Who said that travelling in Melbourne has to break the bank?

Backpackers in Melbourne

Last month, we talked about places and experiences that don't cost you a cent. Of course, you’ll still have to pay for all of those everyday expenses that come with a trip overseas.

Chief among them? Food!

Luckily, Melbourne has you covered. As a self-professed foodie city, there’s something for everyone - that includes backpackers travelling on tight budgets.

There are plenty of places you can grab a bite without blowing a million bucks for the experience.

Are you a backpacker in Melbourne? If so, you’ll want to start taking notes!


Cheap eats for backpackers in Melbourne

While good food doesn’t make your holiday, it can certainly enhance your experience.

Not to mention, you’re going to need the sustenance if you’re going to be on your feet most of the day!

Luckily, you don’t have subsist entirely on a diet of potatoes, rice, and lentils (though these are great foods for cooking in a hostel!)

Are you’re a budget-conscious backpacker? Want something that tastes great and doesn’t break the bank? You’ve got plenty of options - here are some great places to start.


You don’t have to reserve a seat at a famous Chinese restaurant to enjoy authentic Chinese cuisines at a bargain price.

While not as big as Chinatown in London or LA, Melbourne’s Chinatown is still pretty impressive!

Cuisines from all over the world’s most populous country are represented here, from staples like Cantonese and Sichuan, to food from the farther corners of China.

For as low as $10-$12, you can buy steamed Xiao Long Bao, Shanghai fried pork mini bun, dumplings, spring rolls - you name it and it’s here.

Just like exploring Melbourne in general, our advice for exploring Chinatown is to stray from the beaten path. Venture down the alleyways the criss-cross Chinatown - who knows what hidden gems you might find?

Cheap accommodation melbourne


Google “cheap food in Melbourne” and chances are you’ll see several joints pop up time and time again.

One of them is Wonderbao.

What is bao? Picture a dumpling, only made of the softest bread you can imagine and then served hot. Bao come with a variety of fillings such as egg, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, veggies, bacon, bbq, and many more!

But that’s not all they do here. On top of traditional bao, Wonderbao also serves hybrid cuisine, offering bao hamburgers among other things.

Best of all, it’s filling and dirt-cheap - it’s across the road from a university campus, after all.

A standard pork bao goes for as low as $2.70 and a couple of those will carry you through a good chunk of the day!

Find Wonderbao in the north of the CBD at Shop 4, 19-37 A’Beckett Street.

Melbourne laneways

Art and music aren’t the only things that makes our laneways a staple of Melburnian culture.

They’re also home to many hidden and affordable eateries, right in the heart of the city.

There’s something for everyone, whether you’re on the prowl for coffee , Asian, American or European cuisines.

If you look hard enough, it’s isn’t uncommon to find a filling and delicious meal for $10 or less.

If you want to make the search quicker however, we recommend starting with Centre Place, Tattersalls Lane, and Myers Place. Another piece of advice is to head out either at exactly lunchtime or after 5pm to see what lunch and happy hour specials you can track down.

Night Noodle Markets

Backpackers in Melbourne can’t miss this once-a-year event!

Featuring hearty and filling cuisines from all around Asia, the Night Noodle Markets are a November staple. For many of us, signal the start of summer!

And they’re perfect for travellers just like you!

It’s not just the huge range of filling and affordable food this event has to offer - more than the food, it’s the atmosphere and experience.

Located on the green lawns of Birrarung Marr along the banks of the Yarra River, with hearty street food served under the open sky… what’s not to love?

Just remember that Night Noodle Markets operate on a cashless basis - remember to bring your debit or credit cards. Birrarung Marr is located just over a kilometre away  from Urban Central.

Hostel Melbourne


Enjoy cheap eats and affordable accommodation for backpackers in Melbourne

Cheap food and cheap accommodation: two major factors that will help you save big on your next Melbourne adventure!

We’ve worked hard to bring you some of the most exciting hostel rates in the entire city, whether you’re looking for a single bed or a private room.

Our hostel in Melbourne also features fully stocked kitchen facilities, with all the staples like rice and pasta for when you don’t feel like eating out.

Looking for cheap accommodation in Melbourne? Book your room with Urban Central today!