Best Cheap Eats in Wellington

The 13 Best Cheap Eats in Wellington NZ That Don’t Break the Bank

Empty wallet, a starving stomach, and like a seagull, looking for that last bite of meat pie—that’s most of my early college days. After staring at an abyss of a fridge for days on end during that time, I vowed to hunt down eateries that wouldn’t break my bank account. 

Since then, I’ve gotten pretty familiar with what there is to eat in this town if you’re down to your last few dollars. Here are my top picks of places to go if you’re starving and a bit short on funds.

1. Aunty Mena’s

Address: 167 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Saturday – 12 PM to 8 PM 

Phone: +64 4 382 8288

Aunty Mena’s is for budget conscious gourmands who want great-tasting food that won’t break the bank. 

The undisputed king of Aunty Mena’s menu is the chicken laksa noodle soup. Each spoonful is a flavourful explosion of Southeast Asia spices.

Get an order of roti chanai to go with their soup. The roti comes out puffed up like clouds, just begging to be dipped in that broth.

Pro Tip: Get the sago malacca for dessert. 

2. Little Penang

Address: 179 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Thursday – 11 AM to 2:30 PM, 5 PM to 9 PM 
  • Friday – 11 AM to 2:30 PM, 5 PM to 9:30 PM 
  • Saturday – 11 AM to 9 PM 

Phone: +64 4 382 9818

Little Penang specialises in Nyonya cuisine, a unique blend of Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences. So expect flavorful dishes that will have your tastebuds dancing. 

For one, Little Penang’s mee goreng is a crowd favourite. It’s packed with vegetables, chicken, or seafood (your choice). 

Another must-try is the roti canai, which is perfect for dipping in their flavorful Kapitan curry.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on the mini curry puffs. They’re a good choice for an appetiser.

3. Satay Kingdom Cafe

Satay Kingdom Cafe

Address: 212 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Thursday – 11 AM to 9 PM 

Phone: +64 4 381 3730

Satay Kingdom Cafe is a Malaysian gem where affordability and finger-lickin’ good go hand in hand. 

Their roti canai is just one of the OG street food champs you can find here. If you order it, dip it in their fiery dhal curry or cooling cucumber raita.

But their char kueh tah is one of their top sellers. Stir fried noodles with eggs, prawns, bean sprouts, and that smoky, savoury char that makes your eyes water in the best way possible. 

However, if you want something meatier, get their beef rendang. Every bite is pure, comforting heaven. 

Pro Tip: Feeling a bit bougie? Try the chef’s special–foil wrapped grilled sambal fish

4. Jo’s Pies

Address:  28 Cleveland Street, Brooklyn, Wellington 6021, New Zealand


  • Monday to Friday –  7:30 AM to 3 PM 
  • Saturday – 8:30 AM to 3 PM 

Phone: +64 4 384 4934

Jo’s Pies is the reigning champ of hearty, handheld goodness. Their pies are perfect for those days when you need a little comfort food magic.

Their best selling pie? The beef, bacon, and cheese pie. 

Tender chunks of melt-in-your-mouth beef, crispy bacon bits, and cheesy goodness ooze out with every bite. It’ll have you muttering “one more bite” before you even swallow the first. 

But for the mushroom lovers out there, the steak and mushroom pie is the one to get. 

Pro Tip: Get there early because the line sometimes stretches around the block. Besides, if you go early, you’ll get your pick of the pie-a-licious bounty before they vanish.

5. The Dumpling Company

The Dumpling Company

Address: Shop 3a/44 The Terrace, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


  • Monday to Tuesday – 11 AM to 3 PM, 5 PM to 9 PM
  • Wednesday to Thursday – 9 AM to 3 PM, 5 PM to 9 PM 
  • Friday to Saturday – 9 AM to PM, 5 PM to 10 PM
  • Sunday – 9 AM to 3 PM, 5 PM to 9 PM 

Phone: +64 4 213 6749

The Dumpling Company is a dumpling dynasty that’ll have you bowing down in gratitude. 

The chili oil dumplings are a must-try. They’ll have you reaching for a second (and maybe third) plate. Don’t forget to get their BBQ pork buns to accompany your dumplings. 

Or, if you’re really hungry, go all out with dim sum. Steamed har gow, crispy siu mai, pan-fried pork buns–it’s yummy and it won’t leave your wallet feeling empty.

Pro Tip: During the winter, get the ma la braised beef brisket noodle soup. The tingly Sichuan broth and spices will warm you from the inside out and it’s at a price that won’t make you shiver.

6. Pho Mo

Pho Mo

Address: 62 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


  • Monday – 11:30 AM to 4 PM 
  • Tuesday to Sunday – 11:30 AM to 9 PM 

Let’s be honest, pho is comfort food royalty. Pho Mo understands this truth. 

Their steaming bowls of beef pho arrive piled high with thin, melt-in-your-mouth slices of beef, nestled amongst rice noodles and fresh herbs. 

For those who love banh mi’s, Pho Mo’s fricken banh mi shakes things up. Buttermilk fried chicken slathered with all the good stuff banh mi’s are known for.

