Top 10 Cheapest Cities For Eating Out In Europe
Top 10 Cheapest Cities For Eating Out In Europe

Europe is famous for being full of vibrant with the culture, history, nightlife, architecture and cuisine come at a cost, yet there are many ways to travel on the cheap. When traveling new destinations, the most wonderful part is definitely trying unique different foods and drinks.

There is just a no better way to experience a culture than trying its cuisine. So, what’s the adventurous foodie to do? Well, if you want to go out to eat without breaking the bank, let check the top 10 best cities in Europe for delicious cheap eats that won’t drain your savings below!

Top 10 Cheapest Cities For Eating Out In Europe

10. Athens, Greece

9. Dubrovnik, Croatia

8. Naples, Italy

7. Moscow, Russia

6. Lisbon, Portugal

5. Prague, Czech Republic

4. Kiev, Ukraine

3. Budapest, Hungary

2. St. Petersburg, Russia

1. Istanbul, Turkey

*****

What Are Cheapest Cities For Eating Out In Europe?

10. Athens, Greece

Photo: lonelyplanet
Photo: lonelyplanet
  • Currency: euro
  • Meals: 19.20
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 9.00

Pretty much anyone you speak to who has been to Athens, will not only tell you how amazing it to visit (all that Greek history, the delicious food, the Acropolis…etc).

They’ll also be quick to tell you how pleasantly surprised they were at the price of things here.

The Greek capital was once one of Europe's great bargain cities, and it has become reasonable again after the political instability in recent years. The infrastructure created for the Olympics has actually turned Athens into a modern and easy-to-visit place, and the Acropolis and other attractions continue to amaze, so it still seems like a good deal for the moment and may get even cheaper. The political situation in Greece had seemed volatile for a few years, but it's been calm lately so it's a good time to visit.

Food and drink can be cheap in places meant mostly for locals and quite pricey in places with English-language menus out front. It’s easy enough to stick to a budget if you are careful, and even many of the tourist restaurants have good specials.

9. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Photo: 2traveldads
Photo: 2traveldads
  • Currency: Croatian kuna
  • Meals: 136.80
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 90.00

Dubrovnik, Croatia has been named a hot spot by countless travel websites and magazines over the past few years. It’s no wonder because it has lush landscapes, sparkling beaches, and an ancient walled city all rolled into one chic destination.

Any backpacker who plans to swing through Europe this summer should make plans to visit Croatia. This destination is only getting more popular, and the historic walled city of Dubrovnik is famous for being featured on Game of Thrones. But the real highlight of Croatia is the fresh, affordable food. Croatia Tips recommends trying pasta with creamy mushroom sauce, spicy meat stew, black risotto with squid ink (seriously!), and other unique dishes like baked octopus and stuffed peppers with meat and veggies.

Fortunately, the main attractions are reasonably priced, and there’s plenty of free and cheap things to do, so once you have a room you are doing okay. Food and drinks can be pricey in the Old City as well, but some cheaper items are around if you look around.

8. Naples, Italy

Photo: theculturetrip
Photo: theculturetrip
  • Currency: euro
  • Meals: 15.60
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 6.00

Naples has a mixed reputation among travelers, as it’s fascinating and quite different from the tourist cities to the north, but it’s also edgy and often in the headlines for garbage strikes. Staying safe is pretty easy if that’s your priority.

Another part of the appeal of Naples is that things tend to get cheaper the further south you go in Italy (except for Rome itself), so your budget goes a long way here. Hotels and hostels tend to be much cheaper than elsewhere, though quality can be dodgy and some neighborhoods are not suited to everyone.

Prices are much lower in Naples compared to other big cities in Italy – especially the food. While in Naples, we ate pizza almost every day, often for under five euros each.

Beyond pizza, coffee costs just one Euro at most cafes and treats like sfogliatella are equally cheap. Public transportation in the city is easy, though we chose to walk a lot to burn off the pizza calories. With Naples, the key is to stay away from the train station and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you let it, Naples will pull you in and reward you with every bite.

