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Shopping, Rocking and Munching in Melbourne

The Budget Foodie

In one of the most diverse cities in the world, you will find a tonne of good eats, a nice place to recharge - and hey! we've got great coffee too!

If you got a chance to cook yourself, there are a tonne of ways to eat cheap and eat well! Yes of course you can get cheap pasta and a tin of tomato sauce from ALDI - but do you want that every day?! Well, I don't - so why would you want to? Best places to buy cheap veggies, fruit and so on. 

Really good value food is usually to be found at markets - especially just before closing time! 

For instance, try the meat hall of the Preston Market short before midday on Saturday, or the top end of the Victoria Market in the city (Market Hall B) approaching 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday just before 4 pm. Also Sunday at the South Melbourne Markets some good deals can be scoored towards the end of the market day! Especially watch out for the $1 food bags...

And because we love markets so much, here is a list of them all:

  • Victoria Market (Corner Victoria Street and Elizabeth Street, CBD) - open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • South Melbourne Market (Tram 96, Stop 127 will bring you to it) - open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Prahran Market (163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra) - open  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Prestion Market (next to Preston Train Station)  - open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • Camberwell Fresh Food Market (519-523 Riversdale Rd, Camberwell) - open  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Not into cooking or haven't got the possibilities? Or just fancy eating out? Here is a list of cheap eats in town, which are yummy and won't cost the world and are hopefully healthier than Mac Donnalds:

  • Lentil as Anything (41 Blessington St,  St Kilda 3182)  - a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with a difference: Here the food is not priced - just pay whatever you can or think the food is worth! 
  • Roll’d   (Chain of Vietnamese food, one of many location is TG10, Goldsborough Lane, 181 William Street, CBD)
    - yummy and under $10!
  • Shanghai Street Dumpling (342 Little Bourke St, CBD) - The name sais it all… Good value dumplings!
  • Peko Peko (190 Wells St South Melbourne) -  Traditional Taiwaneese street food
  • Borek Bakehouse (481 Elizabeth Street, CBD) - Super tasty Turkish food: Gozleme $6; Borek $3; Pide $5; Baklava $2.50
  • Kim Sing (Shop 10, Port Phillip Arcade CBD ) - extremely good value Asian meals,    you can eat with as little as $6! Check out the wonton soup ($6), slick chilli-laden pork noodles ($6) or the incredibly popular fried chicken steak on rice ($6)
  • Lucky Coq   (Prahran/ Windsor) - Pizza for everyone! Great value pizza for only $4 from Monday to Thursday 7-11pm, Friday and Saturday 7-9pm and Sunday all day!
  • Naked for Satan   (285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy) - cheap and yummy tapas from $2 and a vodka bar
    What da pho (212 Claredon St, South Melbourne) - super yummy Vietnamese food - authentic and under $10!
  • Soul Soup (55 Cardigan Street) – a good bowl of soup is $7.90 here and will keep you going for the day!
  • Filou's Patisserie (Corner Lygon & Fenwick Street, Carlton) – Homemade pies backed daily fresh by in France trained pastry chefs, and you can get yours for as little as $6

And we've got coffee too! According to people who really know their coffee, the best of the best is served at the following places:

  • Pellegrini's Espresso Bar (66 Bourke St, CBD) - where the first Espresso was served in Melbourne and where the whole hype begun.
  • Auction Rooms (103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne) 
  • St Ali (12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne) -  St Ali roast their own beans, and you can taste that bit extra!
  • Proud Mary (172 Oxford St, Collingwood)
  • Seven Seeds (114 Berkeley St, Carlton)
  • Market Lane Coffee, Shop 13, Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra )
  • Three Bags Full, 60 Nicholson Street, Abbotsford)
  • Chez Dré ( 287 Coventry St (rear), South Melbourne)
  • The Hardware Société (118-120 Hardware St, CBD)

But the cheapest coffee you get at any 7/11 store for as much as 1 dollar - not the greatest but the cheapest!

Going more than Window Shopping!


Best place for bargain shopping are the markets! And no, they do not only sell food. From clothes, shoes, household goods to cheap souvenirs - it is a ideal place to get your inner Shopaholic satisfied and hopefully not burn a massive hole into your budget. An extensive list of markets can be found just above under the food section, but here are some more additions:

  • The Esplanade Market in St Kilda - selling Art, Jewellery and other knick-knack every Sunday
  • Camberwell Sunday Market (Station Street, Camberwell), every Sunday morning
  • Rose Street Art Market (60 Rose Street Fitzroy) - every Saturday and Sunday
  • Trash N Treasure Market (155 Newlands Road, Coburg North) -  every Sunday 
  • Queen Victoria Night Market - every Wednesday night from November 6 during the summer

Another option to go shopping and not to over-do your budget is to buy second hand and check out the Op-shops! You will be surprised what some people throw away! Here is a list of some of the best Op-Shops in town:

  • The Op Shop in Toorak (143 Canterbury Rd), probably one of the best spots to pick a bargain, as this is one of the places where the wealthier people drop their unwanted goods. From good books to designer shoes - all to be found here!
  • Sacred Heart Mission are all over town and are generally , a very tidy op-shop, well laid out. Brilliant to find a clothing or shoes bargain! The Sacred Heart Mission are in South Melbourne (365 Clarendon St), St Kilda ( 87 Grey St), Windsor (86/88 Chapel St), Balaclava (415 Inkerman St) and in Hawthorn - (86 Riversdale Road - corner of Glenferrie Road), just to name a few.
  • Pop Up Op Shop in Windsor (51 Chappel Street) reminds more of a vintage boutique than a Op Shop. If you love vintage, this is a must - and the staff is super friendly and helpful too!

