16 Oct 2019

Waiting for payday? A week of cheap lunches in The Rocks

The day before payday doesn't have to be a punish – and these cheap lunches in The Rocks are an absolute pleasure.
Waiting for payday? A week of cheap lunches in The Rocks
Love your lunch hour with these cheap eats. Whether it’s perfect pastry, delicious dumplings or chicken wings galore, there’s something for everyone, every day of the week.


Not just a cheap lunch, this is one of the best sausage rolls in Australia. La Renaissance co-owner and head pastry chef Jean Michel Raynaud is the only patissier in the Southern Hemisphere to be a member of Relais Desserts, an exclusive organisation that recognises only the best in French patisserie. One bite and you’ll understand why. Nestled between sheets of buttery, flaky pastry you’ll find a juicy, flavourful sausage filling – take your pick of pork, bacon and fennel, or pork and veal. (Or treat yourself to one of each – they are, after all, only $6 each.)


An umami excursion, treat yourself to a dim sum feast with a very welcoming price tag at The Argyle. Gyoza, har gow and shumai are available in prawn, pork and vegetarian varieties, ready to be doused in soy sauce or dipped in chilli to your liking. Pierce into crispy skinned gyoza to savour a soft pork filling, or turn your attention to a steamer of prawn har gow, with soft translucent wrappers and a firm filling that gives a satisfying, slight resistance to each bite.


Exchange a shiny $2 coin for a Tex-Mex lunchtime feast at El Camino, 20 crispy chicken wings your reward. Order them drenched in the sauce of your choice and prepare to get messy. The BBQ sauce is tangy and sweet, while the buffalo sauce has just the right amount of heat for hot wing traditionalists. Thrillseekers are wise to try the spicy diablo sauce, named after the Spanish word for ‘devil’ for very good reason. Allow your wings a generous dunking of blue cheese mayo or mango chilli, then dive in with haste.


A Sydney institution, the Fine Food Store’s chilli con carne has been kept on the menu for years by ravenous demand. Get your fill of pure comfort in a bowl, full warmth and spice. Prepared in small batches throughout the day, premium ground beef is slow-cooked in a rich, tangy tomato base with kidney beans, onion, garlic, and fragrant cumin. Executive chef Detlef Haupt once commented that he simply can’t take it off the menu – find out why.


Delight in the smoke, scents and sizzle of The Friday Foodie Market, where gourmet street food is served up hot. Bite into a slice of crispy, cheesy pizza from That’s Amore Street Pizza, or dive into a many textured Japanese okonomiyaki, fresh off the teppan from Umai Sushi. Try a healthy hemp seed gyro from Sacred Seed Food Co, and choose a market classic, a Café Danieli lamb skewer. Waltz in to The Rocks Markets on a Saturday or Sunday to devour a Broomfields steak, shiraz and pearl barley pie, Lokma-Nia Turkish doughnuts, or super sweet hot corn served with butter and fresh chilli from The Australian Corn Company.

Prices are correct as of October 2019 – check out the venues’ websites for current pricing before you visit.