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Cost of Food in Eastern Europe

Hello everyone, I am travelling to Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Budapest, Venice and up the entire Croatian coast in a few short months! What is the cost of food like in these cities? Not interested in high-end dining, but more casual restaurants and grocery stores. A sandwich made at a local deli, fresh fruit from the grocery store, a main course at a restaurant, etc. Thanks in advance!

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You'll find a wide range of dining options and prices in the cities, starting with cheap kebabs and wursts on the low end. Rick's guidebooks list price ranges for a main course in the restaurants he describes. Restaurants also will post menus outside, to help you decide before entering. I would budget about the same amount for grocery store shopping that you would spend in Seattle (I don't know about Calgary), except you won't be buying in bulk or using coupons. Croatia should be the cheapest destination on your list for just about everything.

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16563 posts


Here is a fairly decent cross section of menus in Budapest. The exchange rate is about 225 forints to the dollar right now:

Also go to the Hungary forum where there are a couple of pretty good threads discussing restaurants in Budapest. The town has too much good food is its only problem and all of it fairly well priced.


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a. Lunch on the Danube promenade in Pest; dang near any place because you are there for the view and the setting as much as anything else. The place with the orange umbrellas and trim has outstanding stuffed cabbage. Last stop on the M1 metro from the Oktogon
b. Lunch from a food booth in the Market Hall.
c. Lunch at New York Café; just to say you sat in that opulence. From the Opera walk or M1 to the Oktogon and then a short trip on the 4/6 tram.
d. Sausage from the little Jewish butcher shop on the pedestrian street facing the side of the Opera House (red store front)
e. Dinner at Haxen Király Étterem. This is in Pest on Kiraly utca. But from the Opera you go up Andrassy ut a couple of stops on the M1 (or walk) and then walk down one of the side streets on your right a block or two to Kiraly utca. This is the restaurant that fairly well to do locals go for that nice night with friends and family. Rarely a tourist and very, very, very good food. Think of something better than a US Steak and Ale but not quite a Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse; with local Hungarian food as well. Great atmosphere.
f. Dinner at Macesz Huszar; Real, first class, reasonably priced, home cooked, well presented Jewish Hungarian fare on white table cloths. Great staff too. In the old Jewish Ghetto about a 10 minute walk from the Opera House. We go on every trip.
g. Dinner at Vak Varju; so you are tired and you just want decent food and to relax. This is less than 10 minutes from the Opera House. Imagine an American Chili’s with a Hungarian Accent.
h. Dinner at Paprikavendéglő. From the Opera take the M1 to Hero’s square then its about a 5 to 10 minute walk. Great real Hungarian food in an interesting setting
I. Dinner and Klezmer music at Spinoza’s (Friday Night). A 10 minute walk for the Opera House. Worth it for the show, but only pretty okay food.
j. Breakfast at Café Vian in the Gozsdu Courtyard. A family ritual. Love the staff. About a 10 minute walk from the Opera.

Cooking class in the home of a wonderful Hungarian woman. (Goulash, Stuffed Cabbage and ……. Forgot what it was called, but good). Cook, drink Palinka, cook some more, more Palinka and the morning goes on. Then you eat what you cooked. Very, Very Good morning. She will meet you at the market if you prefer and you shop for the ingredients prior to cooking.

Late Night
a. Kadarka Wine Bar, 5 minutes from the Opera b. Kadarka Wine Bar (half a block from where we stay. A nightly ritual with wonderful people and good reasonably priced wine and gourmet snacks, burgers and sandwiches)
c. Alexandra Café in the old Paris Department Store, 5 minutes from the opera
d. Walking the Danube Promanade, five minutes on the M1 from the Opera
e. The view from the top of Gellert Hill (most stunning city view in the world…period.); get a cab. Maybe USD20.
f. Any Ruin Pub (most within 5 to 15 minutes from the Opera