But if you are not close to any of these Op-shops listed above, or haven't found what you were looking for, check out the links below, and find many many many more:

Direct Factory Outlets :: DFO
Melbourne's largest collection of outlet stores offering a huge range of Australia's top brands.
Moorabbin - corner of Centre Dandenong Road and Grange Road Cheltenham.
Essendon - 100 Bulla Road Strathmore.
Convention Centre Place, South Wharf

Australias only H&M
Good cloths on a budget needed? Not wanting second hand and want to stay in the city centre? Why not go to Australia's only H&M store in the CBD. Located in the old GPO building on Burke Street, this H&M offers fashion on 3 levels and is not only Australia's first and only store - but also the worlds biggest! Have fun!

Shopping in Suburbs
For more bargain hunting shopping check out the main streets of the alternative areas, where you can find many second-hand shops, op shops, 2 dollar stores, discounters and and and... the first places that come to my mind are:

Smith Street, Collingwood  - an alternative meets Yuppie area. And to top it all off, many of the big sports clothing brands have factory outlets here including Kathmandu, Nike, Mountain Design and Adidas.

Bridge Road, Richmond - a street full of bargains and hidden treasures. Best to start at the Punt Rd corner and shop your way down deeper into Richmond. Some of the top shops would be Claude d'Alban Paris (which is actually a chain of incredibly affordable clothing and assessors which you can find in other suburbs too), Alannah Hill Clearance store - and I think the name sais it all, Hipster - a cloths shop with the best bargains in town... though if it bothers you that you are not wearing something with a big name or label on it go to Brands United. 

How to go to the movies for less $$

Hoyts and Village $11 Weekly Movie: Sign up for free Village Club Membership or freeHoyts Membership and get access to the $11 weekly movie. Each week a movie is nominated for this discounted price.

Village Sunshine Bargain Screen: Village Cinemas Sunshine Bargain Screen offers movies for $8.50 for adults and $7.50 for children. Look for the red B icon next to the session times for the current bargain movie.

Village Monday Date Night: The Village Monday Date Night bargain price of two tickets for only $22 is for any of the movies screening. It applies in participating cinemas every Monday excluding school holidays and public holidays. Check the terms and conditions on line for participating cinemas.

Village We Care Mondays: Village We Care Mondays offers Victorian Carer Cardholders and a guest tickets for $9 each for Monday sessions between 9am and 5pm.

Hoyts, Reading and Croydon Cinemas Cheap Tuesdays: Hoyts Cinema offers Super Tuesday discounted tickets to any Tuesday session with upgrades to 3D of an additional $3 a ticket. Ticket prices can vary between cinemas. Reading Cinemas offer a Terrific Tuesdaydiscounted tickets for any Tuesday session. Croydon Cinemas offer tickets for Tuesday sessions of only $8.50 or $11.50 for 3D

Reading Friday Flicks: The Reading Friday Flicks program offers discounted tickets for any Friday movie commencing before noon.

Baby Friendly Sessions at Village, Hoyts and Reading: The Village Baby Friendly Sessions offer tickets for $10 each and baby for free. Cinema lights are only dimmed to make it easier to look after baby and the sound is softened. Look for the pink BUB icon next to the session times. Hoyts Mums and Bubs sessions offer tickets for $11 and baby and children under five for free. Don't worry if baby cries, everybody at these sessions understands. Reading Cinemas have a similar offer under their Spit the Dummy program.

Village Family Value Tickets: Some Village cinemas offer Family Value Tickets for $36 to $56. Check the website for details.

Hoyts, Village, Croydon Cinemas and Waverley Seniors' Deals: Village Seniors' Friday Movies offers $7 tickets to seniors for viewing of the first session of selected movies. Look for the purple S icon nest to the session times. Hoyts invites Seniors Card Holders to enjoy a movie and morning tea for only $12.50. Hoyts Social Screenings run the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at Forest Hill, and Greensborough and on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at Watergardens. Social Screenings do not run during school holidays. Check the website for details. Waverley Cinemas offers Seniors Card Holders one free ticket for every four purchased. Croydon Cinemas offer $7.50 tickets to Seniors Card Holders.

Optus Customer Discounted Tickets: Optus customers can buy Hoyts tickets for only $10 each for up to ten tickets at a time on the Optus Rewards Program.

Telstra Customer Thanks Discounted Tickets: Under its Thanks program Telstra offers its customer the opportunity to purchase movie tickets for $11, 3D for $14 and Vmax for $15. Tickets which can be bought up to 10 at a time are available for Village Cinemas and Moonlight Cinema for any day excluding public holidays, after 5pm on Saturdays and Bollywood Movies.

Ticket Bounty: Ticket Bounty has discounted ticket offers at selected Melbourne Cinemas. Search for current offers on the website.

Waverley Cinema Rock Bottom Prices: Waverley Cinemas offer a range of movies and session times for $6 or $8.

Croydon Cinemas $6 after 6pm: On Sunday and Monday evenings Croydon Cinemas offer $6 tickets for movies after 6pm, or $9 for 3D.