We’ve all been there. It’s the last quarter of your payday cycle and you’re lucky if you’ve even got two 5c coins to rub together. Mentally flashing back to last week (when you were ballin’), you see yourself lining up social obligations like ducks in a row… what a simpler time. But the days roll around and now you’re left with a bank balance that looks a lot less like a phone number and more like a pair of eyes looking back judgementally at your ostentatious transactions. Not a worry – don’t cancel that long awaited after work dinner catch up or penciled in work lunch, we’ve sought out the best cheap eats in Adelaide.

*check individual websites for opening times*

1. social street s2 – 174a hutt street, adelaide | LUNCH & DINNER

A hot spot for its central location, hit up Social Street s2 where the staff are friendly and the menu is diverse. With Thai flavours the underpinning motive but items that range from laksas and drunken noodles to duck salads and thai-fried chicken wings on the menu, the options are endless.

2. miss mai – 9a james place, adelaide | LUNCH

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Take no break from the Vietnamese dog cult and swing by Miss Mai, in the centre of the city. Live large and grab a roll and drink for under $10. Generous fillings and extra chilli and coriander if you want it (unsure why you’d not) this cheap eat ticks all the boxes for a work lunch to-go.

3. ryo’s noodles – 80 gouger street, adelaide | LUNCH & DINNER

Opt for the ultimate slurp-tastic comfort food in a big, sodium-packed bowl – Ramen. Ryo’s ramens will set you back from $13-15, but you won’t walk away hungry.

4. chicken and pig – 78a pirie street | LUNCH

Lunchtime made simple, the menu only is priced two ways – $8.50 for a roll, $12.50 for meat and salad. The options are vibrant, fresh and healthy. It’s the meal you wish you could make for yourself to take to work but you’re just too lazy.

5. mandoo korean dumplings – 26 bank st, adelaide | LUNCH & DINNER

The dumpling craving is something that never subsides – anytime, anywhere, they’re always a good idea. Split two serves of 8 ($15ea) with a friend, or better yet, opt for the bibimbab at just $15 dine in or $14 takeaway.

6. jerusalem sheshkebab house – 131 hindley street, adelaide | LUNCH & DINNER

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If you’re looking for a cheap night out to catch up with a group, this is the place. The banquet ranges from $20-30 and never leaves you hungry. With a no corkage BYO policy for banquets of $22 or more, bring as many bottles as you like but prepare to drink them out of plastic cups. Tasty, no frills Middle Eastern eats with great company.

7. adelaide pho – 199 waymouth street, adelaide | LUNCH & DINNER

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A list of cheap eats in Adelaide wouldn’t be complete without a mention of this place. They say any bowl of pho priced over $13 can’t be the real deal – with the right ingredients and amount of care this Vietnamese signature broth is bubbled in big batches and is as good for our appetites as our wallets.

8. laksa house – 214 hutt st, adelaide| DINNER

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Traditional Malaysian food with the local’s tick of approval is hard to come by in inner city Adelaide. Dive right into a dumpling laksa from Laksa House which will set you back a modest $12.80.