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40 must-try Cairns cheap eats for $15 and less

Heading out in Cairns to eat with 15 dollars or less to spare?

Fill yourself up on these tasty morsels - from sweet to savoury, breakfast through to dinner - with Tropic Now's handy list of 40 cheap eats under $15…

Tropic tip: bookmark this page for future reference!

1. 'Good Morning Jaffle' at Jafflehead = $9

A pocket of breakfast goodness with poached egg, spinach, hollandaise sauce, bacon, spinach and cheese.

39-49 Lake St, Cairns City

2. Lime n Pepper calamari at The Pier Bar = $14.50

Take a seat overlooking the Esplanade and enjoy this seafood dish, complete with chips and a salad!

1 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City

3. Nasi goreng at Bagus Cafe = $11.90

Indonesian foodies will love this classic fried rice dish.

149 The Esplanade, Cairns City

4. Beef roti at Roti Shack = $12.50

Melt in your mouth taste of the Caribbean

Shop 4, 93 Lake St, Cairns

5. A pie from Meldrum's = around $7

This much-loved bakery on Grafton St has been a favourite for pie lovers for years, with lots of varieties to choose from including a popular gluten free option.

97 Grafton St, Cairns

6. Pumpkin and zucchini curry at Richard's Salt and Pepper = $15.00

Famous for his goat curry, this vegetarian option from Richard's is also worth a whirl.

Oleander St, Holloways Beach

7. Cheesy Evo at Evo Burger = $12.90

A classic burger, with cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onion, mustard, ketchup, mayo, picks, plus (of course) an Angus beef patty.

105 Lake St, Cairns City

8. Fried prawn curry at Bento Paradise = $13

A delicious savoury Japanese curry with rice and tempura fried prawns.

99 Mulgrave Rd, Parramatta Park

9. Epicurean chicken at Bang and Grind = $11

On Turkish with bacon, salad, cheese and aioli. Mmmm.

8/14 Spence St, Cairns

10. Lunch deal at Jambo Pastry = $10

The menu changes but it's all delicious traditional Filipino fare, served buffet style. Don't leave without trying the jackfruit ice cream.

1/180 English St, Manunda

11. Avocardio at Waffle On = $13

Homemade waffles served with smashed avo, scrambled eggs, bacon and spring onion.

62 Shields St, Cairns City

12. Lunch special at Jade Chinese Restaurant = $10

One of the best value lunches in Cairns. Includes a meat seafood or vegetable dish with steamed or egg fried rice plus salad or soup of the day.

313 Kamerunga Rd, Freshwater (Cairns North venue now closed)

13. Taco Duo at Rattle n Hum = $15

Soft shell tortillas with a choice of mexican chicken, spicy battered prawns or sauteed veges. Plus salsa and guacamole of course!

67 The Esplanade, Cairns City

14. Greek sausages at Fetta's Greek Taverna = $10

Lightly spiced sausages with cooked onion, cucumber and chili sauce, served with pitta bread. A bargain at ten bucks.

99 Grafton St, Cairns City

15. Spanish tapas at Three Wolves = $10

There's more than just fab cocktails at this laneway bar.  Their $10 Spanish-style tapas dishes are also a must-try. 

32 Abbott St, Cairns City

16. Curries at Khin Khao = $8.90

Classic Thai red, green or Panang curry with your choice of meat, veges or tofu.

21 Aplin St, Cairns North

17. Quarter chook at Howlin' Jay's = $13

Nashville-style fried chicken with bread and pickles in a great location.

1 Pierpoint Rd, Cairns

18. Poached eggs and sourdough toast at Caffiend = $9.90

Breakfast eggs don’t get much better than this very cheerful combo.

5/72-74 Grafton Street, Cairns

19. Beef stew at Pho Viet = $14.90

Think Vietnamese-style comfort food with bread or rice noodles to boot!

Shop 5, 78 Abbott Street, Cairns

20. Eggs your way at Hopscotch = $11

Eggs cooked however you like on thick toast, with a herb salad for even more value.

