Cheap and cheerful: the best lunches under $10
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but $10 lunches do exist. Don't spend your lunch hours looking elsewhere
141 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Owned and run by a pair of brothers, Scopa has familiarity and charm down. A traditional Italian kitchen in the heart of Cuba Street, Scopa is Wellington's local joint for pizzas and old school Italian eats. The house speciality is pizza, made fresh in their wood-fired ovens and their hot chocolate is famous around town - so thick that you can eat it with a spoon.
Scopa has a charming, laidback atmosphere that works for dates, but also for large groups and families. Every Tuesday, Scopa puts on $8 margherita pizzas, plus they have a daily $12 lunch special.
153/157 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Capital Market is an indoors food market with a range of food stalls, mostly serving Asian food, and is a popular place to get an affordable meal or snack.
Where’s Charlie serves Vietnamese food including their delicious lemongrass chilli chicken banh mi. Jess, a banh mi regular says, "Their baguettes are crispy but don’t flake all over the place which means you can return to work still looking like an adult, rather than a toddler who has just eaten their lunch." Jess has a toddler, so you know she's speaking the truth.
Jess recommends going with the jumbo size ($9) and to opt for chilli sauce.
10 Bond Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Artcraft Bakery is an old-school Kiwi-style bakery specialising in sandwiches, pies, cakes and other baked delights.
Everything is baked and prepared on the premises and priced very affordably. This is the place for a mince-and-cheese pie, egg sandwiches and a custard square for afters.
Regular customer Dave says: "I like it because there’s a decided absence of horrific ingredients such as kale, they use white bread which is delicious and sadly maligned, it’s dirt cheap and hipsters are happily absent." Not for much longer, Dave.
7 Boulcott Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Dumpling'd are dumpling dynamos. Mixing the best of East and West cuisine, these freshly-made dumplings combine high quality ingredients and fresh flavours to bring a little bit of Asia to heart of Wellington.
Get dumplings for lunch at one of their three locations on Boulcott Street, Courtenay Place and The Terrace and enjoy 8 dumplings for $9 from their Boulcott Street and The Terrace sites.
178 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The original café for midnight feasts on Cuba Street, Midnight Espresso is one of the last places still open on Cuba Street to score a late-night coffee and bite to eat.
Their iconic café counter is generously piled high with vegetarian (and often vegan and gluten-free) frittatas, pies, sandwiches, cakes and slices, all decorated in an eclectic and flamboyant way with fruit and flowers and mostly all under $10. There’s also a vast short-order menu written large on the café wall and liquid refreshments in the form of freshly squeezed juices and high-octane Havana espresso.
Satay Village and Satay Kingdom
58 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
For more high recommended Malaysian food, head to Satay Village on Ghuznee Street or Satay Kingdom on Left Bank for chicken for chicken or vegetable roti chanai.
A bowl of curry comes with warm, chewy and slightly sweet roti bread on the side. Add some rice on the side if you’re feeling extra hungry. It’s a meal that most Wellington students will be very familiar with and the perfect ‘day before payday’ lunch.