And bun enthusiasts will love their lemongrass grilled chicken bao bun. It’s the perfect light lunch or snack, and trust us, you’ll want another (and another).

Pro Tip: Don’t be shy! Ask for extra dipping sauce for your banh mi or bao bun. Pho Mo’s secret weapon is their sriracha sauce that takes your food to the next level.

7. Fisherman’s Plate Seafood

Address: 12 Bond Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 11 AM to 9 PM 

Phone:  +64 4 473 8375

Fisherman’s Plate Seafood is a no-fuss eatery that focuses on fresh, flavorful Vietnamese cuisine at friendly prices. Their spicy beef soup is a best-seller. 

And no Vietnamese feast is complete without banh xeo (like their own version of savoury crepes). 

These crispy crepes are stuffed with prawns, pork, and bean sprouts. Dip them in the sweet-sour nuoc cham sauce that comes on the side.

Pro Tip: Feeling extra hungry? Get a plate of Vietnamese sausage rolls. One bite will transport you straight to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

8. Dumpling’d


Address: 7 Boulcott Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 10 PM 

Phone: +64 4 472 3739

Forget soggy, store-bought dumplings. Dumpling’d elevates the humble dumpling to a form of art—tasty art, that is. 

They have plenty of dumplings to choose from on their menu, but try the fried dumplings with eggs if you want to make those tastebuds jump with joy. 

While you’re there, try their honey chicken too! The honey chicken’s sweetness balanced with a hint of savoury will have you licking your plate (and maybe your fingers too).

And if you’re into seafood? Their salmon stir-fry is out of this world.

Pro Tip: If you really want to eat an authentic and traditional meal, make sure to order their mapo tofu as a side dish. 

9. Aroy Thai Eatery

Aroy Thai Eatery

Address:  13 Commerce Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Monday to Friday – 11 AM to 3 PM, 4:30 PM to 9 PM 
  • Saturday & Sunday – 11 AM to 9 PM 

Phone: +64 9 379 7758

Aroy is all about honest-to-goodness Thai comfort food. The menu hums with familiar favourites like pad thai and fiery green curry, but the true stars here are the tom kha chicken curry and the black pepper beef.

Don’t worry—the portions are enough for two (or, if you’re like us, devouring solo with no regrets). 

Pro Tip: For dessert, get their gourmet Thai ice cream. Aroy whips up scoops of exotic flavours like milk tea and durian with sticky rice

10. KK Malaysian Restaurant

Address: 54 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Saturday – 11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5 PM to 8:30 PM 
  • Sunday – 4:45 PM to 8:30 PM

Phone:  +64 4 385 6698

KK Malaysian Restaurant will take you straight to the heart of Malaysia. Obviously, no trip to a Malaysian restaurant is complete without indulging in satay. 

You’ll have your pick of chicken, beef, or lamb—and the peanut sauce that it comes with is pure deliciousness.

For those who love seafood, the seafood curry is a must-order. Fresh mussels, prawns, and that rich coconut milk curry is all so comforting and flavorful. You’ll be coming back for more.

Pro Tip: Give the sin chew mee hoon a try. This rice noodle dish is simple, and the perfect option for those who want something light and hearty to eat.

11. Satay Palace

Satay Palace

Address: 165 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 11:30 AM to 9 PM 

Phone: +64 4 801 5719

When dining at Satay Palace, you have to start off with their curry puffs! It’s the perfect way to dip your tastebuds into Malay cuisine.

But of course, Satay Palace’s namesake dish, satay is clearly a must-order. Choose from chicken, beef, lamb, or for all the vegans amongst us—tofu satay.

However, if you want something different than satay, get the nasi lemak, or the beef rendang. When paired with their homemade coconut rice, you’re in for a treat of the finest Malay street food delicacies.

Pro Tip: Ask for an extra scoop of their coconut rice!

12. Asian Kitchen

Asian Kitchen

Address: 101 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington 3120, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11 AM to 2:30 PM, 5 PM to late

Phone: +64 4 472 8887

Asian Kitchen reigns supreme with their plates that overflow with spices and prices that’ll leave you saying, “Is this real?”

They have a fusion of the best of the best cuisine from all over Asia. One of their top hits is their Hainanese chicken rice. 

If you’re craving something bolder, get their Burmese curry. It consists of rich coconut milk infused with turmeric, lemongrass, chilis, and chunks of chicken or tofu. 

Each spoonful will leave you wanting more (and maybe booking a trip to Myanmar).

Pro Tip: For dessert, you have to try their banana spring rolls and chocolate wontons. They are insanely delicious.

13. The Oaks Satay Noodle House

The Oaks Satay Noodle House

Address: Oaks Complex 73 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


  • Saturday to Thursday – 11 AM to 9 PM 
  • Friday – 11 AM to 9:30 PM 

Phone: +64 4 382 8563

Oaks Satay Noodle House stands as a beacon of deliciousness and affordability. The star of the show: their satay chicken kebabs. These kebabs are juicy, and grilled to smoky perfection. 

Or you can get their stir-fried beef and vegetable noodles. Make sure you ask for that fried egg to go with your noodles.

Pro Tip: Still hungry? Order extra kebabs and meatballs on the side!