32 Mulgrave Road, Earlville

21. Udon at Happy 4 10 = $13

Seafood, tempura, beef, vege and chicken noodle options. Too easy.

82 Sheridan St, Cairns

22. Boss's Special at Chill Cafe = $15

This one is for the adventurous. Smashed avo, tomato, and vegemite on toasted Turkish bread with a poached egg as the cherry on top.

Shop 1/41 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove

23. Lunch special at Goong = $9.95

A ten buck note gets you your choice of teriyaki chicken or tonkatsu pork with rice.

16 Aplin St, Cairns City

24. Russian dumplings at Linga Longa Restaurant = $12.50

All home made, coming with a meat, veg and fruit filling. Just try them.

120 Collins Ave, Edge Hill

25. Cheesy pretzel at the Bavarian Beerhouse = $7.50

This tasty Bavarian treat is made in house and is also available with jalapenos for an extra $2. Nice!

1/77 The Esplanade, Cairns

26. Chicken coconut soup at Café Thailand = $8.90

A winter warmer for the Tropics! 

7/93 The Esplanade, Cairns

27. Banana & walnut bread at NOA = $9

A ‘best banana bread’ award should be created just to be given to this dish.

1 Pyne St, Edge Hill

28. Daintree tea at Café Botanic = $4.00

Enjoy a delicious tea surrounded by the lush landscape of the Cairns Botanical Gardens. Flavours range wildly from Earl grey to peppermint.

Flecker Botanic Gardens, Collins Avenue, Edge Hill

29. Mario Kart at Toasted = $8

A vegetarian toastie with Basil Pesto, Bruschetta Tomato, Mozzarella, Balsamic Glaze. More carnivorous foodies can add chicken.

149 Spence Street, Portsmith

30. Fishburger at Mobil on Spence = $7.50

Locally caught Spanish mackerel for under 8 dollars? Yes please!

8/14 Spence Street, Cairns City

31. Nana's Jaffle at Cafe Ten One Twenty = $10

Leg ham, cheddar, picalilli, aioli, deliciousness.

10/120 Collins Avenue, Edge Hill

32. Chicken Katsu Curry Rice Bowl at Sushio Tokio = $9.80

This Smithfield hideaway boasts a variety of delicious curry rice bowls, the chicken katsu is the tip of the iceberg.

75 Captain Cook Hwy, Smithfield


33. Kurodama at Ganbaranba = $8.90

A pork broth with special garlic oil, infused for over two hours.

7/12-20 Spence St, Cairns City


34. Chicken Tikka at Indian Brothers Restaurant = $14.95

Sometimes it's hard to beat the classics, especially at this price. 

58 Lake Street, Cairns 

35. Eggs benny wrap at Wharf One = $10

The breakfast classic, in a tasty wrap form.

Wharf Street, Cairns City 

36. Bruschetta at Lillipad Café = $13

A healthy serving of pesto, tomato, and Spanish onions tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, on toasted Turkish bread topped with feta and Parmesan cheese. We know your mouth is watering.

72 Grafton St, Cairns City

37. Spinach and Wondaree macadamia salad at Harbourside Bar and Kitchen = $15

Mungalli Creek fetta, spinach, snow peas, strawberry and orange segments finished with orange dressing and topped with roasted Wondaree macadamias and walnuts. Great with a sparkling rose!

209-217 The Esplanade, Cairns City


38. Ramen lunch deal at Ramen Street Cairns = $14.95

New ramen joint in Manunda with seriously delicious and authentic dishes. Amazing value with a bowl of ramen plus 3 free gyoza for their lunch deal.

Shop 2, 1 Jensen St, Manoora

39. Jabche with rice at Corea Corea = $13.90

Stir-fried Beef, Vermicelli and vegetables with Bulgogi sauce. A hearty meal for under $15.

Orchid Plaza, 32/58 Lake St, Cairns

40. Tempura Prawn Udon at Wara Sushi = $13.00

Japanese udon noodles in a delicious broth, served with tempura prawns.

Shop 144, 1-21 McLeod St, Cairns city