Traveling is expensive, especially if you’re passionate about eating excellent food. There are many ways to stick to a reasonable food budget while traveling — for instance by eating at market stands or food trucks instead of sit-down restaurants — but it is more difficult in some cities than others. Here are the nine most expensive cities in the world when it comes to food and drink.
To compose this list, we looked at the Economist Intelligence Unit survey of the cost of living around the world (the most recent report was released in early 2015); Expatisan.com, which breaks down the cost of living by food (restaurants, bars, groceries), rent, and other expenses, as reported by expats living around the world; TripAdvisor’s annual TripIndex Cities study, which ranks the cost of cities for travelers; and PriceOfTravel.com’s list of the most expensive cities based on their three-star traveler index, which is formulated using a fixed set of typical expenses that every traveler will encounter.
Keep in mind that the cost of eating in various cities is always personal; you might have paid less in London than you did in Paris, but that does not mean others will have the same experience. It depends on where you go and what you order. This ranking is based on the average prices of meals, beverages, and groceries at moderately priced restaurants.
If you feel your stomach sink because you’re worried these amazing cities are too expensive for you, fear not: we have included ways for you to eat well in these cities without breaking the bank. And if that’s not worth it to you, you can always check out our list of the best food cities for your wallet.
While vodka is cheap (the basic stuff can be had for less than $6 a bottle), coffee costs about $8 in Moscow, and the average cost of a dinner for two is 4,192 rubles ($84). However, since the process of getting a visa to Russia is so difficult, you don’t have to worry about tourist traps — there just aren’t that many tourists to trap. If you’re not willing to spend too much, try the buffet at Grabli, a chain of self-service cafés, or eat some blini at the fast food joint Teremok. The cafés near youth hostels tend to have inexpensive options as well.
Food in Venice is more or less as expensive as the food in Rome, but because Venice is much smaller, the options for wallet-friendly eating are more limited. Also, since there are no large wheeled vehicles, a lot of the food has to be brought in on boats and delivered in small quantities. An average lunch is about €15 ($17), and near the Piazza San Marco, you can expect to pay just as much for a cappuccino. The trick is to go further away from the center of the city or eat at one of the many bacari (wine bars), which serve cicchetti (small plates) alongside prosecco, a glass of which will cost you no more than €3 ($3.42). Go to Cantina Do Mori, which was established in 1462.