-protein lunch

  • Ahi tuna poke salad with Sam's spicy sauce for a delicious poke experience with a kick

3. Plus Chicken

7 Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Want juicy, spicy fried chicken wings for lunch but not planning on spending over $14?

Check out Plus Chicken on Lorne Street - you may have walked past and seen fried chickens piled up high. For around $12, you can grab a pack of six fried chicken wings that are crunchy and spicy.


  • Any of their chicken - spicy flavour

4. Cafe BBQ Duck

5C Lorne Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Offering under $15 lunch specials, try their popular BBQ pork on rice meal for only $14.50.

With generous portions of BBQ pork and a huge pile of perfectly cooked rice, you will be sure to walk out of this place very satisfied.


  • Any of their lunch deals

5. Eden Noodles

Shop 3/18-26 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1008

As one of Auckland's most recognised dumpling and noodle shops, Eden Noodles is a safe option if you are craving Chinese for lunch or dinner in town.

The majority of their medium-sized dumplings/wontons and noodles are well under $15 - with some noodles at around $12.


  • Pork wontons in spicy sauce (dry)

  • Dan dan noodles in spicy soup

6. The Don

47 High Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Simply a good Japanese spot perfect for a quick lunch or casual dinner. Their quality is premium compared to its price - where you can try their popular katsu or don for well under $20.

If you have a couple of extra dollars to spend for your next lunch, skip that cheap sushi and eat here.


  • Salmon sashimi don - despite its higher price point, the salmon portion is more than reasonable

  • Any of their katsu

7. Oji Sushi

Level 2 Commercial Bay, 7 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Not too hungry but do you need to grab something to eat? Or because of your busy work schedule, you need to grab something to go?

For under $9, pick from their 2-pack sando ranges - egg mayo, crispy prawn or katsu chicken.


  • Any of their sandos - they also have a 4-pack available

8. Shake Out

Level 2 Commercial Bay, 7 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Famous for their soft, yellow potato buns, their cheeseburger is one of my personal favourite burgers in town. For around $10, it is juicy, saucy and fresh - with its generous amount of lettuce.

Perfect to grab and go.


  • Buy two single cheeseburgers - one for you, one for me

9. Needo Pasta

Level 2 Commercial Bay, 7 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

For you carbs and pasta lovers... Needo Pasta is seriously good - quality-wise but mainly in portions - it is massive. The majority of their pasta dishes are above $15 but they are served quickly and guaranteed to fill you up.


  • Carbonara - it's not a true carbonara but consider it a delicious cream pasta

10. Ten Hana

128 Albert Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

An authentic Japanese restaurant specialising in the tempura rice bowl, ten don.

The base rice is cooked perfectly and topped with your picked mains. Each piece of tempura is deep-fried to perfection and is not oily. Their starting price of $18 may not be considered "cheap" when you look at the overall cheap eats scene but considering their premium quality, techniques and portions, this place may be the most affordable place to eat in town.


  • Hana ten don, their popular ten don with prawn, chicken, vege tempura on rice


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