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Budget Meals in Sydney Australia

Woolworths, Social Clubs, McDonalds, Subway

Sydney Australia restaurant and food prices can really take a toll on travel food budgets. I''ve always found Australia in general and Sydney in particular really pricey when it comes to food: Breakfast $10 -$20; lunch $20+; and dinner over $30, and that's without dessert, drinks and tip.

But finally I found some good, inexpensive places to eat in Sydney: Woolworths, a social club,  grocery store delis, and even McDonalds. With a little sleuthing, you can find a lot of places to eat or get food in Sydney and around Australia, and not break the bank.

St George Rowing Club Dining in Sydney Australia St. George Rowing Club near Sydney Airport overlooks Cooks River to CBD Sydney.

Social clubs can be found all over Australia, and are worth checking out.

If their rules permit, you can sign in as a guest for the day, as I did several times at the St George Rowing Club.

Here's the view from the balcony, overlooking the Cooks River, looking north towards Sydney's CDB (Central Business District.

Daily specials are offered, as are Roast Dinners: A generous portion of pot roast, roast potatoes, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots with lots of lovely gravy cost $14.

Add in beer or wine for a few dollars more, and you've got a great meal with a lovely view.

See Googlemap for location -- it's near the Airport International Inn -- and see the club site at for details and more pictures.

Restaurant / Cafeteria in Woolworths at Town Hall SydneyThe Town Hall location of Woolworths in Sydney has a good restaurant.

Woolworths, such as this one
near my hotel (Pensione hotel) and the Town Hall station, are good places for budget meals and can also be found around Australia.

I had full English / American breakfasts for about $8, lunches (fish and chips, chicken pot pies etc) for $7-$10, and roast dinners for $11.

Woolworths' grocery sections sell prepared take out foods, too, even a whole roast chicken (chook).

I also bought yogurt, cheese, fruits and snacks for breakfast or lunch, or late night snacks.

As well as saving money, I found that being able to buy foods I normally eat made me feel more at home.

Look for other grocery stores, such as Cole's, for groceries, deli, snacks, wine, beer.

Paddy's Market at Market City, Chinatown ~ Budget Meals SydneyMonorail transit in Chinatown and Paddy's Market Sydney Australia.

Paddy's Market and Chinatown in the Haymarket district also offer good value for your food dollar.

The monorail (photo) stops at Paddy's market.

Inside, as well as a maze of cheap souvenir, accessories and clothing stalls, vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables at lower prices than grocery stores.

I'm always dismayed at Australia's high fruit and veg prices, so Paddy's Market was a great find!

Other vendors sell kebabs, burgers, etc.

Chinatown Sydney is in the same area, with dozens of places to eat, with many dishes priced under $10.

I was served such a huge portion of noodles and chicken that I took home half of it.

As one local explained, "If a restaurant in Chinatown is not good, it's gone within two weeks." A lot of students live in this area, so look for places they frequent.

McDonalds in Sydney, Around Australia, and the WorldCircular Quay McDonalds in Sydney Australia.

Around the world, I look for the Golden Arches as a fairly reliable place to get food I can order by pointing from someone who speaks a bit of English, and a clean restroom.

McDonalds at Circular Quay had all but the last one. indeed, few fast food franchises in this busy area offer public restrooms.

Luckily the train station across the street has several.

I had a McDouble burger, garden salad and coffee for $7.67 (Chicken burgers were $6.95).

Not fine dining, but a decent meal. Nearby restaurants menus priced breakfasts at $16 and up.

Again, the ubiquitous arches are all over the country.

In the Blue Mountains, with little time between tours of the Jenolan Caves, I picked up takeaway lunch sandwich at Subway in Katoomba for $5.

Related pages:

Manly ferry to Manly Beach near Sydney Opera House, What to Pack for a trip to Australia, Sydney Harbour Bridge, New Years Fireworks.