Best Budget Lunches Near AUT

On those days when you’re near-broke but can’t stomach another cup of dehydrated noodles, it’s nice to know of a few cheap lunch spots near campus. Here’s your cheat sheet. Ssshhh, don’t let word get out.

City campus

  • The Counter Cafe in WF building has a great selection of well-priced sandwiches. You can pick up an enormous sub with an assortment of fillings for $5.50, or grab a boxed sandwich from $4.50. They also run good weekly specials – for next week only (12-16 March), you can get a burger for just $5 (while stocks last).
  • At Refuel in WC building, you can pile up your plate at the hot buffet for only $6.50 (or prepay for 10 lunches at only $6 each).
  • Piko2Go has lots of cooked meals to take away for $8.
  • At the corner of Lorne & Wellesley Streets, just opposite the city library, you’ll find a hole-in-the-wall joint called No. 1 Pancake. A fried Korean pancake stuffed with meat and cheese will cost you $4.50.
  • A little walk down Lorne St will take you to the Lorne St Larder, where an all-day breakfast of toast, baked beans, poached eggs, grilled sausage, and salad will set you back just $6.90. (But get in early, they often sell out by noon.)
  • If you’re keen for a Queen St lunch, try a stuffed pretzel from Popa’s Pretzels at 350 Queen St for $5. The cheese & Marmite flavour is a Kiwi classic.
  • Right next door to the pretzel place (and also opposite WH building on Wellesley St) is Star Kebab, where a plate of rice, meat & salad can be yours for $5.

Top: subs at The Counter. Bottom row L-R: pretzel from Popa’s Pretzels; big

brekkie at Lorne St Larder; the $5 special at Star Kebab


North Shore campus

The food court in AS building has quite a few good options for a cheap lunch.

  • At Jewel of Bombay, you can get a small vegetable curry with rice for $7.90
  • Kebabs on Campus has burgers with your choice of meat for $5.50.
  • Al Parco has lots of options under a fiver. The all-day breakfast is generously proportioned at $6.50.

South campus

  • Check out the KaiFé buffet in MD building – it costs just $6.50 to load your plate with hot food, and you can eat on the terrace with a view of the swimming pool outside. KaiFé also runs weekly specials, and next week (12-16 March) they’re doing $5 burgers (while stocks last).
  • Hop across the road from campus to Food Junction at 613 Great South Rd to find a whole lot more options. Trattoria does $10 pasta mains; Thai Bangkok has five chicken spring rolls for $7.50; and MC Roast has hot sandwiches for $6.

Millennium campus

  • For a quick energy boost, try a whey protein shake at Wholefoods for $5.90.
  • Venture a few steps off campus to 1 Antares Place to sample the local favourite Pickles Cafe. The menu items are pricey, but you can usually get some form of quiche from the cabinet for around $8-9.

About Anaise Irvine

Dr Anaise Irvine is the Editor of Thesislink and leads the Researcher Education and Development team at Auckland University of Technology. Her PhD research analysed how contemporary films and novels represent genetic engineering as a social justice issue. These days she works with researchers at all levels to improve their research skills, and the most obscure of her own research skills is being able to turn novels into phylogenetic trees!

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