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

Pho Mo

Be drawn in by the neon pink signs to discover a lively interior coated in pink. Naturally, with the name like Pho-Mo, you don’t want to miss this!

Pho-Mo's your next lunchtime spot, with quick and delicious dishes packed with fresh herbs and flavours such as Pho, noodle salads and Bahn Mi. The Beef Pho is a must try and that’s from co-owner Josh who’s a die-hard chicken fan! Most meals are under $10 so your bank and your belly will be looked after.

Pho Mo 3
Scopa pizza margherita


141 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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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.

Where's Charlie

153/157 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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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.

Wheres Charlie noodles salad lemon
Artcraft Bakery bun

Artcraft Bakery

10 Bond Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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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.

artcraft bakery

Dumplingd fried dumplings plate


7 Boulcott Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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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.

Midnight Espresso

178 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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The original cafe 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 cafe 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. There's also a vast short-order menu written large on the cafe wall and liquid refreshments in the form of freshly squeezed juices and high-octane Havana espresso.

Midnight Espresso discussion

Satay Village and Satay Kingdom

58 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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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.

satay kingdom curry roti
Satay Kingdom hands holding bowl mussels vegetables
Satay Village exterior shop person walking

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