Favorite Cheap Eats?

Hello All, I know it has been mentioned that you can get a pasty (I think) in London for 1£. Or a sandwich in Madrid at Museum of Ham for 2€. I was just wondering if there were any other favorite cheap eats throughout Europe. Here we have the $1.50 Costco hot dog and soda. :) Or the $5.50 clam chowder bread bowl on Fishermans Warf. I was in Pasadena 2 weeks ago and just wanted to take a shopping break and grab lunch with my daughter. Every place we looked at wanted $13 - $22 for lunch per person. I asked the young sales girl in Forever 21 where she eats lunch. She sent us to a cute Italian restaurant that sold us single one topping pizzas for $3.25! They were exactly what we wanted! Can't wait to hear your yummy deals! Places I'm traveling to and would love to hear about are.
Rome, Venice, Milan, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Rothenburg, Rhine Region, Mosel Region, Amsterdam, and Köln. But all places would be fun to hear about!

Posted by Karen
508 posts

A quick and relatively cheap lunch that I love to get at bigger German train stations is a tomato mozzarella sandwich. They are my regular travel day lunch. Yum!

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3399 posts

Wow! I'm jealous of such an itinerary. That's a bunch of places, and a bunch of eatin'. And I'm with you on the clam chowder down at Pier 39; great stuff. In Italy and much of Central Europe, it's pizza as acceptable street food. But the last pepperoni pizza and beer we got (for 2) in Paris was about 50 euros--drink wine there. Small street stalls sell great gyros. In Amsterdam, I'm hung on the paper cones of pomme frites with optional mayonaise. Back alley automats have a soft serve ice cream I'm hung on. Spend your savings at an Indonesian Ristoffel in Amsterdam; incredible foods. We also like touring the small local breweries like Konigbacher in Koblenz with inexpensive snack foods.
Stock up in the deli's in local markets and grocery stores and picnic in the parks.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
5944 posts

Department store caffeterias. Galleries Lafayette & Bazaar d'Hotel de Ville in Paris, La Rinascente in Florence. Great views, reasonably priced food.

Posted by Jeff
Bend, OR, United States
1163 posts

Doner Kabob is one of my favorites.

Posted by Stay-ce
Northern California
155 posts

I read about Doner Kababs in Venice. What is your favorite place to get them and around how much are they?

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, i liked the FEBO in Amsterdam. along with some grocery stores. London i had a pasty near victoria station. inexpensive food from M&S grocery stores. Paris, there are great eats EVERYWHERE! i had croissants every day! what more could you ask for? Had some awesome baguette sandwiches too. happy eats and happy trails

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

Croquettes and Frites for sure in Amsterdam. The Croquettes are from FEBO which is a fast food place - vending machine. Hard to explain, but good, fresh and cheap. Frites (fries) you can get from little shops and with Mayonaise or Pindasaas (spicy peanut sauce)they are always good.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6817 posts

Milan. Princi bakery. Absolutely incredible focaccia sandwiches, 4 €. Our family of four had a picnic dinner for 23 euro total, including a bottle of wine and due Etta of broccoli salad bought from the deli across the street. The focaccia sandwiches were so good we returned the next morning to buy breakfast, and food for the train for lunch. Great place.

Posted by Linda
La Conner, WA, usa
64 posts

Salzburg - Bosna Grill (Balkan Grill). 3.30E for a great sausage. Choice of 3 or 4 toppings - eg, with mustard, with onions. Spicy stuff sprinkled on it regardless of choice. There was a line both times we went - week before last. And it was snowing! (popular with locals, it appears. Salsburg - Cafe Fingerhof. Not super cheap but if you want sacher torte and don't want to pay sacher cafe prices, this is great. (Awesome coffees too.) Munich - schmaltznudln at Cafe Freische (or something) at Viktualin Market. It's a doughnut to die for - and probably will. Take out is cheap (1.80, I think). But sit down is a welcome break with coffee. Paris - you can't beat baguette and a piece of cheese.

