When I talk about “quality budget” eats, sleeps and drinks in Sydney, I’m referring to places that offer you the most bang for your buck, whether that be through offering a spectacular city view or loads of food for the price. Sydney is not really a budget backpacker’s dream, but with this list, at least you can get the most for the money that you do spend while in this multicultural city.
Quality Budget Eats in Sydney
If you enjoy eating, you’ll enjoy Sydney. The Asian influence is mighty strong here, meaning you can get your fill of Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian food, and the finest of the kind. Besides that, there’s a suburb by suburb menu of food styles to choose from. You can get Italian in Leichardt, Korean in Eastwood and Turkish over in Surry Hills.
I recently wrote an article for GotSaga on the 5 best budget eats in Sydney that is worthy of a read. The restaurants mentioned were Mamak, Erciyes, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, Chinese Noodle Restaurant and Guzman y Gomez.
- Bourke Street Bakery: The Bourke Street Bakery started off on Bourke Street in Surry Hills, and has since expanded to a few other locations across Sydney. Known for their quality pastries, fresh baked breads and other quick eats, this bakery will often have a line outside the door.
- Sultan’s Table: Sultan’s Table is a Turkish take-away over in Newtown that does offer some spaces inside to sit down and eat. The food, though, makes it one of the best Turkish in the area with a price that can’t be beat.
Quality Budget Sleeps in Sydney
A typical hostel bed in the Sydney area will run you in the $20 range, probably closer to at least $25 a night. These beds can be set right near Central Station, over in Glebe and Newtown or right next to Bondi Beach.
However, if you are willing to spend about 75% more per night, you can hit the hostel jackpot and spend the night at the Sydney Harbour YHA, right in the heart of the Rocks district with glorious rooftop views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you only have a few days to spend in Sydney, I definitely recommend spending those in the Sydney Harbour YHA for the best experience. Plus, the hostel is family friendly.
Of course, all of the YHA hostels in Sydney are fantastic: nice, clean, big. Other options include the Sydney Wakeup! Hostel and Bounce – both around the corner from Central Station. Glebe has a couple of nice hostels worth checking out, and the cafe culture there is fantastic.
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Quality Budget Drinks in Sydney
If you come to Sydney on a holiday, then you probably want to spend a little bit of time enjoying the nightlife and grabbing a drink or two. Getting those on a budget, however, is just not easy in Sydney, but there are several ways you can save money while drinking if you just plan ahead. Otherwise, I suggest checking out the following establishments around Sydney for some good drink deals and atmospheres.
- Scary Canary: The Scary Canary is a backpacker bar, located right next to the Base Backpackers on Kent Street. The atmosphere alone is quite exciting for backpacker types, but even those looking for a quick drink after work will enjoy this place. There are awesome drink specials on most nights of the week, and I’ve even seen fliers for $5 steak.
- Glenmore Rooftop Bar: The drink specials and food prices at this local are not really discount by any means, but the view from the top… priceless. Located right in the Rocks, the Glenmore Rooftop Bar offers the same views as those you can get from the Sydney Harbour YHA, and that makes for a very special evening in Sydney for travelers.
- The Shakespeare Hotel: The Shakespeare in Surry Hills is known for having some typical beer prices, but paired with some uber cheap pub meals (nothing over $10). My favorite thing to do here, however, is to go across the street to Mohr’s Fish ‘n’ Chips, get takeaway (awesome grub) and bring it back to the pub to enjoy with some beer.
Sydney, of course, is a very large place with plenty of nooks and crannies to discover. These are some of the options on my plate for a completely quality budget experience, but if you have some suggestions of your own, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment and help others have an awesome time in Sydney!