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Shallot pancake at Jin Weigu
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

45 cheap Sydney snacks for $10 or under

When you need something fast, good and cheap, order these superlative Sydney bites

By Emily Lloyd-Tait
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Sure, you can't get something good, fast and cheap when it comes to architecture or web design, but when it comes to tasty treats to cram into your face on the fly, Sydney delivers in every corner of the city. In fact, some of our best eating is of the hand-held variety, be it a pastry, something sandwiched between bread, crunchy fried parcels or a little sweetie to cap things off. If you're short on time or money but still want your food to spark joy, these are 45 of the most delicious snacks you can get for ten dollars or under.

Did you favourite not make the list? Give it a shout out and @ us in the spirit of democratic snacking.

Sydney's best snacks

 

  • Potato and mushroom bureka from Shenkin, Erskineville - $4.50
    It looks like a skinny sausage roll, is conveniently vegan, and the mushroom gives the creamy potato filling solid savoury credentials. 

The pastry counter at Saga in EnmorePhotograph: Yael Stempler

    • Daily focaccia from Saga, Enmore - $6.50
      In amongst all the sweets on the Saga counter is a freshly baked focaccia with toppings that change daily.
    • Goats cheese and leek quiche from Black Star Pastry, Rosebery - $6.5
      The beauty of this hand-held pastry is the generous wells of sharp goat’s cheese and soft, silky leeks that pool at the base of the fluffy egg filling.

     

    Sourdough doughnuts at ComecoPhotograph: Daniel Boud

      • Japanese curry doughnut from Comeco Foods, Newtown - $6
        They’re only available on weekends and they’re worth pre-ordering, so popular are the savoury, vegan, gluten-free doughnuts from this Japanese café.
      • Apple pastizzis from Pastizzi cafe on King Street, Newtown - $3
        Some people are here for spinach and cheese, or chicken and mushroom, but the apple pastizzis are like a tiny hand pie: sweet, flaky and dusted with icing sugar while warm. 
      • Chocolate and sour cherry cookie from Bourke St Bakery, Surry Hills - $4
        One of the best biscuits in town, hands down. The richness of the dark chocolate biscuit is punctuated by pucker-sour cherry pieces.

       

      Two scoops of gelato in a conePhotograph: Cassandra Hannagan

        • Two scoops of gelato from Cow and the Moon, Enmore - $6.50
          Yes, this joint won a global award for its almond toffee and coffee flavour, but we’re here for seasonal fruit sorbets like nectarine and rockmelon.
        • Mini baked ricotta cake from Pasticceria Papa, Haberfield - $5.50
          It’s a miniature version of the famous cake, and one you don’t have to share with anyone.
        • Lahmacun from Taste of Turkey, Enmore - $5
          A uber-thin dough base gets woodfired extra crisp with a tasty lamb mince topping and raw onion, parsley and lemon on the side to add freshness to this Middle Eastern meat pizza.
        • Ube cheesecake from Cebu Lechon Sydney, Enmore - $4.50
          It’s rich, creamy and a purple colour that puts unicorn cakes everywhere to shame. 
        • Caramel on toast from Henri Marc, Penrith - $6
          How to make an everyday breakfast food feel like an outrageous treat? Spread it with caramel sauce, like they do at this Penrith café.

         

        A wrapped sandwich with pickles on the side=Photograph: Supplied

          • Bacon and egg roll from Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches, Parramatta - $8
            This newcomer to the Sydney sandwich game is slinging them hot and affordable. 
          • Vada pav from Durga’s Indian Street Food and Dessert Bar, Harris Park - $4.99
            Spiced potato is balled, fried and smushed in a sweet, fluffy bun and served with two chutneys, real street food style. 
          • Crispy prawn pancake from Din Tai Fung, Pyrmont $9.90
            DTF is a big name in the xiao long bao game, but it’s worth exploring the lesser-known parts of the menu too.  

           

          Roti canai on a metal platePhotograph: Anna Kucera

            • Roti canai from Alex Lee Kitchen, Chippendale - $9.90
              Here, the ghee-lathered, fluffy roti comes with two curries and a spicy sambal. 
            • Fish burger from Out of the Blue, Coogee - $10
              With a hoki fish fillet from New Zealand and generous allotments of housemade garlic mayo, it’s a classic post-beach feed. 
            • Oregano manaeesh, Manaeesh Bakery and Pizza, Parramatta - $3
              This Lebanese take on pizza is made by sprinkling fluffy dough discs with herbs and olive oil – the meat options would make for a full meal, but the plain oregano is a steal.
            • Falafel roll from Hammoud 1, Liverpool - $3.50
              Spot this Liverpool local’s pick by the long line out the door around lunchtime most days, all waiting for Hammoud’s fragrant, herb-packed (and cheap) falafel.

             

            Falafel on a platePhotograph: Shawn Gowans

              • Falafel at Jasmin 1, Bankstown - $8
                A plate of spiced, crunchy, chickpea patties with tahini on the side is the queen of hunger-busting snacks.
              • Monkey bread from Rollers Bakehouse, Manly - $6.50
                They make these sweet buns out of leftover croissant dough, pressed together with caramel, spices and banana. 

