Grabbing yourself a great lunch in a big city, while also being budget-conscious can often be quite a challenge. Striking the sweet balance between quantity, quality and price can seem like an unlikely feat, especially when work is calling you back to your desk. Luckily, tucked away in laneways and side streets are an array of restaurants and cafés with some of the best cheap eats Auckland has to offer. Confidently jump into the lunchtime rush with our list of the city centres best lunch options under $13.

White Rabbit Bagel, $10.90 | Best Ugly Bagels, City Works Depot and Commercial Bay

Best Ugly Bagels are a hero of lunchtime bites in the city, providing customers with delicious healthy, authentic Montreal style bagels and topping combinations that have proven to be unmatched in quality and convenience. The White Rabbit is a classic savoury bagel which will leave you feeling light and refreshed. Zany Zeus cream cheese is spread across each half, then they’re layered with tomato, basil and a drizzle of lemon fennel olive oil. 

A selection of fresh sandwiches and wraps, from $8.50 | Little Melba Espresso Bar, 151 Queen Street

Little Melba

We're loving Little Melba's daily wraps and sandwiches. Try their delicious and fresh vege wrap made with beautiful fresh avocado, halloumi and their homemade melba sauce. They also have a mouthwatering chicken baguette that is definitely worth a try.

Rump Steak with salad and fries, $12 | Tony's Steakhouse, 27 Wellesley Street

Tony's steak

One of the most popular steak dishes from Tony' Steakhouse is the Rump Steak with salad and fries and there is a good reason why it is so popular! Why not pay a visit to Auckland’s original steakhouse to try out this popular lunch dish for only $12!

Daily takeaway pasta, $11.90 | Needo, Commercial Bay


Needo offers hearty and generous portions of handcrafted pasta made fresh daily, topped with your choice of sauce. We're loving their classic Carbonara pasta with bacon, cream and extra parmesan cheese.

Dumplings, $12 | Kai Eatery, 1 Rutland St and Commercial Bay

Dumplings Kai eatery

Conveniently located on the corner of Rutland and Lorne Streets only a few steps from the Aotea Centre, Kai Eatery is an inexpensive way to experience traditional Taiwaenese street food in Auckland's city centre. We recommend the pork & cabbage or pork, prawn & chive dumplings which are a very satisfying lunchtime bite that won’t break the bank.

Banh Mi, $13 | District 5, 28 Shortland Street

District 5 is not only an oasis of tasty and authentic Vietnamese meals in the city, they also have a cute cafe at the back filled with French treats and expertly made coffee. We recommend you to try the Lemongrass Chicken banh mi. It's delicious!

Savoury pancakes, $7 | No.1 Pancake, Corner of Lorne Street & Wellesley Street

No.1 Pancake - Potato and Cheese Pancake

No.1 Pancake - Potato and Cheese Pancake

Right on the corner of Wellesley and Lorne Streets in the city centre is No.1 Pancake.With flavours including beef, chicken, ham or vege, all with gooey cheese, or chocolate or cinnamon sweet pancakes - these crispy fried treats are just the thing to fill a hole in your belly without leaving a hole in your wallet! We particularly love the potato & cheese pancake which made it to the Top 100 Iconic Auckland Eats.

Last updated: 18 February 2021