Part of the fun of international travel is trying out foods from different cultures. Who hasn’t seen an image of baguettes in the sunny window of a Parisian boulanderis and felt mouthwatering wanderlust?
However, for most of us, those crusty baguettes are becoming less attainable by the second. Last year, the Economist Intelligence Unit declared Paris to be the most expensive city in the world. As a matter of fact, the study found that a single loaf of ordinary bread there costs, on average, about $9, so forget about artisanal baguettes.
But food lovers shouldn’t fear. There are still plenty of places left in the world where travellers can eat like kings while spending like commoners, and we’ve listed the top global spots for delicious eats on a dime.
To create our list, we looked at the price of a meal at an average restaurant, the kind many might choose for a basic lunch, as well as the prices of more upscale dinnertime fare. We also factored in the prices of things like street food when applicable, and, because vacation is a time for relaxation, we also took into account the price of local beer and coffee.
Another factor in our list was the quality of the local cuisine. There are lots of cheap foods to be had in the world, but some food is inexpensive for a reason; we wanted to focus on foods that are as delicious as they are affordable. All of the cities we’ve ranked have food that is well loved by locals and global epicureans alike, with signature dishes and fun dining scenes that will leave you wanting to travel back for one more bite.
Click through our slideshow for a ranked list of the most budget-friendly, yet delicious, global cuisine, then tell us about the best cheap meal you’ve ever had while traveling.
#10 Bruges, Belgium
Many overlook Belgium as a vacation destination in favor of Germany or France, but this small European country is so much more than just waffles. Belgian food is often described as a happy combination of French flavors and German portions, and that’s a pretty good deal because a three-course meal for two will only cost about $60. Plus, not only is Belgian beer some of the world’s finest, but it’s also much cheaper than any you’ll find in Paris or Munich at around $4 per bottle.
#9 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a gorgeous city steeped in centuries of history, and it’s also one of the best deals around for elegant dining at reasonable prices. On average, a mid-priced meal in a neighborhood Barcelona restaurant costs around $12; tapas can be a good deal, too, but be careful: all those little plates can mount up.