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 centre's best lunch options under $13.

Best Ugly Bagels

Swiss melt $9.90 or J.C $8.90 | Best Ugly Bagels, Commercial Bay and City Works Depot 

Best Ugly's Montreal-style bagels are deliberately manhandled, hand-rolled, and cut, then simmered in sweet honey water, this tough and ready treatment gives them their unique style and flavour. Top your bagel with a classic combo of marmite and cheese, or satisfy that midday sweet tooth with a cream cheese and jam bagel. Need a pick-me-up? Coffees are free on Tuesdays!

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Sashimi $6 or Agedashi Tofu, $13 | Fuga, 62 Victoria Street West 

Located across from SkyCity, Fuga is a modern Japanese brasserie that could easily become your next go-to Japanese eatery. The sashimi and the Agedashi tofu sound like great options! 

Baguette & Co

All Baguettes, $12.90 | Baguette & Co, 188 Quay Street

Conveniently located on Level 1 of the HSBC Tower, this warm and inviting sun-drenched sandwich bar is the number one stop for a delicious gourmet takeaway. We love the sound of champagne ham, Brie & fig paste (the Piaf) or mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and basil (the Bardot).

Madam Mi, $10.50 | Hello Mister, 5B Hardinge Street

Hello Mister offers quick, delicious and healthy Vietnamese street food perfect for tasty lunches on the go. We recommend you to try the Lemongrass Chicken Madam Mi. It's delicious!

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Daily takeaway pasta, $12.90 | 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 basil pesto pasta with fresh basil, olive oil, nuts and parmesan.

Kai Eatery

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

Located only a few steps from the Aotea Centre and also in Commercial Bay, Kai Eatery is an inexpensive way to experience traditional Taiwanese 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.

Mr Murdochs

10-inch pizza, $10 | Mr Murdoch's, 16 Fort Street

Mr Murdoch's serves $10 pizzas every day from 11.30 to 3pm as part of their express lunch menu. You can choose between mushroom (V), buffalo chicken or meat lovers pizza.

Federal Delicatessen matzo ball soup

Matzo Ball Soup, $12 (starter) | Federal Delicatessen, 86 Federal St

Federal Delicatessen is the closest thing we have to a New York City deli in Auckland, complete with bottomless filter coffee and vinyl booths. The Matzo Ball soup is a classic soup made up of shredded chicken and bagel dumplings, also known as Jewish Penicillin. As the Fed Deli team say themselves, "your body will thank you"!

Le Paris Crepe

Crepes, from $7 - $13 | Le Paris, 39/41 Elliot Stables

Located in the enchanting Elliot Stables is Le Paris, where you can treat yourself to all kinds of crepes. If you're a savoury person, go for the egg, cheese, and ham, or if that sweet tooth is kicking in, there are plenty of filling choices, from Nutella, jam, apple cinnamon, berries and more! 

Miss Torta huevos a la Mexicana

 

Huevos a la Mexicana, $12 | Miss Torta, 75C Victoria Street West 

Miss Torta brings traditional, original Mexican food to New Zealand. They're serving up delicious Mexican sandwiches, perfect for any meal of the day. We love the sound of the huevos a la Mexicana with eggs scrambled with tomato and capsicum, refried beans, bacon, and slices of fluffy telera bread. Because why not have a breakfast-themed torta for lunch?

More $13 and under lunch spots

Last updated: 17 May 2022

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