Eating out is one of the highlights of a holiday, and it doesn’t always have to be expensive. In some places, you can treat yourself and a loved one to a three-course meal for less than £20. And in others, plates of food are free all together. Read on to find out where you can savour mouth-watering food for less, and see some pretty cool stuff at the same time.
Thailand’s reputation for cheap food and drink is one that needs no introduction. The Thais know how to eat well – fact. And restaurants charge very little for the dishes that place the country on the culinary map – curries, rice and noodle dishes for around £3 and coconut soup for about £2. Coconut is a huge export here, and farmers train monkeys to climb to the tops of the trees and dislodge them from their branches. Much of the sweet pulp from these fruits end up in coconut sticky rice at one of numerous street carts. Try not to leave without sampling some – it’s incredible!
Whether it’s Ubud’s low-key vibe or Kuta’s buzz you’re drawn to, there’s cheap grub on offer all over Bali. Raya Seminyak, on the coast between Denpasar and Kuta, is a popular place to grab an inexpensive meal, and if you want to try an Indonesian classic, go for tempeh (fermented soy) in a coriander-based sauce.
If you’re keen to venture further out than your local take away in search of authentic Indian curry, the streets of Mumbai and Delhi may be calling you. And your answer, we’re sure, will be yes, when you realise how affordable it is to feed yourself there. Meals at restaurants won’t cost you much, and street food will cost you even less, and often taste just as good (or better). Head to the north of the country for succulently marinated meat dishes and the south for fragrant vegetation classics.
This land-locked Eastern European country has a lot going for it – thermal baths, castles, palaces, and not least the reasonably priced food you can expect during a visit here. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will set you back a mere £4/5, and if you want to splash out on a three-course meal, expect to pay as little as £25 for two people. Suffice it to say: Hungary is not something you’ll be feeling while in the country!
Home to the world’s largest salt flat and sweeping stretches of the Amazon rainforest, Bolivia is an awe-inspiring place to visit. And if the price of a flights is the only thing that puts you off booking a trip there, rest assured that, once you arrive, it will be plain sailing in terms of finding cheap food. Traditional dishes incorporating staples like potato, corn and beans are delicious and nutritious.
Bordering five different countries, Bulgaria takes influences from multiple nations, including Greece and Turkey, when it comes to food. You’re likely to come across dishes like moussaka and stuffed vine leaves frequently on menus across the country, whether you choose to spend your holiday in Sunny Beach or more laid back resorts like Varna and Bourgas. And prices are extremely reasonable, too. You can feast on a three-course meal for two for less than £20 in some places!
Notoriously cheap alcohol served at Zante’s bars has transformed this Greek island resort into a popular hedonist hotspot, but it’s not just pleasure seekers Zakynthos beckons to its shores. Those in search for some of Greece’s best beaches and cheapest grub land here every day.
8. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s dense rainforests and fragrant tea plantations amass a growing number of visitors each year, but it’s not just the stunning scenery that ensures the spice island keeps its place on the bucket lists of so many intrepid travellers. Cheap, delicious food is another contributing factor to its success as a tourist destination, and with main courses at most restaurants averaging around £4-£6, it’s little wonder. Top dishes to try during your stay are fish curry and Kottu, a spicy vegetable and roti stir fry.
Food in Granada often works out cheaper than in the rest of Spain, and this is partly due to the fact that in many restaurants and bars, you get a free tapas dish with every drink you order! Time not spent wandering around the ninth century Alhambra castle or hiking up Sierra Nevada can be devoted to sampling some of the region’s most delicious tapas – tortilla, patatas bravas, croquetas – you name it!
10. Dominincan Republic
This gold-dusted island is one of the cheapest to visit in the Caribbean, so you’ll find it easy to come across reasonably-priced food here, and a melange of Spanish, African and Taino culture makes for varied choice. Meat lovers should opt for the seven-meat stew, while the herbivorous among us will prefer dishes like mangu (mashed plantain) and Guanimos (cornmeal wrapped in banana leaf).