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Panoramic view of Istanbul, Turkey
AlexAnton | Adobe Stock

The 5 Cheapest Cities for Foodies

SmarterTravel

Sampling new cuisines is an essential part of travel—but it can also be one of the most expensive aspects of a trip, especially if you’re eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… plus snacks and drinks! 

If you want to be able to dine out to your heart (and stomach’s) content without breaking the budget, plan your next trip to one of the world’s cheapest food cities. 

The 5 Cheapest Food Cities

Vacation rental site Holidu analyzed cost-of-living data to determine the most affordable dining destinations around the world. 

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skyline of Colombo, Sri Lanka
mbrand85 | Adobe Stock

Colombo ranks as the world’s cheapest food city because an inexpensive meal here will only cost you around $1.54. Want to splurge on a mid-range meal? You’ll pay just $13.47 on average. 

Best Budget Hotel: You can snag a room at a three-star hotel, like the Ceylon City Hotel in the heart of Colombo, for less than $30 per night.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Aerial view of Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi Photography | Adobe Stock

Want to have a couple of local beers with your dinner? In Hanoi, each cold drink will cost you just 76 cents. For the best cheap street food, be sure to check out Hanoi’s famous night market. 

Best Budget Hotel: In Hanoi, you can stay in five-star luxury for the cost of a cheap motel. Check out the stunning Hanoi Daewoo Hotel, which offers rates under $70 per night. 

Istanbul, Turkey

Skyline of Istanbul, Turkey
seqoya | Adobe Stock

Sesame-studded simit, piping hot döner, and strong coffee—we’re drooling just thinking about Turkish cuisine. Since the average cheap meal costs around $3.31, you can sample all the local delicacies you want and still have money left over. 

Best Budget Hotel: The gorgeously decorated (and conveniently located) Artisan Istanbul MGallery hotel offers five-star accommodations for around $77 per night. 

Medellin, Colombia

Skyline of Medellin, Colombia
Yeselly | Adobe Stock

Medellin is famous for its culinary scene. Visitors here will find a variety of tasty options that range from food trucks to fine dining. Fortunately, a mid-range meal will only set you back an average of $20. 

Best Budget Hotel: Accommodations don’t cost a lot in Medellin either. You can get a hotel room with a balcony and view of the city at Ayenda 1228 Balcones de la 70 for a mere $22. 

Kathmandu, Nepal

Stupa Bodhnath Kathmandu, Nepal
Raimond Klavins | Adobe Stock

Need a cappuccino to perk you up before you head out on a long trek through the mountains of Nepal? It will cost just $1.51. A celebratory post-hike meal will cost just $2 at a budget place or $17.56 at a nicer option. 

Best Budget Hotel: Treat yourself to a luxury hotel after camping or hiking—there’s no reason not to splurge when a four-star property like the Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel & Spa costs under $30 a night. 

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