Budget-Friendly Foodie Cities: Where Students Can Eat Cheap Around the World

By: Miriam Bribiesca

If you’ve ever let your cravings make decisions before your head, then we can safely assume that you are a foodie. Now imagine embarking on a journey where you can have a profound transformation of not only your palate but your perspective too. Traveling to experience the gastronomy of different places is an adventure that goes beyond the mere act of eating, it’s an immersive dive into a culture, its history, and the soul of a community. 

So, why limit yourself to familiar tastes and experiences when global cuisines await? Instead, join us in this culinary voyage to find some of the best locations around the world that you can travel to TODAY to make your budget foodie dreams come true!

A young traveler overlooking the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, representing the exploration of iconic, budget-friendly culinary destinations in Cairo for college students

Cairo

Beginning on a high note, if you’ve always wanted to visit the majestic pyramids while eating good food, Cairo will lead you to some of the most flavorful and affordable eats. Located in the heart of Egypt, you’ll have the opportunity to visit vibrant streets oozing with the aroma of freshly baked Baladi bread and simmering Ful medames. Yes, our mouths are watering too and we just started writing this. 

Now try this! Don’t miss out on Koshary, a delightful mix of pasta, rice, lentils, chickpeas, topped with fried onions and a zesty tomato sauce. It’s a comfort dish that perfectly represents Cairo’s melting pot of flavors and costs just a few Egyptian pounds.

Travel Tip: A good thing to keep in mind is to always carry extra change and be ready to eat standing up and have your food on the go. Street vendors and small shops often don’t have seating areas, but that’s part of the charm!

View from an arched gateway showing a student standing in the courtyard of Jama Masjid in Delhi, symbolizing affordable and rich cultural experiences available for student travelers.

Delhi

Delhi will mesmerize you with its vibrant chaos and the symphony of spices that fills the air. This city is a haven for foodies looking to explore India’s culinary diversity without spending much and lucky for you there are food walks and spice market experiences you can take to experience and learn the history behind the iconic Indian cuisine. 

Now try this! Be on the lookout for a plate of Chole Bhature, a spicy chickpeas curry served with fluffy, fried bread. And of course, no visit to Delhi is complete without trying the butter chicken. It is a creamy tomato-based curry, filled with tender chicken pieces, that can be paired with naan or rice for a heavenly meal. For something sweet, Jalebi is a must. It’s a whirl of deep-fried batter soaked in syrup that can be found at countless street vendors for less than a couple of dollars. Yum!

Travel Tip: While exploring the flavors of Delhi we strongly advise to stick to only eating fully cooked meats and embracing using your right hand to eat. Done and done.

Bustling night market scene in Bangkok, illustrating the vibrant street food culture where students can indulge in affordable, local delicacies like pad Thai.

Bangkok

Ending with probably one of the best places to visit if you’re a budget foodie, Bangkok is known for streets lined with food stalls serving some of the most mouth watering Thai dishes at incredibly low prices.

Now try this! Sample Pad Thai, stir-fried rice noodles with a mix of tofu, shrimp, peanuts, and bean sprouts, all for a few Baht. For something uniquely Thai and one of our favorites, grab a serving of Mango Sticky Rice, a delightful dessert that combines the sweetness of a ripe mango with creamy coconut milk and sticky rice. 

And because you’re there to experience all things new, don’t forget to visit one of Bangkok’s floating markets. Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa are among the most popular. There you can buy fresh produce, traditional Thai snacks, and other deliciousness from boats along the water. How cool!

Travel Tip: If you’re able to escape the hot spots, we do recommend at least trying to go beyond the main tourist areas. Oftentimes, the best and cheapest eats are often found in the less touristy neighborhoods. And remember that just because it’s street food, doesn’t mean it’s low quality. In fact, Bangkok is known for having Michellinstar Streetfood. 

As we’ve shown, embarking on a culinary adventure doesn’t have to be expensive and with an open mind and a hungry stomach (that shouldn’t be too hard), the streets of these cities will lead you to delicious and affordable experiences. So, if you are ready to see the world one bite at a time, look into our amazing deals exclusively for students like you. Now you’ll not only be saving on food but flights as well! 

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