Cheap dinner dates in Brisbane City - Visit Brisbane

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Cheap dinner dates in Brisbane City

Eating out on a budget can be tough, but if you know where to go it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re organising a dinner for a group of friends and don’t want to splurge, or just want to treat your special person to a night out and get change for a $50 note, take a look at these cheap and cheerful dining spots around The City.

We’ve tried to keep it under $25 for mains, but usually much less. We’ve also included a few lunch specials that were too good not to mention.

These restaurants, bistros, and pubs are all nice sit-down places you’d be proud to take a date, your mum or mates – so if you’re looking for a cheap eats guide that includes tasty takeaway spots and kiosk windows, read our Brisbane City Cheap Eats Guide here.

Buffalo Bar, Mary St

Bringing American food to The City, don’t skip ordering a serve ($15) of the buffalo wings with your choice of eight or so dry rubs or hot sauce coatings. Then there’s burgers, snacks, desserts and more for under $25.

Comuna Cantina, Albert Lane

Comuna Cantina

South American street food has its home in Brisbane at Comuna Cantina. Tuck into starters, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, arepas, salads and nachos at this laneway bistro. Everything is best paired with a jug of sangria or a corona, of course.

Embassy Beer Bar, Elizabeth St

Looking for solid gastropub eats and craft beer in The City? Try Embassy. The whole menu sits at $25 and under and most options will give you change for a $20. Get your bare mitts around a burger, or be refined and use cutlery to tuck into a steak, chicken schnitty or market fish.

Fat Noodle, Treasury Casino

Fat Noodle

Celebrity chef Luke Nguyen’s Fat Noodle is a classy diner inside the historic Treasury Casino that offers signature Vietnamese dishes along with Chinese and Thai food. Don’t skip the legendary 20-hour Fat Pho noodles. Most meals are around the $20 mark.

Funny Funny, Burnett Lane

Ever tried Korean food? It can be fun, interactive and generally cheap. Try Funny Funny down Burnett Lane - it’s open late and it perfect for a group of friends keen to do a hot pot or DIY barbecue at the table. Or order rice dishes, savoury pancakes and other wonders to share.

George’s Paragon, Eagle Street Pier

River views, silver service and half-price dining. What’s the catch? It’s only half price at lunch or for early birds at dinner. At half off most seafood and steak mains are under $25 so if you can plan to be early you’ll enjoy a huge Greek feast that’s easy on the wallet.

Hakataya Ramen, Queen Street Mall & Myer Centre

Once you have ramen fever you can’t go back. Japanese ramen soup is generally a quick and casual meal, so Hakataya’s stores along Queen Street Mall and in the Myer Centre are fairly casual. You can drop in for different types of ramen with 48-hour simmered broths plus gyozas.

Hanaichi, Wintergarden

Japanese food is either $2 takeaway sushi rolls or splurge-worthy fine dining. Hanaichi falls in the middle. Head to the Wintergarden to find the Hanaichi restaurant, which serves Japanese Curry (which it is known for), udon, don and ramen that will all be easy on your wallet.

Harajuku Gyoza, Albert Lane

The raindrop cake, the generously sized crispy chicken karaage, the sweet Nutella gyozas - Harajuku isn’t one to shy away from an Instagram trend or novelty dish. Drop into this casual Japanese diner for bowls of Japanese curry and plates of gyoza. Two can feast for under $50, easy.

Irish Murphy’s, George St

Chasing the best craic in town? Irish Murphy’s stakes the claim. This classic Irish pub opened back in 1999 and you can drop in for some foot stomping fun and a meal. Bangers and mash, a Guinness pie and other classics will give you change for $25.

Kinn-Imm, QueensPlaza

Sit down to Thai hawker food at this cleverly designed vintage-style Asian restaurant in the basement of QueensPlaza centre. All the favourites are here, along with more unusual soups, wok dishes, curries, stir fries and salads, with most of the menu around the $15-19 mark. At lunch, Kinn-Imm offers a range of its curries and soups for even less (think $12-14).

New Shanghai, QueensPlaza

New Shanghai Dumplings

Step into this traditional 1930s street-style restaurant also in the basement of the QueensPlaza centre. With food from the Shanghai region, dine on the signature xiao long bao, pan fried pork buns, hand-made dumplings and dim sum, plus salt and pepper prawns and stir fried noodles. It’s best to share dishes with the table, and besides the main meats and seafood dishes, most of the menu is under $15 a plate.

Phat Elephant, Post Office Square

With vegan and gluten free menus, Phat Elephant is a Thai food haven that will cater to all your dining companions needs. Unless you’re ordering a whole crispy barramundi, most of the noodle and rice dishes come in with change for $20. Find the big restaurant located just off Post Office Square.

Red Hook, Gresham Lane

For a casual hang with mates or a date who likes something different, Red Hook is a laneway bar and American street food joint. On Tuesday $25 gets you a margarita and tacos, pop in on a Wednesday for $1 wings or grab a mate on Thursdays and get two beers and two burgers for $15 each. Usually the menu is around $15, and its killer tunes and epic drinks offering make for a super hip, chilled out laneway dinner.

Santa Monica, Ann St

Enter this beach vibe oasis in the centre of The City. This casual dining spot is all about relaxed American-style fare - think gourmet burgers, salads, pizzas, pub favourites, loaded fries and more washed down with craft beers and cocktails.

Taro’s Ramen, Queen St

Taro's Ramen

It’s been called the best ramen in Australia by top national food journalists, and you can dine on a big bowl of steaming tonkotsu for less than $20. The pork broth tonkotsu has a special place in our hearts, but knowing how serious Taro takes his ramen, the vegan will be excellent too.

Betty’s Burgers, Albert St

Bettys Burgers burger and fries

Betty’s Burgers is your classic burger shack serving up American style burgers, fries and thick shakes. The burgers are on average $15 and you can’t go wrong with a side of beer battered onion rings, or two. The thick shakes may give you a brain freeze (you’ve been warned) but they are a no brainer.

Pancake Manor, Charlotte St

Pancakes are this Brisbane institution's specialty and it has been flipping batter since 1979, you could say it has perfected the pancake craft by now. The traditional style pancakes are all less than $10 and something more fancy will only set you back another $5.50 at the most. The savoury options are a bit more expensive but still hit under that sweet $25 mark.

Vapiano, Albert Lane

Drool worthy pizza and pasta for under $25 seems too good to be true, but Vapiano in Albert Lane makes it happen. The sweet Italian-style desserts also frequently visit us in our dreams. Special shout out to the lunch combos that are only $15 Monday to Friday.

Grill’d, Wintergarden

Australia’s healthy burger joint will make you feel good, while satisfying those taste buds of yours. The large burger range is super affordable and will leave you with spare change for a side of its famous chips and dipping sauces.

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