Listopedia: the best value foodie destinations


  • Listopedia: the best value foodie destinations : Peru's colourful marketplaces are a foodie paradise. Image by Mark Skalny

  • Listopedia: the best value foodie destinations : Get ready to take on some heat in Peru! Image by Lee Prince

  • Listopedia: the best value foodie destinations : India is home to a dizzying array of exotic spices. Image by Curioso

  • Listopedia: the best value foodie destinations : Head to Bali for delicious Indonesian fare. Image by JM TravelPhotography

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.

Peru

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.

Mexico

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

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.

Indonesia

Aussie favourite Indonesia offers a smorgasbord of options for food lovers, especially in Bali, where you’ll find everything from sophisticated ocean-front fine dining to mouth-watering street food. For something different try upmarket restaurant Sardine in Seminyak, where a main course will still only set you back around $20 and much of the veg comes from the kitchen’s own garden. If you’re after a cheap eat, grab a coconut or a Bintang Beer for around $2 and hit the streets with a Bali street eats food tour. For barely a few dollars a meal, you’ll get to sample a cheap and tasty mix of traditional Indonesian fare like satay skewers and nasi goreng.

Thailand

Aussies are no strangers to Thai food, with a mass of Thai restaurants at our fingertips. Swap your local takeaway for the real deal and you won’t be disappointed. Learn how to spice and season like a Thai pro, with a visit to a Bangkok local’s home for a Thai cooking class. A bowl of yummy coconut milk-based curry or Thai noodles won’t be far away and around $2 is all you’ll need to fill up on one. Got a sweet tooth? You’ll be glad to know that the Thais do too. About $2 is all you’ll need to score a hearty serve of mango sticky rice or coconut tapioca. Thailand is also packed full of affordable luxury resorts, like Pattaya’s Cape Dara Resort. The average cost of a night in a hotel is also down in some areas of Thailand on 2015, like Krabi (down 6%) and Pattaya (down 7%).

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