               

              Granita in a glass sundae cup with cream and brioche on the sidePhotograph: Anna Kucera

                • Small granita and brioche from Cremeria de Luca, Five Dock - $8
                  Forget ice cream in a cone, here you snack Sicilian-style with your granita served with a sweet brioche bun and cream on top.
                • Haloumi pie from Manoosh Pizzeria, Caringbah - $8.5
                  It’s like a small pide, which they fill with melty, stretchy halloumi and top with sweet roasted sesame seeds.
                • Finger bun from Humble, Surry Hills - $.6.50
                  Your schoolyard nostalgia will go into overdrive with these salty-sweet pink iced buns filled with dried fruit and layered with thick slices of real butter.
                • Lamb, potato and rosemary pie from Flour and Stone, Woolloomooloo - $9.50
                  This is one of the richest pies in the city - it’s basically a whole roast dinner in a pastry case.

                 

                A charcoal chicken with sidesPhotograph: Supplied

                 

                      • Half a chicken from Hawa Charcoal Chicken, Granville - $7.25
                        A plate of salty, bronzed chicken and a small garlic sauce is a one-way ticket to big flavour country.
                      • Buttermilk scones from Berkelo, Brookvale - $7
                        Have yourself a miniature cream tea with fresh scones from this Northern Beaches bakery.

                   

                  A tamale with salsa=Photograph: Anna Kucera

                          • Chicken tamale from Tamaleria and Mexican Deli, Dulwich Hill - $9
                            It’s a tasty but mildly spiced hot pocket, and if you want to increase the heat there’s salsa and hot sauce that you apply yourself. 
                          • The cheese dabeli from Chat Kazz, Harris Park - $7.40
                            A soft bap-like roll doused in grated cheese, filled with cheese and potato and studded with spicy peanuts. 
                          • Kebab roll from Kabul House, Merrylands - $10
                            Typically you’d want to bring an empty stomach and all your friends to make the most of the massive dishes here, but for a bite you can also get a single skewer in bread with salad and sauce for a tenner.
                          • Steak, potato and tomato pie from Upper Crust, Collaroy - $7
                            This Northern Beaches bakery has a literal wall of accolades for its pies. The beef and potato has a slice of fresh tomato baked inside it so that it self-sauces.

                     

                    People in a sandwich shop=Photograph: Anna Kucera

                                ,
                                • Chilli chicken sandwich from South Dowling Sandwiches, Alexandria - $9
                                  The red pesto on this hefty sambo gives it a kick, add on the caramelised carrots for a touch of smoky sweetness. 
                                • Three rice paper rolls from Pho Pasteur, Parramatta - $10
                                  On the rare day you don’t feel like pho, order rice paper rolls filled with prawn, grilled pork or chicken.
                                • Mac’n’cheese from Black Bear BBQ, Blacktown - $6
                                  Sure, the brisket and ribs get all the spotlight, but sometimes the sides are the best bit of a barbecue feast, so skip straight to the elbow macaroni in three-cheese sauce.
                                • Katania from Gursha Ethiopian, Blacktown - $5
                                  The meat and veg combinations here are huge serves, so if you’re only a little peckish you can get some injera bread, toasted and topped with herb butter and sprinkled with mild red pepper for a quick fix.  
                                • Murtabak from Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba - $9
                                  They serve Malay food at this Cocos Keeling Island café, which means roti canai stuffed with chicken are yours for the asking.

                       

                      A chef making jianbingPhotograph: Cassandra Hannagan

                                    • Jianbing from Jin Weigu, Campsie - $6.50
                                      China’s king of breakfast street foods is a mung bean flour crepe filled with deep-fried wonton crackers, egg, fresh shallots and black sesame.
                                    • Baklava from Abla’s Pastries, Granville
                                      All the cakes, slices and pastries are sold by weight here, so you can choose just a little sweet if that’s all you’ve got space for, or many kilos of dessert if you’re catering to a crowd.
                                    • Rougamo from Biang Biang, Haymarket - $7.80
                                      Xian’s wide flat noodles might be their namesake, but you can also get a mincemeat sandwich, which is another popular Shaanxi street food.
                                    • Completa Palto hot dog from Paula, Fairfield - $9.30
                                      Before you order dulce du leche on everything, start with a hot dog topped with tomato, mayo, avo, and sauerkraut from this Chilean bakery.

                         

                        Portuguese custard tarts on a blue platePhotograph: Anna Kucera

                         

                        • Portuguese custard tart from Sweet Belem, Petersham - $4
                          People cross town for a warm pasteis de nata, warm from the oven and sprinkled with cinnamon at this Petersham institution.
                        • Pork skewers with sticky rice from Boon Cafe, Haymarket - $9
                          Nothing says snack time like grilled meat on sticks, and Boon’s pork skewers are available all day.
                        • Roast pork banh mi from Co Ba, Marrickville - $8
                          Everyone has their favourite banh mi in the city, but we love this one for the deafening crunch of the pork crackling, the generous spread of rustic pate, and the chilli paste that distributes heat evenly throughout the roll.
                        • Focaccia from Small Talk Coffee, Dulwich Hill - $6
                          Everyone’s secret favourite '90s bread is back with a vengeance, and they make a really good one in Dulwich Hill.
                        • Brekky burrito from Bowl and Blend, Redfern - $9.50
                          House-made veggie chilli with hash potatoes, ethically sourced bacon, free-range egg, cheese and guacamole. Wrapped in a wheat tortilla and toasted.
                        • Puffs from Emporer's Puffs, Haymarket - $5
                          You know that when there's a queue forming for a single window dishing out one thing, it's a queue you need to join, so you too can have a serve of tiny custard-filled pastry balls.

                         

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