Budget Bites: 21 Delicious Delicacies Perfect for Vacation Bargain Hunting

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Jetting off to foreign lands isn’t just a treat for the soul; it’s often a feast for the wallet, especially when it comes to indulging in local cuisine. Some dishes are not only authentic and delectable in their homeland but also astonishingly cheaper than what you’d shell out back home. Let’s take a gastronomic journey to discover 21 foods that offer the most bang for your buck abroad, complete with the average cost comparisons that’ll have you booking your next flight quicker than you can say “Bon Appétit!”

1. Pho in Vietnam

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lazhko Svetlana

In Vietnam, a steaming bowl of pho brimming with fresh herbs, rice noodles, and thinly sliced beef can cost as little as $1.50 on the bustling streets of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Back in the U.S., you’re looking at $10-$15 for a comparable experience, making the original a savory steal.

2. Pizza in Naples, Italy

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / V. Matthiesen

Where better to enjoy a pizza than in its birthplace? A traditional Margherita in Naples might set you back around €4 ($4.70), while in New York City, a similar quality pie hovers around $14. That’s a tasty saving for eating pizza in its prime locale.

3. Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / hlphoto

Tokyo offers sushi aficionados conveyor belt restaurants where plates start at around 100 yen ($0.90) each. Contrast this with the average sushi roll in an American sushi bar, which can cost $6-$8, and Tokyo’s offering is a clear winner for your palate and pocket.

4. Tacos in Mexico City, Mexico

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Miguel Angel Bistrain

In the heart of Mexico City, a street vendor might charge you around 20 pesos (just over $1) for a freshly made taco, packed with flavor and authenticity. In contrast, a taco of similar quality in Los Angeles could easily cost $3-$4.

5. Pad Thai in Bangkok, Thailand

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Giulia M

The streets of Bangkok are famous for their delicious and affordable Pad Thai, with servings costing around 40 baht ($1.20). To enjoy this iconic noodle dish back in the States, you’d likely pay $10-$15 at a Thai restaurant.

6. Currywurst in Berlin, Germany

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mironov Vladimir

This beloved German street food, a steamed and fried pork sausage cut into slices and doused in curry ketchup, costs around €2.50 ($2.95) in Berlin. A similar dish outside of Germany could be upwards of $7, lacking the authentic Berlin flair.

7. Tagine in Marrakech, Morocco

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sylvia Kania

Savoring a traditional Moroccan tagine in Marrakech might cost you about 30 dirhams ($3.30), a steal compared to the $20-$25 price tag you’d find for the dish in international Moroccan-themed restaurants.

8. Empanadas in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pablo Porcel Odena

In Buenos Aires, you can bite into a delicious empanada for as little as 15 pesos ($0.15). Even with the most favorable exchange rates, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything that competes with that price back home, where empanadas can go for $2-$3 each.

9. Poutine in Montreal, Canada

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Foodio

True Canadian poutine in Montreal goes for about CAD 7 ($5.60) at local eateries. In the U.S., Canadian-themed bars might serve up a less authentic version for around $10-$12.

10. Baklava in Istanbul, Turkey

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Enez Selvi

The sweet, syrupy layers of baklava in Istanbul are not only more authentic but significantly cheaper, with prices around 10 lira ($1.30) for a generous serving. Stateside, expect to pay upwards of $5 for a smaller, often less fresh piece.

11. Beer in Prague, Czech Republic

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / katjen

Prague is a beer lover’s paradise, where a pint of the local brew can be as cheap as 30 Czech koruna ($1.30). Compare that to the $5-$7 you’d pay in a U.S. bar for an imported beer of similar quality.

12. Borscht in Kyiv, Ukraine

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lipatova Maryna

A hearty bowl of borscht in Kyiv costs around 50 hryvnia ($1.80), offering a warming, beet-based delight for a fraction of the international price, which can range from $8-$12.

13. Dim Sum in Hong Kong

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / kitzcorner

Hong Kong’s dim sum teahouses serve up delectable small bites starting at just HK$12 ($1.50) per dish. In contrast, a dim sum dining experience in a Western country can cost $5-$10 per dish.

14. Ceviche in Lima, Peru

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Hans Geel

In Lima, a fresh, citrusy serving of ceviche costs around 20 soles ($5.20), while enjoying this Peruvian specialty in a U.S. city can easily set you back $15-$20.

15. Samosas in New Delhi, India

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Elena Eryomenko

Sampling a spicy, freshly fried samosa from a street vendor in New Delhi will cost you about 10 rupees ($0.13). The same snack in an American Indian restaurant? Upwards of $3.

16. Gelato in Rome, Italy

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / natalia_maroz

Enjoying a scoop of creamy gelato in Rome can cost as little as €2 ($2.35), a sweet deal compared to the $5 price tag you might encounter in U.S. gelaterias for an arguably less authentic treat.

17. Fish and Chips in London, England

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / neil langan

A classic fish and chips meal in London can be found for around £8 ($11), which feels like a bargain compared to the $15-$20 you’d fork out in a British pub overseas, minus the atmospheric charm of the city.

18. Cheesesteak in Philadelphia, USA

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Brent Hofacker

For an authentic Philly cheesesteak experience, expect to pay around $8 in Philadelphia. Outside of its home city, especially overseas, the price—and authenticity—can vary greatly, often reaching $12-$15.

19. Wine in Bordeaux, France

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / barmalini

Sampling a glass of exquisite local wine in Bordeaux might only set you back €3 ($3.53), whereas a similar vintage could cost you over $10 in a wine bar back home.

20. Croissant in Paris, France

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anna_Pustynnikova

There’s nothing like a buttery, flaky croissant from a Parisian bakery, where you can indulge for just over €1 ($1.18). In the U.S., a comparable pastry might be double the price, without the Parisian ambiance.

21. Kimchi in Seoul, South Korea

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nungning20

Dive into a bowl of kimchi in Seoul for just a few thousand won (under $1), a significant saving compared to the $5-$7 you’d spend in a Korean restaurant abroad for a side dish portion.

The World is Your Oyster and Your Wallet’s Best Friend

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic

Who says you can’t live the high life on a budget? These 21 foods prove that some of life’s greatest pleasures can come at a fraction of the cost, provided you’re willing to venture to their source. So, pack your bags and bring your appetite—it’s time to taste the world!

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The post Budget Bites: 21 Delicious Delicacies Perfect for Vacation Bargain Hunting republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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