The 10 Best Places to Travel for Foodies on a Budget

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Traveling is about seeing the sights of faraway lands and soaking up the local culture – and that includes the foods native to the region. This is especially important for self-proclaimed “foodies”.

It’s easy to find good prices for transportation and accommodation to an international destination, but it’s harder to figure out where you can enjoy regional cuisine that still fits your budget. So GOBankingRates turned to those who specialize in travel – and local cuisine – to find some of the best places foodies can travel on a budget.

Their answers? A handful of spots that will satisfy full and happy – without breaking the bank – travelers across continents.

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Asia

Vietnam

Throughout the country, pho is the reference.

“It’s a Vietnamese soup dish made with broth, rice, noodles, herbs and meat that really warms the heart,” said Craig Zapatka, co-founder of travel agency Destination Elsewhere. “The cost in almost any location will be less than US$3. Some of the more upscale and modern restaurants will charge more.

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Thailand

“Without a doubt, one of the most exciting places to eat is Thailand, and being one of the most visited countries, flights are generally good value for money no matter where you are flying from” , said Luke Charny, co-founder of A Chef’s Tour.

“The cuisine of Isaan, the cuisine of the northeastern region of the country near Laos, is one of the most exciting – think marinated grilled meats steaming over barbecues, spicy som tum salads that start with unripe, pounded green papaya with everything from fried shrimp in funky fish sauce, larbs made from ground pork mixed with fresh mint, grilled ground rice and lime juice, and spicy soups. Issan food is a sharing style with small dishes placed all over the table with sticky rice. It’s one of the cheapest – around 30-50 THB (or 90 cents to $1.20 in US dollars). And if travelers don’t want to head north of the region, good Isaan food can be found on street carts and small restaurants in the capital, Bangkok.

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Malaysia

“Go to the city of Ipoh, Malaysia to get amazing food on a budget,” said Ruiz Asri, editor of Honest Food Talks. , a side of sliced ​​cucumbers served with steamed rice. All this for only $2.50 per plate.

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India

“It would take a lifetime to really understand the regional cuisine here,” Charny said, but he suggested a specific dish in the city of Kolkata for travelers.

“They can’t leave without trying the city’s famous katha roll – spit-roasted meat wrapped in a paratha,” he said, estimating the cost at a maximum of around US$1.35. .

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Africa

Morocco

Here, the tagine is the dish to order, Zapatka said.

“Simmered savory stews made from meat, poultry or fish are cooked with vegetables, aromatic spices and dried fruit such as an apricot. All of these ingredients are served in, well, a tagine. A tagine is a ceramic cooking bowl and top that maintains a uniquely moist and warm environment for the dish being cooked. As the food cooks, the steam rises in the cone and then falls back into the dish. The cost of a tagine is usually under $6 in mid-range restaurants. »

Charny said travelers to Marrakech in western Morocco will find more than tajines.

“Dig a little deeper and there are plenty of other dishes to try,” he said. “Smoked liver skewers roasting over charcoal, soothing harira bean soup and pastilla, shredded chicken with spices layered in thin filo pastry. Away from the tourist traps, street and local food starts around 30 MAD (3.23 USD).

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Ethiopia

“Some of the best destinations for budget-conscious foodies are in Ethiopia. The country has a diverse cuisine with unique spices, tastes and touches that are unavailable to travelers in other parts of the world,” said Becky Moore, Founder of Global Grasshopper. . A dish of this type can cost between $5 and $10 depending on the restaurant and the quantity ordered. Beef wat is a traditional Ethiopian dish which consists of beef stir-fried in wat sauce, the wat sauce being clarified spiced butter. There are various regional variations, which are differentiated by the use of local herbs and spices.

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South America

Colombia

This is where you’ll find the arepa, which is a thick pastry, much like a tortilla, topped with meats and vegetables.

“In addition, the dealers’ choice is braised meats, sautéed local vegetables and hot sauce,” Zapatka said. “They can be as extravagant as you want, but you’ll find locals eat them more naked, with just one filling. The cost is $2-4 for a plate of two to three arepas.

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Peru

Travel blogger Denise Cruz of Wander Her Way is enthusiastic in her recommendation.

“For foodies on a budget, no place beats Peru,” she said. “Peru is surprisingly cheap to travel to. And the quality and variety of foods and flavors will delight anyone who enjoys a delicious meal.

“Peruvian cuisine has many iconic dishes: ahi de gallina, anticuchos, lomo saltado, arroz con pato, pisco sour and countless types of fish dishes and ceviche. For true foodies there is also cuy and chicha, the infamous dish of guinea pig and the traditional fermented corn beer.

“But my favorite thing about Peru is the sushi. Japanese immigrants have combined their traditional cuisine with local Peruvian fish and ingredients and the culinary result is absolutely magical.

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Europe

Spain

“Europe is cheap if you know where to go,” Zapatka said. “In Spain, forget the paella and pair your red Rioja with an assortment of northern Spanish tapas (Pintxos). Each of these small creations, often served on bread, usually with raw ham or mashed olives or roasted vegetables, costs around 1 euro or less. And don’t expect wine to go over 3 euros. A single euro is worth around $1.14 these days.

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Italy

“Rome is the perfect place for foodies on a budget. You can sample local dishes for just a few euros, thanks to the city’s rich tradition of street food,” said Molly Fitzpatrick, an American living in Italy who runs the Baggage and Life blog.

“One of Rome’s most popular street food is a newcomer to the Eternal City: trapizzino. Available exclusively at its namesake locations in the Testaccio, Trastevere and Ponte Milvio neighborhoods, a trapizzino is a pocket of pizza split in half and served with toppings ranging from eggplant parmesan and chicken cacciatore to meatballs and beef tongue with salsa verde. At just 4 euros – less than $5 – trapizzini are easy to wear and heaven for the tongue.

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About the Author

Jami Farkas holds a degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton, and has worked as a reporter or editor for daily newspapers across the United States. She brings to GOBankingRates her experience as a sports writer, business writer, religious writer, digital writer – and more. Passionate about real estate, she passed the real estate licensing exam in her state and is still debating whether to get into home selling – or just writing about home selling.

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