The Daily Meal ranks 10 cities from around the world that offer epicurean adventures loved by locals and travelers alike at a fair price.
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.
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
Czech cuisine is famous for flaky pastry and hearty stews, both of which you can find in abundance in the picturesque city of Prague. Plus, you won’t have to choose between courses, since you can eat a good meal at a mid-priced restaurant for about $30. If you’d like to wash it down with some local beer, you can get a domestic bottle for about $1.50.
Vietnamese cuisine is a surprising mixture of East meets West. In the small Southeast Asian nation, you’ll find spring rolls and curries alongside things like bánh mì sandwiches, containing meat and pickled vegetables on crusty French bread, introduced to the country during French occupation. All those flavors will cost you very little. In Ho Chi Minh City, a three-course meal for two will only cost around $17, and a meal of street food will only be about $3. Plus, in Vietnam, you can grab a domestic beer for a dollar.
The capital of Romania has been called “Little Paris” for its French-inspired cafés and restaurants and romantic architecture. While for years many its grand old buildings fell into disrepair, new efforts to revive the city have once more made Bucharest a haven for traveling food lovers. The average meal at one of the city’s chic cafés only costs around $6, and you can add a cappuccino for about $2.
Ask your friends if they want to go out for Bolivian food and you’ll probably get some blank stares, which is a shame. Bolivian cuisine combines indigenous ingredients with Spanish, Argentinian, and even Russian influences to create things like salteñas, baked savory pastries stuffed meat in a sweet and spicy sauce. You may be tempted to fill up on these street foods, which only cost a couple of dollars, but save room for a restaurant meal, which will only cost you about $8.
Peruvian food is sometimes overlooked in favor of bolder Latin American flavors, but in Lima, you’ll find delicate soups and all the potato dishes you could ask for. Plus, you’ll come home with some cash in your pocket, since a basic meal there only costs about $4.
Many travellers head to India for an affordable taste of Asia, but even in a country known to be a mecca for thrifty foodies, Delhi stands out as one of the best. Delhi is known for its street food, like samosas and channa (stewed chickpeas). You can travel the city eating all the street food you want and never run out of money, as most dishes cost $3 or less.
Kathmandu was named one of the world’s cheapest cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2014, but there’s nothing low-rent about the food. Kathmandu has a growing restaurant scene and also delicious street food like the momo, a Tibetan dumpling stuffed with meat or vegetables. A full restaurant lunch will only cost around $4 for two, and a dozen momo are only $1.50.
This northern capital is home to some beautiful Buddhist temples and some amazing food as well as plenty of opportunities to try your hand at Thai food by taking a cooking class. The destination was recently named one of the best for backpackers by Price of Travel, and it’s one of the best for food lovers as well, as the city is known for its cooking schools. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant only costs about $1.50, and a meal for two at a nicer spot is a steal at just $16 on average.