Can’t Afford Your Foodie Habit? Check Out These 24 Affordable Destinations for Food Lovers

Culinary trips are popular nowadays, meaning people go on vacations to taste different cuisines. People will attend food festivals, travel to the most prestigious restaurants in the world, and go to locations with unusual ingredients. However, food travel can be expensive. Places like Paris, Oslo, and Ibiza will empty your bank account after just a few meals.

However, you can also taste some of the best food in the world without maxing out your credit card! Plenty of underappreciated cities across the globe have cuisines that will excite and delight even picky foodies.

1. Rome, Italy

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Because Rome has a fabulous culinary reputation, many assume it’s an expensive destination.

However, it’s one of the most affordable European cities for travelers, so you can eat the best spaghetti in the world and keep your wallet happy! After a trip to Rome, box pasta will never hit the same again.

2. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace at dusk
Image Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.

Thai food is exceptionally yummy, from pad thai to tom kha gai and beyond. Foodies with an affinity for Thai food can go to the source and eat the best versions of these popular dishes.

Bangkok has a wealth of enticing restaurants, but street food is the true gem of this city.

3. Fez, Morocco

Canal Medina in Fez, Morocco.
Image Credit: bobistraveling – CC 2.0/WikiCommons.

Americans often overlook Moroccan food, but foodies who appreciate Morroco’s spicy and rich flavor can plan an affordable trip to Fez.

Marrakech tends to be more expensive, but Fez offers a blend of Arabic, Mediterranean, and Roman cuisine that will wow your palate.

4. Tijuana, Mexico

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Chipotle is good, but it’s nothing compared to the real deal. Mexican cuisine uses supremely fresh ingredients that dazzle with flavor.

Tijuana has a low cost of living, and visitors can indulge in sensational tacos, ceviche, fish, and more.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

French Quarter New Orleans
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New Orleans is one of America’s best cities for foodies. There is no shortage of distinct restaurants and staple dishes, such as po’boys, beignets, gumbo, oysters, and more.

The Creole and Cajun influences create an exciting culinary atmosphere that never fails.

6. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town South Africa building
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Cape Town is a gorgeous place to visit for many reasons, but people often forget about the incredible food you can find here. It’s not the hottest tourist destination, which makes it more affordable.

Enjoy specialty seafood dishes with an African flair, like calamari or fish and chips.

7. Madrid, Spain

Madrid city skyline gran via street twilight , Spain
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Visiting Spain as a foodie is paradise. Everything in Spain is executed to perfection and made with fresh ingredients, from tapas to sangria to pastries, but you’ll be shocked by how little the food costs when the bill comes.

You can order plate after plate of tapas and keep your bill under $30.

8. Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Albuquerque, New Mexico’s food scene has many Mexican influences, offering a special cuisine that combines Mexican techniques with American ingredients and flavors.

This cheap city will serve you some of the best enchiladas, burritos, and chile cheeseburgers you’ll ever eat.

9. Palermo, Italy

Gulf of Mondello seen from Monte Pellegrino
Image Credit: Andrea Calcagno – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Italy seems so lavish and high-class; while it is, it’s surprisingly affordable! Palermo is a ritzy place but is also laidback when it comes to pricing.

You can taste traditional Palermo sandwiches, eat the freshest pasta, and sip on $2 glasses of wine.

10. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi market
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

In the US, Vietnamese food tends to live in the shadow of Thai and Chinese, but have you ever had a banh mi? This sandwich will change your life.

In Hanoi, you can eat authentic Vietnamese dishes like turmeric grilled fish, glass noodles, crab rolls, and more for just a few dollars.

11. Detroit, Michigan

downtown Detroit
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Detroit still doesn’t have the best reputation, but the city has vastly improved over the last decade. And their food scene is phenomenal.

Try local treats like square pizza, sliders, corned beef egg rolls, and more. It’s a fun city for foodies because of the inventive and hearty dishes unique to the area.