7. Moscow, Russia

Photo: amuse.vice
Photo: amuse.vice
  • Currency: Russian ruble
  • Meals: 1,296
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 600

Russia is a multinational, multicultural state with many different cuisines that visitors can sample. Since the end of the Soviet Union, many other cuisines have become available throughout the country, and international food trends are increasingly incorporated into the Russian food scene. There is also a huge variety available in Russia’s supermarkets, and with a little effort, you will be able to cook your favorite meal.

Food and drinks are relatively cheap as long as you focus on local places, especially fast food places, rather than restaurants in hotels and those with English-language menus out front.

You will of course find a huge number of Russian restaurants in every town and city, commonly serving traditional dishes such as borsch, salads, dumplings, and meat and fish dishes. For those on a budget looking for nutritious and filling meals, the ‘stolovaya’ (cafeteria) is highly recommended. At these self-service canteens, two courses and a drink can be purchased for 200 roubles (around $3). At Russian fast-food restaurants such as Teremok, expect to pay around 300-400 roubles for a pancake and a drink ($4 - $6), and at bakeries, you can find slabs of sweet or savory pies for around $1.

6. Lisbon, Portugal

Photo: theculturetrip
Photo: theculturetrip
  • Currency: euro
  • Meals: 16.80
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 10.50

Seaside Lisbon knows how to make its natural resources work for it. Seafood is the name of the game in the Portuguese capital and topping most must-try lists is bacalhau.

Portuguese food is such an underrated cuisine. If you want to sample the best of the best, though, head to either Pastéis de Belém or Manteigaria — they’re popular for a reason. Expect to pay between €1 and €1.50 for one pretty much anywhere in town.

If you want to eat locally, head to a less-popular neighborhood and look for the signs advertising a prato do dia — you’ll usually pay less than €10 for a three-course meal with a glass of wine and the food will be so fresh and tasty. It’s a great way to stay on budget while also eating well.

The two best places for food in Portugal are the Azores and Evora — I ate unbelievably well in both spots. The Azores has a sunny climate and fertile land, which means the islands are all-sufficient and don’t need to import food from mainland Portugal in order to survive.

The international food scene is fantastic in Lisbon, and if you’re keen to sample as much of it as possible, I recommend heading to Principe Real: the neighborhood I can’t stop chatting about. I chose to live there simply because it has some of the best food in the city. Some of my recommendations are Atalho Real, ZeroZero, Koppu Ramen, Lost In, A Cevicheria, Gin Lovers… Basically, walk down the main street in Principe Real and pick a place: every single eatery on this street is epic. You’ll get a main for around €15, with a glass of wine or beer for a couple of Euros extra.

Don’t forget to try a cool glass of vinho verde for a couple of Euros while you’re in Portugal either! While the name translates to green wine, it’s actually a young wine, and can be white, red, or rose; some sparkling, some not. It’s great to drink on, hot sunny days, though!

Desserts are varied, and delicious. In addition to the pastéis de nata, look out for profiterole-esque cavacas and leite crème, the Portuguese version of crème brûlée.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

Photo: mondomulia
Photo: mondomulia
  • Currency: Czech krona
  • Meals: 392.40
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 120

This beautiful city has so much to offer for a budget traveler.

Prague is an ideal European city with a lot of history, interesting culture, and warm welcoming citizens. It has cobblestone streets, great street food, lots of beer, a beautiful castle, and a majestic bridge leading up to it. The best part perhaps is that tourists can enjoy all the above at a fraction of the budget needed to explore its western counterparts. It is quite an affordable destination for backpackers and budget travelers be it someone looking to party or go culture hunting.

Prague isn’t the dirt-cheap city it once was, but it still offers a great bang for your koruna.

As the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is a bustling and culturally rich city in the heart of central Europe. It’s been influenced by many powerful empires, including Austria-Hungary, Bohemia, and the Holy Roman Empire, which have all left their mark on this remarkably well-preserved city.

Many of the better attractions in the city are free or very cheap, except for tours of the Prague Castle itself, so set aside some money for that must-do.

Food can still be found at bargain prices if you go for fast food or street carts, but if you go for a sit-down meal with an English menu then it’s not all that cheap. Beer, however, continues to be a relative bargain in spite of the high quality.

