By: Jackson Polley and Bianca Hatton
When it comes to some of the most expensive stuff in the world, South Australia loves holding the torch (we’re looking at you, electricity prices and the new RAH). But what you can rely on is getting some great food that doesn’t blow the budget. We here at Fritz love good food and love a good bargain, so we’ve compiled a list of the best cheap eats around the state.
$1.90 Chicken Dumplings, Vegas Poultry
When it comes to finding good chicken joints, you shouldn’t wing it. Have you seen that skit from Portlandia where the hipster couple visit an organic poultry farm? That’s how we imagine the chickens at Vegas Poultry are raised: surrounded by free range, peaceful, loving vibes. This South Australian business specialises in chooks. In addition to their selection of sausages, breasts, and thighs, they also serve steamed dumplings to go. They’re good. Really good. And huge. King size to be exact. At $1.90, they’re a bargain. But it gets better – if you buy five or more, they’re only $1.60! The quality of the ingredients is reflected in the flavour. Sauces are free. And in this case, what happens in Vegas, doesn’t stay in Vegas.
Stall 62, Adelaide Central Market
$4 Pasta/Risotto/Meatballs/Lasagne, Pasta Chef
Pasta Chef has been the mecca for South Australian take-home pasta and lasagne since 1991. The reason they’ve been knocking around for so long is they are super cheap and super tasty – just like having your own personal Nonna. You can even bring in your own lasagne dish, fooling your mates into thinking you’ve been slaving away for hours. But the best deal is getting the three take home dishes for $12 – working out at a ludicrously low $4 a serve. You can mix and match your choice of pasta and sauce, as well as a selection of non-pasta meals. You’ll be pasta-farian in no time. Not convinced? You cannoli go and try for yourself.
Multiple locations (287 Henley Beach Rd, Brooklyn Park)
$7 Bahn Mi, Miss Mai
For those moments when only a bánh mì will suffice, Miss Mai has you covered with their $7 grilled chicken bánh mì. They’ve also got pork, complete with crispy crackling ($7.50) and combo ($8). For a little variety, why not try their other tasty Vietnamese delights – there’s everything from salads and spring rolls, to cold rolls, fried rice and even steamed rice with chicken, tofu, BBQ pork, roast pork or lemongrass chicken. The best part? Nothing on the menu is over $12. Oh, and you get free prawn crackers with every purchase. So what are you waiting for? Check ‘em out today.
73 Gawler Place, Adelaide
715 South Road, Black Forest
$10 Mantu, Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal Kebab House
South Australia, there is dumpling you should know about…when it comes to Afghani street food, the mantu is king. This royally good dish consists of (beef or lamb) stuffed dumplings, which are steamed, covered in tomato and lentil sauce and finished off with a yogurt garnish. And you can get the best and cheapest ones from a quaint little restaurant in Kilburn. For only $10, these little parcels of love will make you question your very existence – and have you filling oh-so good.
327 Prospect Road, Blair Athol
$10 Combination Vermicelli Noodle Bowl, Anh’s Snack Bar and Cafe
On Findon Road, there lives a small shopping complex. It’s the home of many fine eateries like Benny’s American Grill and Mucho’s Pizzeria, but best of all is the unassuming snack bar called Anh’s. Run by a lovely couple, their signature offering is the omnipresent Bahn Mi, but what we want to highlight is their Combination Vermicelli Noodle Bowl. The bowl is a multi-layered flavour hit, served with lashings of fresh herbs, pickled veggies, vermicelli noodles, and complimented by nước chấm dressing. Best of all, you get a mound of crunchy pork, chicken, and Vietnamese spring roll slices – and it’s absolutely Viet-nom.
5/115 Findon Rd, Woodville South
$10 Pho Tai Nam, Pho Hong Tam
Are you on the hunt for good, traditional Vietnamese food like, twenty-pho-seven? Well, you need not look any further than Pho Hong Tam. This is a not an Asian-fusion, westernised, toned-down affair – this is the real deal, reinforced by the mostly Vietnamese customers which frequent the small eatery. There are many variations of the comforting noodle soup on offer here, but our go-to is the Pho Tai Nam (noodles with slices of raw round steak and lean brisket). Starting from ten dollarydoos, you’ll have a soul-soothing soup which will make you pho-get the rest.
Grand Junction Road, Ottoway
$10 Toasties, Proof
When it comes to setting the bar high for inner-city speakeasy’s, Proof has them all licked. Tucked away just off of Waymouth Street, Proof was one of the pioneers of the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ type bars that set the trend in South Australia. Decked out in a Manhattan style, home to some seriously great cocktails (Sour House being their flagship), and spread out over three levels – the proof is really in the pudding. The best proof of purchase, however, is their toasties starting at $10. With fancy-sounding combos (tuna, kewpie, dill, scorched corn and chili bean, jalapeño) these beauties are the perfect accompaniment for your stiff drink. So next time you take the bar, you won’t need any further proof to visit.
9a Anster Street, Adelaide
$10 Bolani, Kutchi Deli Parwana
Since opening its doors in 2009, Parwana has become a South Australian Institution, serving up truly wonderful Afghani food to hoards of people. Their city sister restaurant, Kutchi Deli Parwana, holds all the wonder of its sit-down flagship eatery but serves it up in a swift, takeaway style. And you will really ‘wana try it. The whole menu is a delight, but our pick is the $10 Bolani – a lamb mince flatbread, served with herb chutney. How does it taste? Bloody bolana’s mate. They serve their cheap and tasty bites every day from 11:30 am till 3:30 pm.
Cheeseburger $10, Burgastromomy
In the days of gourmet burgers, you can pay a decent penny for some delicious stacked creations. But let’s face it, sometimes we just want a simple juicy stack that doesn’t cost the earth. Burgastronomy burgers start from just $10, and are packed with all the good stuff – melty cheese, thick beef patty and the best juicy pickles (if you’re that way inclined). You can ketchup with friends at their cosy space or even get Uber eats to your home or office if you’re strapped for time.
$10-$12 Create Your Own Meal, Subaru Sushi and Noodles
Craving Japanese but sashimi isn’t quite cutting the budget? Don’t lose your tempura, ‘cos when it comes to finding cheap Japanese-style noodles, it’s time to head for the Hills. Subaru Noodles will impreza you much. They serve sushi which is the rolls-rice of Japanese cuisine in SA, but our focus is the 1,2,3 create-a-meal and it is so cheap, udon even know. Our favourite is choosing chicken with satay, served as a noodle soup – you’ll be ramen it in your gob in no time.
2/28 Morphett St, Mount Barker
$12 Lunch deals, Gin Long Canteen
Here in the Fritz office, we’re regulars of O’Connell Street’s Asian favourite Gin Long Canteen, particularly at lunch times thanks to their ripper lunch specials. Lunchtime laksa never tasted so good, and your wallet will love you for it, too. The classic is chicken and prawn, but if you ask, they’ll make it vego, too – so everyone in the office can slurp it up. There’s also a stack of other bites like their rice paper rolls and vermicelli salad.
Stuffed Eggplant $12.90, Concubine
An Adelaide favourite on iconic Gouger street, Concubine not only serves up delicious Asian fare, but it’s also some of the best value in the city, too. There’s plenty on the menu but a stand out lunch choice is without doubt the Stuffed Eggplant with minced prawn in black bean and ginger sauce for just $12.90. Trust us, it’s a goodie. Plus, all menu items are offered at a 20 percent discount if you order them takeaway, meaning your entrees start around $8!
Got any heaps good Adelaide cheap eats up your sleeve? Let us know in the comments, below.