When all of your time and energy is being sunk into your studies, it’s hard to eat out with friends or catch a bite on the go using a student budget. Read our top picks for this week’s cheap eats to enjoy with friends that won’t send you broke. Looking for more weekend inspiration? Click here to see What’s On in Wollongong this weekend.

Big K Kebabs

If you are out and about in Wollongong’s northern suburbs, stop in at Big K’s Kebabs in Fairy Meadow. This food truck-style takeaway joint is just the ticket to cure that after-work hangry or late-night munchies. Hanging out with mates? Grab a few of these bad boys and head to the beach for a sunset feast that everyone will love. 

These kebabs are absolutely packed to the brim with good stuff and there are cheaper prices on-site than for online delivery due to the added commissions charged by UberEats and Deliveroo. Drop in or call 0450 945 024 to order for the best prices. 

Chefs Choice

Wanting to sit down and spend some quality time with friends or family? Try Chef’s Choice in the centre of Wollongong. Don’t let the simple decor fool you, this restaurant has fantastic food at incredible prices; it’s fast, fun and full of flavour to satisfy anyone jonesing for Chinese food.

Start with the Salt & Spicy Calamari and then get a few dishes for the middle to share. Don’t miss the Beef in XO for a spicy kick, Nasi Goreng Fried Rice that comes packed with goodness, and for a vegetarian option, ask for the Eggplant Blackbean, lightly pan-fried eggplant served in a tasty black bean and chilli sauce that will have you coming back over and over again.

Don’t think twice about this one. Just go, go now. You’re welcome.

Jimmy’s Burger Bar

It’s burger time at Jimmy’s Burger Bar in Crown Street with burgers from $9, healthy wraps from $5.50 and subs from $8.50. They even have three vegetarian options all $10 or less. If the budget allows, add in some regular or sweet potato fries.

Jimmy’s is a casual dining destination that doesn’t lack in taste. With low prices and the option to order just a burger alone or an entire meal, Jimmy’s Burger Bar is a great place to catch a meal with mates and offers a menu that has something to please everyone.

Mad Cup

If you are looking for a healthier option for breakfast or lunch, try Balgownie’s Mad Cup Cafe on Balgownie Road. With indoor and outdoor seating, Mad Cup offers great food with unique flavours that don’t cost a fortune. They have Vegan and Vegetarian options and a range of salads that are always delish. Ask for the Halloumi Salad, it’s not on the menu but it’s fantastic.

Miss Lee’s

Miss Lee’s is one of the newer establishments for Chinese cuisine located in Kiera Street Wollongong and has a fantastic menu to offer. If you’re tight on cash try the $12.95 Chicken & Wonton Soup or the $10.95 Nasi Goreng Fried Rice. Either is sure to satisfy and won’t cost a fortune when you sit down with friends for dinner.

Harbourside Fish Market

If you’ve got a hankering for something simple and classic, head down to the Harbourside Fish Market where you can get fresh seafood to take home or have your meal cooked on-site with the freshest ingredients around. For around $10 – $12 you can get a serve of Fish & Chips, made to order and hard to beat for quality and flavour.

2 Smoking Barrels

With a great atmosphere for a night out with friends, 2 Smoking Barrels offers some incredible barbeque options for the meat-lovers among us. This Texas-BBQ style eatery has a pit-smoked beef brisket roll ($14) like no other in the region. If you are working with a budget you can take advantage of Sundays where they offer $1.50 wings or the platter options off the menu split between a few mates.

2SmokingBarrels Facebook

Fat Boy Pide & Grill

You know I love a good kebab, so it is hard to go past FatBoy Pide and Grill on Market Street in Wollongong. Their kebabs are not soggy and wet like others but full of fresh ingredients and packed full of flavour. Better yet, they don’t break the bank. My favourite Chicken Kebab with the lot is only $12 and more food than I can usually eat.

Not a meat-eater? Not to worry, they also offer vegetarian and vegan options.

City Diggers

This edition’s sit-down cheap eats option is Wollongong’s own City Diggers on Church Street. This Bistro / Cafe is under new management and they aren’t holding back with the specials. Score $8 Pasta on Mondays, $12 Steak & Chips on Tuesdays, $12 Fish & Chips on Wednesdays, or $13 Snitzel on Thursdays! Bringing the family? Kids eat for $10, all the time.

Pizza Tree Corrimal

Recently my children were requesting pasta on our usual takeaway night, something we don’t get very often. So, I went looking for pasta options that weren’t going to cost $30 per person, and that’s when I stumbled across Pizza Tree in Corrimal. Not only was each dish on $15 but they were also incredibly good! Don’t miss the Garlic and Fresh Rosemary bread, it is unbelievably satisfying.

Chicko’s Chicken Shop

If you are hanging out with friends and all want something different to eat, Chicko’s in Wollongong can satisfy everyone in your group. With Salads, Hot Food, Burgers, and Desserts, Chicko’s offers a variety of sizes to suit your hunger and budget with Hot Food Packs starting from $5.30.

Culture Sauce

These massive burgers are absolutely delicious and can certainly fill you up without needing to spend extra money on sides. Culture Sauce offers a wide range of burger options with some very interesting options like the Onion Pakora Burger, Japanese Chicken Burger, and Pickled Pork Burger. Of course, they also have all the usual options as well including Cheese Burgers, Hawaiian Burgers, and more.

If you need more dining inspiration, be sure to check out some of our favourite locations here. For all the latest news about What’s On in Wollongong, stay up-to-date here.

Check back with us as we update this page for more Cheap Eats in Wollongong and the Illawarra.

  • Zoë Wood