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Ten workday lunches under $10

By Heather 4 Nov 2015 • 9 Comments

Rhazoo salad

Before we get started, the rules for ten workday lunches under $10 are as follows... eat in, something different every day, no specials, and no chains – with the addition of quick, likely-to-get-me-through-the-afternoon, and available Monday to Friday.

Since Corporatesville is all over town I spread myself around (who needs an excuse to lunch right?), and racked up ten pretty easily. But I know there's loads more good ones out there.


1. Cellarvate

Cellarvate pasta

Tucked in behind The Backbencher on Molesworth lives Cellarvate. There's a delicious range of ready to eat pastas in the fridge which they’ll heat and serve for you, along with soups, sandwiches, counter delights and hearty casseroles in winter. Also wine and frozen meals to take home (family venison pie, I'm coming for you...).

2. Barista

Barista pie

Speaking of pies, Barista in Panama Street has a large range of house made for $7- $8. Real meat, tasty sauces and non-flaky pastry (although ask them to not overheat so you avoid partial collapse). They will make anything to order with a couple of days notice and are known for a lamb shank masterpiece ($12). 

3. Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen

Ngon vermicelli

Limited seating, but crisp, fresh, flavoursome food, and delightful staff. There are many salads here, along with noodle soup, pho and a Vietnamese sandwich. What’s not to love?

4. Puro Chile

Puro empanada

Also limited seating, but totally worth the trip to the Grand Arcade on Willis. Well filled empanadas in delicious crusty pastry for $7 to $10. Or other sandwiches and completos (Chilean hotdogs) for $10 to $13. You’d be forgiven if a delicious sweet alfajor jumped into your handbag (manbag?) for later.

5. Rahzoo

Rhazoo salad

Rahzoo in Waring-Taylor have the most impressive salad selection in town in my book. With ten or more to choose from, everyone will be satisfied. Other salad bars worth checking out are Seize on Lambton Quay, Word of Mouth on Molesworth Street, the Dixon Street Deli and Relish in Capital Quay.

6. J'aime Bordeaux


I love the crunchiness of fresh baguette, as well as the peacefulness and plentiful seating at J'aime Bordeaux on The Terrace. Their vegetable pie and potato tarts are also worthy, as well as any number of naughty pastries or sweets if you fancy.

7. Mojo at Spark Central

Mojo quiche

Although kind of a chain, Mojo is a beloved part of Wellington’s fabric, and the individual quiches at the light and airy Spark Central always catch my eye. There’s a range of flavours and I particularly appreciate that they don’t heat by microwave so the pastry stays crisp.

8. Taste Willis Foodcourt

Foodcourt roti wrap

The foodcourt beneath the State Insurance Building is light, bright, and airy with more options under $10 than you can poke a stick at – kebabs, burgers, salads, curries, quesadillas, steamed pork buns, noodle bowls and more. Other food courts worth a go are the Capital Markets further up Willis and Lambton Square.

9. Heavens Pizza

Heavens pizza

Four small pizzas and various pizza breads, dips, salads or mega slices are yours for under $10 at Heavens up Cuba. Light, fresh and flavourful, the margarita hit the spot nicely, but I do confess to being a Tommy Millions mega slice fan, now also on the corner of Featherston and Johnson Streets.

10. Panama Cafe

Panama wedges

I love that Panama in Taranaki Street feels like a mini version of its Wesley Church neighbour. To satisfy my spud craving I enjoyed wedges which were pleasingly crunchy and not over-cheesed or over-sauced (yay!). There were also $4.50 toasties, $8 eggs all day and a range of cabinet offerings under $10. 

I'm also a fan of Chow Mein Cube on The Terrace, The House of Dumplings on Taranaki Street, and both Chumeez and Sir Breadwins on Lambton Quay, but what others should I be checking out? What do you recommend?

Add your comment

  • Helena on 19 Nov 2015

    A bountiful selection of quick tasty lunch spots I didn't know existed.. obviously don't get north of Manners/Willis St enough. Have been looking for some good salad options thanks Heather.

  • Keely on 10 Nov 2015

    Don't forget the very cheap and filling $6.50 Noodle Salad bar, Chef's Palette on Woodward St, BNZ Centre & Willis Street

  • Eugene on 08 Nov 2015

    Dumpling'd on the terrace is an awesome place for a satisfying and cheap lunch.

  • Heather on 06 Nov 2015

    Will be heading to Woodward forthwith! Have seen Mad Mex but haven't had a chance to get in yet, and have enjoyed Zany Zeus at Moera when on the move. Nice one guys.

  • Carl on 05 Nov 2015

    Siem Reap on Woodward St does delicious salads for $7.

  • Gareth on 05 Nov 2015

    Mad Mex is the best, most just over $10 though, but the small\kids nachos is only $5.90. I haven't tried House of Dumplings (too far away) but Dumpling'd next to Chow Mein Cube is great for $8.

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