When it comes to great food, price does not always dictate quality. Sure, you could have an amazing meal that sets you back hundreds while you sup on caviar and smoked quail’s eggs, but sometimes the only thing to make both your tummy and wallet happy is a cheap eat. We’ve found five foodie havens where the decor may not be five star but the flavour sure is.

Ramen Do reviewed by Ella I.

I have worked near Ramen Do for nigh on a year and have lamentably not made the most of its proximity. Until now. Rest assured, after heading here on the recommendation of a Wellington foodie (who greatly laments the lack of authentic ramen in the capital) I will be returning often. For $13 one can get a HUGE portion of authentic ramen with all the tasty bits (pork belly, mince, egg, ramen, miso) which will feed even a big eater like me twice over. Well worth a visit.

Big J's Takeaways reviewed by Rory W.

A real local hidden gem, this one. Looks like a traditional fish & chip shop, but the difference here is the awesome quality of the burgers. Everything fresh and high quality, prepared by a chef with over 25 years experience. For a real slice of local flavour, get over here and get stuck in. Must try: Big J's Super Steak Burger (with bacon and sautéed mushrooms).

Ponsonby International Foodcourt reviewed by Helene R.

Ponsonby Central may have some great foodie residents in the house, but for tastiness coupled with value - and speed - you can’t go past the original purveyor or amazing international cuisine at incredible prices. The Ponsonby International Food Court is pretty much always bustling with locals and visitors alike, and the fare is varied and delicious. We love the Vietnamese for its fresh spring rolls and lemongrass chicken, whilst the Massaman curry is the best tasting in town and the fresh juices from the fully licensed bar always appeal. You can’t visit Ponsonby without a trip to the Food Court and definitely won’t leave hungry.

New Flavour Restaurant reviewed by SezNiederer

Best with a few people to share different things with! And you can have a table with a huge lazy susan if you have a big group! My favourite item is the vegetarian dumplings, which I like fried and dipped in plenty of vinegar, soy sauce and chilli. I also love the aubergine and kumara, which is a little mooshy, but comes covered in some kind of delicious sauce and the bok choy, which comes steamed and sprinkled with cooked chunks of garlic! Yums.

Xian Food Bar Auckland Central reviewed by Luna L.

I always get the same thing whenever I come here - the braised pork biang biang noodles. It’s a big bowl of chewy noodles and melt-in-your-mouth pork with a hint of sharp coriander and chilli heat. It’s cool how the chef hand-pulls each order of noodles before tossing it in the wok. I love it so much that I have cravings for it when I’m away from home!