12. Lisbon, Portugal

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Lisbon, Portugal, is a criminally underappreciated location. It has beautiful hotels and a thrilling nightlife, but the food scene is even better.

Foodies will fall in love with the city’s pork sandwiches, saucy clams, fish dishes, tapas, meaty stews, and other inventive foods.

13. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi Georgia
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Boris Stroujko.

This Asian country is not a tourist hotspot, so hotel and restaurant prices are reasonable, mainly because Georgia has managed to keep inflation down.

The nation has unique dishes ideal for adventurous foodies looking to try eccentric foods and discover new flavors.

14. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia Bulgaria market
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Bulgaria has a profound culinary scene that seems to be a delicious secret. Specifically, Sofia is a wonderfully affordable city with authentic delights like Bulgarian donuts, pastries, cold-cut meats, bread spreads, cold soups, and more.

The flavors are cozy and pastoral in the very best way.

15. Orlando, Florida

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While cities like Miami and Tampa have outstanding cuisine, they can drain your wallet quickly. On the other hand, Orlando is affordable, as long as you don’t go to Disney World.

Food in Orlando is diverse, with popular dishes like Nashville Hot chicken, steak, donuts, sushi, and seafood.

16. Houston, Texas

Houston Texas
Image Credit: Katie Haugland Brown – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

The Texan food scene is often overlooked, but this massive state has mouthwatering staple dishes, like chicken and waffles, crawfish, breakfast tacos, barbecue, and even Vietnamese cuisine.

Compared to Austin and Dallas, Houston is a steal when it comes to dining.

17. Lima, Peru

Lima Peru
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Peru’s dynamic cuisine can give you robust steak dinners one day and light, sweet fish dishes the next.

You can try exotic foods like guinea pig and venture outside your culinary comfort zone! Make sure to try their famous ceviche, which showcases the impeccable seafood in the area.

18. Portland, Oregon

Portland OR
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Portland has an interesting food scene with relatively new staple dishes that play with familiar flavors.

Some of the city’s most famous foods include maple bacon donut bars, breakfast biscuits, boiled crab, and berry ice cream, just to name a few. It’s the ultimate modern foodie city.

19. Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia View from Marjan Hill
Image Credit: Tatyana Peshkova, Own Work – C BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

If you’ve never considered Croatia as a vacation destination, it’s time to rethink that. This affordable country has enticing foods like black risotto, cured meat platters, truffles, sausage, and scampi.

They’re even known for their exquisite olive oil, which puts our grocery store olive oil to shame.

20. Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston Jamaica
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Overall, Jamaica is one of the best locations for budget travelers. You’ll save money on flights, hotels, excursions, and, of course, food!

This island nation has mouthwatering dishes like codfish, oxtail, chicken stew, pepper soup, jerk chicken, and goat curry. The audacious and intense flavor profiles will enchant you immediately.

21. Delhi, India

Delhi India
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

While India can be hectic, it’s also an ideal choice for a budget vacation. If you adore curry, bhajis, samosas, mango lassis, naan, and other Indian treats, this city is a must-visit.

You’ll get to dive into the most authentic versions of these bold and irresistible dishes.

22. Durrës, Albania

Durres Albania
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Durrës is the perfect place for you if you’re a barbecue fiend. Meat lovers can indulge in rustic lamb, beef, and pork dishes that take the smokey flavor of barbecue food to the next level.

Albania is a marvelous place for history buffs, but foodies will be amazed by the culinary offerings.

23. Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo Sri Lanka
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

Colombo is an affordable vacation destination with some of the world’s most authentic and vibrant food.

There are beachside shacks, street vendors, and small eateries serving flavorful dishes embodying the nation’s culinary spirit. Simple local dishes like rice and curry will blow your mind.

24. Marseille, France

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Paris can be a pricey city to visit, and the food there can cost an arm and a leg, although it is delicious. But you can enjoy French food on a budget by visiting Marseille!

Enjoy French classics such as bouillabaisse, les pieds paquets, pistour soup, and poutargue, all while saving money.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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