Where to Eat Just Before Payday
Hanging out for payday? These cheap and cheerful Auckland eateries won't break the bank
Getting paid monthly is tough. We know. But you’ve still got to eat, right? Here are a few places that won’t break the bank account before the bucks thankfully roll into it again. Many of the below places seem to be in Balmoral, making it one of Auckland's best dining destinations on a budget, without a doubt.
Viva's eating out editor Jesse Mulligan described this hip Balmoral eatery as a "brilliant new Thai kitchen", with strong and fresh flavours. He also said Kiss Kiss was easy on the wallet: "It’s also bloody cheap — you could eat here for $15, leaving you a few extra dollars in your pocket to spend on art supplies or funding your unlistenable podcast." Also check out Chinoiserie, started by the same people, at 4 Owairaka Ave, Mt Albert, which serves Taiwanese street food, and is a heck of a lot of fun.
• 1A Rocklands Ave, Balmoral
Wok N’ Noodle
With two Auckland locations in the city and Mt Eden, Asian fusion eatery Wok N' Noodle is a great option for those watching their spending. It's also fast and easy to find healthy options on its lengthy menu. Plus, you gotta love Mr Lee, the host with the most.
• 61 Normanby Rd, Mt Eden and 51-53 Shortland St, Auckland Central
The Burger Bar
We've heard that this St Kevin's Arcade burger bar called, well, The Burger Bar, serves up some of the best food of its ilk in the city. It's run by an Irish couple with no previous hospo experience who wanted to create a wholesome fast food joint (with almost everything made from scratch) accompanied by craft beers. Get in early, because they regularly sell out.
• Shop 18,183 K Rd (St Kevins Arcade), Auckland Central
It's worth going to the movies in Newmarket just to have an excuse to get in a quick meal at Selera first, one of our favourite Malaysian eateries in the whole city. Always tasty, lightning quick, authentic and very reasonable.
• 487 Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket
Barilla Dumpling/New Flavour
Dumplings may no longer be the most popular dish in town, but darn they are still worth seeking out for a binge every now and again. Two of the best proponents, Barilla Dumpling and New Flavour, are found within metres of each other at the Balmoral shops on Dominion Rd.
• 541 (New Flavour) and 571 Dominion Rd (Barilla), Balmoral
Ponsonby Food Court
The trusty Ponsonby Food Court never disappoints because it caters for so many different hankerings, from Japanese and Italian to Thai and Indonesian. Plus, it's a great place to people-watch and catch up with friends, especially the friends at Ponsonby Friends, the on-site bar.
• 106 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
The good news is that you can still enjoy the top-notch food at Coco's if you're a little light on the Benjamins, thanks to its Happy Hour Pasta deal — spaghetti pomodoro, available Monday-Friday from 5-6pm for $13.
• 376 K Rd, Auckland Central
This Japanese yakitori bar is an Auckland institution, and has been serving its delicious chargrilled skewers, dumplings and more, with a side of cabbage for its anti-inflammatory benefits and to make you hungrier, for at least 20 years.
• 55 Anzac Ave, Auckland City
Tucked in between Britomart and Spark Arena, Vietnamese eatery Saigonz has a tradtional menu at great prices. We can recommend the lemongrass chicken, beef or pork ($12) which comes served on either rice or vermicelli with roasted peanuts, sweet pickled carrots, lettuce and cucumber.
• 105/40 Beach Rd, Auckland City
Zap is another great Thai spot that sits on the more authentic side of hipster. A vast menu, none of which you can go wrong with.
• 6389 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
Sages Indian Restaurant
This Pt Chev gem is a local treasure for those in the know, but the best deal at Sages is to be found on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday if you dine in: any curry main plus rice is just $12.90.
• 1228 Great North Rd, Pt Chevalier