If you’ve got a hankering for ceviche, are craving a curry or are on a quest for the best noodles, all without breaking the bank, read on. Our Listopedia on the best value foodie destinations will have your mouth watering and your stomach grumbling in no time.
You can fill up on Peru’s world-famous cuisine for next to nothing, with average flight prices from Australia to Peru down 18% on last year. Ceviche is the country’s national dish (although it and Chile fight over that title like Aussies and Kiwis over Pavlova) and boy does Peru do this cured raw fish dish well. Follow it up with Lomo Saltado – beef stir-fried with red onions, tomatoes, yellow Peruvian chillies, soy sauce, vinegar and cilantro. If you’ve got a taste for something different, give Cuy (guinea pig) a go. It’s usually roasted whole and is a staple of many Peruvian meals. Head to a mid-range restaurant, and you’ll only pay around $4 for each meal, washed down with a $2 local beer, like Pilsen Callao.
There’s a lot more to Mexican cuisine than tacos and burritos. Each region has its own specialty, in Oaxaca alone there are seven types of mole. The thick, slow cooked sauce drizzled over food is so good you’ll want to try all seven, and you can, at about $7 each. Snack like a local on tacos, tamales, burritos, gorditas and quesadillas at Mexico’s market stalls for a couple of dollars a dish. If you’re feeling brave, you can score yourself some chapulines (fried grasshoppers) or chicatanas (giant winged ants that are pan fried with lime). Escape the heat with a cold Corona, which will cost you peanuts, at about $1.40.
India is home to a dizzying array of exotic spices, used in cheap dishes that will knock the socks off your taste buds. Get savvy early on by visiting a local family’s home for a cooking class or hit the streets with a guided food tour. Bengali food is heavy on fish stews and curries with goat and chicken also popular fixtures. You can chow down for barely $3 a dish and you’ll save on your hotel too. Average nightly rates are down 3.5% on 2015 in Bengal’s capital, Kolkata, consider the Sapphire Suites for some affordable luxury. In Goa, you’ll enjoy curries with coconut and coastal hot spices. International favourite Vindaloo will be on the menu, alongside Goan fish curry, Khatkhate (vegetable stew). At just a few dollars a dish, you can affordably eat your way through India.