4. Kiev, Ukraine

Photo: kyivpost
Photo: kyivpost
  • Currency: Ukraine Hryvnia
  • Meals: 474.00
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 135.00

With a location that is far off any normal European tour route, Kiev struggles for Western tourists because you have to deliberately be going there rather than just drifting through on your way elsewhere. English isn’t too common at this point either, though most people report being able to get by without much problem.

Most things in Kiev are quite cheap by European standards, though there is the situation of newly-rich locals driving prices up and creating a posh class of restaurants and boutiques that didn’t exist until recently.

Hotels are cheap, at least, so those who make the trip can stretch their funds quite a long way if they eat and drink like a local rather than like a tourist. Inflation in Ukraine has been a problem since 2014, so nominal prices might be higher, though that tends to go along with a better exchange rate for visitors.

3. Budapest, Hungary

Photo: 2foodtrippers
Photo: 2foodtrippers
  • Currency: Hungary Forint
  • Meals: 3276
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 1200

Budapest competes with Krakow (see below) as Europe's best overall bargain. Unlike some other cities near the top of this list, Budapest is a world-class tourist city that just also happens to be unusually cheap, at least as long as you steer clear of the most touristy places along the river. The castles and cathedrals are enough, but here you also get thermal spas that are cheap even for the backpacking set. Hostels, in particular, are great value, but you have to get a bit out of the center to find inexpensive hotels. When you are here it doesn't look like it would be on a list of inexpensive European cities, but it definitely is.

The Danube River is stunning to walk along, especially at night when everything is all lit up and glittering over the river. The nightlife is fun, with funky ruin bars, live music, and hundreds of great international restaurants everywhere.

Meals are incredibly cheap, with daily lunch specials often under $4 for a 3-course meal — try finding that in Western Europe! Beers are often less than $2, and I’ve found wine as cheap as 90 cents a glass! Budapest hasn’t shied away from pricey contemporary dining – the relatively small city boasts an impressive four Michelin-starred restaurants – but you can still eat your way through Hungary’s traditional offerings for a steal.

Bistro-style dining costs around £25 for a generous three-course meal for two.

If you’re hankering for the local stuff, expect a starter of warming beef and veg goulash or halászlé (fisherman's soup), chicken paprikash, or meat-stuffed peppers for the main and sweet jam-filled palacsinta (crepes) for dessert.

2. St. Petersburg, Russia

Photo: mostpetersburg
Photo: mostpetersburg
  • Currency: Russian ruble
  • Meals: 1,296
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 600

If you’re curious about visiting Russia, don’t be turned off by some of the rumors about its reputation: St. Petersburg is a safe, modern city with incredible architecture and culinary wonders! Oh, and did we mention that everything is quite reasonably priced? Here’s what you’ll want on your plate, according to Flavorverse: borscht stews, beef stroganoff, Russian pierogi, cabbage rolls, sweet and savory crepes, and melted cheese in thick baked bread bowls. Be prepared to gain a few pounds on your trip!

While meal prices in Saint Petersburg can vary, the average cost of food in Saint Petersburg is $39 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Saint Petersburg should cost around $16 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Saint Petersburg is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

1. Istanbul, Turkey

Photo: roadiscalling
Photo: roadiscalling
  • Currency: Turkish lira
  • Meals: 54.00
  • Drinks/Entertainment: 54.00

Turkey has some image problems as of 2020 and tourism is way down partly as a result. The economy is also struggling a bit, which contributes to the currency falling over the past few years. As of now, Istanbul is a fantastic bargain and even hotels with great locations have become affordable to budget travelers. There's no shortage of markets, mosques, and attractions for even a longer stay, and everywhere else in Turkey is cheaper.

The advantage of Istanbul is the amazing food culture. From street food to traditional local family-owned restaurants, Istanbul has it all.

Bivalves, which are mussels, are considered popular street food, as well as Iskander kebab. Just try it all! Even better, if you love sweets, are baklava and Turkish delights. Can’t be beaten! In addition, people in Turkey are very friendly; they will offer you Turkish coffee or tea. Both unique and delicious!

Few people know that Istanbul has two sides: The European and the Asian one. I totally suggest you take the ferry to the Asian side to enjoy amazing views of the Bosphorus. Taking the ferry is budget-friendly since it is very inexpensive.

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