If you’re looking for the best places to eat in Cairns on a budget then the purpose of this guide is to point you in the right direction.
Renowned for having great restaurants and fine-dining options, eating great food on a budget isn’t something that is written about as frequently.
Lilipad Cafe is an awesome little cafe that is located in downtown Cairns across from Rusty’s Market. The cafe offers a variety of great and affordable food and the portion sizes are very generous.
Priding itself on using fresh ingredients to create delicious food for affordable prices, all the ingredients are locally sourced.
If you’re looking for great coffee Lillipad also has you covered offering a variety of drinks such as iced lattes, cappuccinos, and flat whites.
The cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating where customers can enjoy their meals in a prime downtown location.
All the staff here are very friendly and the vibe is both relaxed and inviting attracting both locals and tourists with people regularly frequenting here.
Lush Pizza Cairns Central
Lush Pizza is the ultimate destination for budget-friendly and delicious pizza in Cairns.
What sets this local gourmet pizzeria apart is its use of only the freshest and tastiest ingredients, hand-picked from local markets and supplied by local butchers. This commitment to quality ensures that each pizza is made with love and care, resulting in the best pizza in Cairns.
The newly designed menu has something for everyone, whether you’re a meat-lover, vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.
Their daily house-made dough is perfectly tender and pairs perfectly with their in-house marinated chicken wings, beef, vegetarian, or vegan nachos. And for those still hungry, there’s a range of garlic bread, sides, and milkshakes to round off the perfect feast.
Offering arguably the best pizzas in cairns, customers can also take advantage of their Pizza Hour, where half the price is on them and half is on Lush Pizza (daily from 4-5pm).
For those planning a social gathering, Lush Pizza has a tropical beer garden that can accommodate up to 100 people and it is attached to the Mad Monkey central hostel which is one of the best hostels in cairns.
They offer catering starring their famous pizzas, wings, nachos, and sides, and are happy to work with customers to create the perfect party atmosphere with personalized music, seating arrangements, and decorations.
Prawn Star – Cairns Marina
Prawn Star is a unique seafood dining experience located in Cairns’ marina. The restaurant is built on a converted fishing boat, which adds to the atmosphere of the place. Prawn Star offers a fantastic selection of freshly caught seafood that can be cooked to your liking.
You can choose from a range of prawns, fish, crabs, and other shellfish, all of which are displayed on ice-filled boats. The staff will then cook your selection to order with a choice of sides, including fries, salad, and rice.
The casual and laid-back atmosphere of the Prawn Star makes it a popular spot for lunch or dinner, with both locals and tourists. The seating area is outdoors, and there are tables and benches available on the boat’s upper and lower decks.
The views of the marina and the water are stunning, and it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset while enjoying delicious seafood.
The prices at the Prawn Star are very reasonable, making it a great option for budget-conscious diners. The service is friendly and efficient, and the staff is happy to provide recommendations for those unsure about what to order.
The restaurant also offers a range of drinks, including beer, wine, and soft drinks, to accompany your meal.
Rusty’s Market Cairns
This bustling and colorful market is located in the heart of Cairns and offers an incredible array of fresh produce, exotic fruits, and hot food stalls.
Foodies will love the diverse range of local and international cuisines on offer, from Malaysian laksa to Japanese gyoza, as well as an abundance of fresh seafood, meats, and cheeses.
Prices are very reasonable, making it a great option for those on a budget. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to experience the local culture and engage with the friendly vendors who are more than happy to share their knowledge and stories about their produce.
Don’t miss the chance to pick up unique and authentic gifts from the range of artisanal crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs on offer. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Rusty’s Market is a vibrant and fun experience not to be missed when looking for the best places to eat in Cairns.
Summary of the best places to eat in Cairns
Cairns offers a range of affordable and delicious food options that cater to everyone’s tastes and budgets. From cozy cafes like Lillipad Cafe to the gourmet pizzas of Lush Pizza, the unique seafood experience of Prawn Star, and the vibrant Rusty’s Market, there is something for everyone.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, these food destinations are must-visits, offering not only great food but also a unique experience and a glimpse into Cairns’ culture and the local community.