Frugal Traveler

Where to find great grub for less

McClatchy-Tribune News ServiceJune 2, 2012 

With food costs playing a large role in vacation budgets, it pays to know where you can get great grub for less. Portugal is currently the cheapest place to eat out in Europe, according to a recent price survey. Specifically, in the Algarve region, a succulent seafood soup can ring in at only 3 euros or about $3.80.

This same area also sees dish of the day offerings averaging 6 euros (about $7.50), and tourist menu prices for an appetizer or soup, main dish, drink, dessert and coffee can frequently be found for about 10 euros (about $12.50). Here are a handful of other frugal food finds for travelers:

New Orleans: In addition to having a magnificent music scene, New Orleans is a well-known paradise for foodies. For decadent dining on a budget, try the beignets – traditional fried pastry treats – at Cafe Du Monde, where they’re served in orders of three for less than $5. Carnivores will find much to love at Mother’s Restaurant, a fixture in the city since 1938. Baked-from-scratch, multi-meat sandwiches dressed with cabbage, sliced pickles and Creole mustard are available here for roughly $11. For frugal street food, grab a classic hot dog at one of the iconic Lucky Dogs food carts, a tradition in New Orleans since the late 1940s.

Manchester, England: Host to several of the soccer games during the 2012 London Olympics, Manchester has a number of affordable food opportunities for tourists. Soup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter offers a variety of brunch selections ranging from 3 to 7 pounds, while the famed Curry Mile boasts the largest concentration of Asian restaurants in the United Kingdom with more than 70 dining options available to suit a variety of budgets. Entertainment freebies include Heaton Park, Whitworth Art Gallery and the gothic John Ryland’s Library with cathedral-like public reading rooms.

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