The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Sunday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Auckland
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

Seven Days of Cheap Eats in Auckland

For all of us who need to keep a watchful eye on our bank statements, it can be a real challenge making the most of the city’s culinary offerings without spiralling quickly into overdraft and beyond.
By Ben Tutty
November 21, 2016

Seven Days of Cheap Eats in Auckland

For all of us who need to keep a watchful eye on our bank statements, it can be a real challenge making the most of the city’s culinary offerings without spiralling quickly into overdraft and beyond.
By Ben Tutty
November 21, 2016

If the only house you can afford to buy is on struggle street, if the overdrafts slowly maxing out and if your bank account is as empty as your stomach - this is the list for you.

Auckland's an expensive place to be, so for students, savers and the mega-thrifty living here can be a challenge. We at Concrete Playground believe that everyone deserves a delicious meal out every now and again, so we scoured the city looking for the cheapest and most delicious deals for every day of the week.

This is Seven Days of Cheap Eats in Auckland.

fags (1)


$4 PIZZA - Freeman and Grey

You've heard the ads on George FM, and you've probably popped in for a night out at FAGS before. Come any day between 12 - 2pm & 5-7.30pm and nab yourself an outdoor seat in the sun, rustle up some gold coins from the side of your car seat and you're sorted. The pizza's also surprisingly delicious at such a low price. Plus if you sign up as a 'best friend' with these guys, you'll score a free pizza and deals on beer.


Worried you might get scurvy? Need a decent meal? You can't get much better than a half kilo of muscles for under $10 at De Fontein on Mondays. If you've got an equally thrifty mate, grab a kilo and split it for extra savings. Beauty.

TWO FOR ONE MAINS - Thai Chef Restaurant

This is a charming wee restaraunt half way up Parnell Hill, serving authentic Thai fare that's worth the full price. Go on Monday though, and you'll get two for one - I recommend trying the Tom Yum and asking for Thai spicy if you're game enough.

$2.50 COFFEES - Coffix

If Monday isn't a bit of a struggle you're not trying hard enough on the weekend. If you're a tad dusty you may not want to eat so let the wonderful ladies at Coffix on Elliot Street, K Road or Newmarket balm your weekend-wounds with strong, hot and cheap coffee.

happy hour


$10 MAINS - Raviz Takapuna, Ellerslie and Papakura

I'll be the first to admit Raviz doesn't look too hot from the outside. But take a chance and try their food and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Come on Mondays or Tuesdays and take advantage of the above uber-cheap deal.


Underpass is one of the coolest new craft beer and live music venues in Auckland. Kick your week off the right way (yes, we know it's Tuesday already, bear with us - it's a slow week) with a delicious pulled pork taco and something hoppy on the cheap.


Velvet Burger began in the heart of studentville, Dunedin, where this deal was the stuff of legends. Mates, couples and even strangers come together and trekked the campus to form a long line out the door every Tuesday. Luckily Auckland's locals aren't quite as thrifty so you won't have to wait long to get one of these beautiful, burger masterpieces at half price.


chinoiserie (9 of 11)


$20 STEAK, CHIPS, SALAD AND 3 HENIEKENS - Spitting Feathers

This classic English pub is famous for it's always rowdy after work atmosphere and insanely cheap bottles of Heineken. The steak's not exactly a culinary masterpiece, but it does the job and a litre or so of Heineken is sure to wash it down well.

$8 TEST BAO - Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie serves some of the most creative and delicious Chinese fusion food in Auckland - all in uber cool hipster-friendly surroundings. Pop out to Mount Albert on a Tuesday or a Wednesday and you might be lucky enough to catch them testing new bao flavours - and selling them for $8 a pop. (This deal's on and off so check ahead if you're keen on a cheap experimental bao.)

$10 CHICKEN WINGSFlight 605

The bar team at Flight 605 are uncommonly friendly. Every time I pop in I feel like they've been wondering where I've been, and missing me - but really they're just super nice people who know how to make you feel welcome. A cold pint of craft beer and a mound of chicken wings for $10 every Wednesday should also help in that regard.


culpeper (1)


$10 PULLED PORK CUBANO - The Culpeper

On Fridays from 11am to 3pm, chow down on an incredibly juicy cubano, packed with pulled pork, slaw and even crackling all while enjoying a view of the Auckland harbour at Culpeper. It's an affordable lunch that doesn't sacrifice quality, location or meal size.

$6 PITA OF THE DAY - Flavour

Flavour is a city centre work lunch staple for the healthy eater. For only $6 you'll get a hefty pita stuffed with veges and feta then toasted with the sauce of your choice. Go on Thursday when the flavour of the day is fried streaky bacon.


At $5 I wouldn't have been surprised if these were the wings of flying rodents, but after checking I can happily confirm that these are in fact delicious barbecue chicken wings. Grab a feast for only $5. And since beers are only $4 I recommend you treat yourself to a bevvy as well.




FREE: 20 KG OF CHICKEN WINGS - Vultures Lane

This old-school craft beer pub is always packed full of characters, with a vibrant atmosphere and plenty good beer on tap. Plus on Friday they fry up 20kg (20KG!) of chicken wings and offer them up on a platter to drinkers around the pub for free. I recommend buying a cheap beer and strategically following the platter bearer with a plastic bag on hand and deep pockets for ultimate wing storage capability. But that's just me.

$4 NACHOS - Mexican Cafe 

This Mexican icon serves up some of the best nachos in the city for only $4 from 5 to 7 pm every day. Grab a seat outside, a Corona with a lime and the chipotle-chilli nachos and you're sorted.

$10 BURGER AND BEER Andrew & Andrew

Andrew and Andrew is a joint known for its rowdy hospo parties and decent craft beer list. But little did you know they also do a decent burger with a beer for only $10 - this is the perfect way to end a week, without maxing the overdraft.


Image credit cocos Facebook


$13 PASTA POMODORO - Coco's Cantina

Dining here feels like eating in the living room of some long lost Italian Aunt. The food creates a similar impression, with the rustic and tomatoey pasta pomodoro for only $13 a highlight (served from 5 to 6pm daily).

$12 FOR 20 DUMPLINGS - Barilla Dumplings

Few too many cups on a big Saturday? Or perhaps you're just hankering for a midnight feast. Either way Barilla should be your go to - this Dominion Road mainstay will solve all your problems with 20 dumplings for only $12.

$3 TACOS AND MEXICAN BEER - Mexicali Fresh

Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 7pm things get a little silly at Mexicali Fresh when tacos are only $3. Leave work at 4pm sharp to ensure you can enjoy a whole three hours of super-cheap taco feasting heaven.


For a quiet night out, a few cheap beers and some surprisingly gourmet fare, pop into Grey Lynn RSA on a Saturday from 5pm and visit the ex-proprietor of Jimmy the Fish in Ponsonby Central. He's now known as Jimmy the Cook and he's set up shop in the Grey Lynn RSA peddling delicious and affordable fare out of a wee window on the back wall.




$11 EGGS ANY STYLE - Dizengoff

Sunday's all about brunch. Few serve it better than Dizengoff and the fact that they make the best cup of coffee in Auckland doesn't hurt either. Just watch out for the rich people.


For something delicious that you can eat on the run, grab a bacon and egg roll from Rickshaw Cafe. It's a basic feed, but everything's cooked to perfection, the bread is freshly baked and the price is right.


Published on November 21, 2016 by Ben Tutty

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x