How to Eat Cheaply Abroad

Eating is one of my absolute favorite activities while traveling. Some of my best travel memories are through food; whether it’s finishing dinner in France with a plate of oozing, raw-milk cheeses or devouring a fresh, cilantro-flecked ceviche in a Chilean seafood market, food ties you to a place in a way like no other.

While it would be a tragedy to go all the way to Spain and skimp on trying the pricey but celestial Iberian ham, it’s an important to know when to save and when to splurge when it comes to food.

A delicious waffle in Brussels for 1.80 euros, hot off the griddle

Here are some ideas for eating and drinking cheaply while still learning about the local food culture.

Street food.

From pork gyros in Greece to fried herring on wasa in Sweden, street food is tasty and economical. While many people are skeptical about eating street food, my rule of thumb is that if you see a long line or the locals rave about it, the street food is safe for you to eat it too.

The best fried herring ever. If you are in Stockholm please go here and let me live vicariously through you.

Cooking.

You’re never going to feel like Ina Garten in a hostel kitchen, but it is possible to make simple, filling meals; pasta with sausage and tomato sauce, bruschetta and goat cheese salad are some of my favorites. And don’t forgot to use the ‘free box’- most hostels have a box where travelers leave behind the ingredients they don’t need.

Farmers’ markets.

Farmers’ markets are a great way to collect ingredients for a picnic or a simple meal at the hostel (and also just a lot of fun to see). Once while staying in Cork, Ireland I bought Irish soda bread, buttered eggs and white cheddar at the famed English Market. I returned to my hostel and made myself a delicious fried egg and cheddar sandwich. Inexpensive, filling, delicious.

Picnic.

 I love picnics- it’s a great way to save money while enjoying a simple meal, wine in the park and people-watching. Just bring a baguette with some cheese and deli meat and enjoy yourself! And even though Rick Steves has led me astray in the past, this picnic set actually looks very useful.

I also have some tips about how to drink cheaply abroad, check them out!

Enough about me! What are some of the ways you save money on food while traveling?

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21 and has been traveling the world ever since. She's usually in pursuit of yoga, languages and perfectly ripe cheese and her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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1 Comment

  1. Goat milk is often consumed by young children, the elderly, those who are ill, or have a low tolerance to cow’s milk. Goat milk is more similar to human milk than that of the cow, although there is large variation among breeds in both animals. Although the West has popularized the cow, goat milk and goat cheese are preferred dairy products in much of the rest of the world. Because goat cheese is often made in areas where refrigeration is limited, aged goat cheeses are often heavily treated with salt to prevent decay. As a result, salt has become associated with the flavor of goat cheese.*

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