Posted by Stay-ce
Northern California
155 posts

I just pulled up the google image for FEBO. It is so unique we have to try it! It honestly doesn't look too appetizing. But I'll try anything once. :)

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5688 posts

I like eating at the open produce markets in Germany. A bratwurst on a brotchen, done on a swinging grill over a wood fire will cost you 2.40 €. They don't ever come with sauerkraut though. A large cup of cut up fruit, like strawberries, melon, pineapple, etc, will cost between 1.50-2 €. Fresh apple or pear juice, about 1.20 €, a glass of Riesling from the Rhine vineyards, about 3 €. A slice of onion tart done in a wood burning oven, about 2.50 €. French fries with mayo can be had just about anywhere. A good Döner Kebab or Falefel in a freshly made bread, should run about 3.50 € and can also be found in any neighborhood of any medium to large city in Germany. An entire pizza with only 1-2 toppings can often be found for less than 5 €. Bakeries have lots of different sandwiches made on various breads, from ciabatta to whole wheat with lots of seeds, as well as wraps with various fillings.

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
11067 posts

In addition to what Jo noted, sometimes in Germany you see these vans that sell roasted chicken, currywurst, bratwurst and a few other snacks. Half a chicken usually costs around €2.50. Bakeries in Germany (EVERY town has at least one) also usually sell pre-made sandwiches. Others have already pointed out the Frietuurs in Amsterdam ("frieten" or "frietjes" in Dutch speaking areas, not the French term "pommes frites" as another poster mentioned). Mayonaise is just one of several sausces you can get, others include pindasaus (my favorite!), zigeunersaus, BBQ saus (not the same as in the US), currysaus, Anduluus saus, etc. Although less commonly than at Frietuurs in Belgium, they may also sell various types of deepfried mystery meats and sandwiches ("broodjes").

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
7340 posts

Anywhere in Italy, pizza shops (not the sit-down pizzerie) sell rectangular slices of pizza by weight - an etto is 100 grams or a little less than a quarter-pound. Different toppings from pizza bianca ( white pizza, no sauce or cheese, but olive oil, rosemary and a little salt) to prosciutto and fresh figs (seasonal) - my favorite is a little cheese, zucchuni clossoms with a little anchovy stuffed inside. Yummy and beautiful. In a little piazza on a side street near Via Arenula is a little shop that sells deep-fried cod and deep-fried veggies very cheaply.

Posted by Emily
480 posts

Vietnamese and Thai noodle shops tend to have well-priced food. A large bowl of pho is usually only about 5-6 euros and can feed 2 kiddos or one very hungry adult. I think there are a few banh mi shops in Paris as well. A great thing about German food (um, sorry, there isn't much!) is that appetizers can be very filling and split amongst the table. My boyfriend and I frequently ordered a sausage/cheese/bread/dried fruit platter and it was large enough to be our meal. More spending money for beer!
Sarah from Stuttgart is the cheap eats expert here. She's posted a few stories on the Trip Reports section of the Helpline and names quite a few places where she's found a good deal. I could help you more if you were going to Berlin (so cheap!)-maybe on your next trip!

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1605 posts

Madrid: San Miguel Market - delicious tapas & snacks; Lisbon: Bonjardim place for roasted chicken - dinner for two ran around 29 euros; Paris: Las du Falafel - lunch for two about 15 euros.

Posted by Bev
Decorah, Iowa, USA
307 posts

I love the suggestions of everyone. I will put in a word for America's favorite...McDonald's. Yes, I know this is heresay. However, in saying this, please understand that our Mac and Don's stops are few but it can be a very quick meal when in a hurry and time is of the essence. McDonald's has a lot of quick items not found in the U.S. I even remember all the different items on the menu in Hawaii. I love the tomato and cheese sandwich in France. They also have expresso. I don't remember the prices. You can also count on McDonald's for restrooms. There are other similar type restaurants along the main highways in both France and Italy.

Posted by bronwen
maplewood, new jersey, usa
792 posts

NYC - Mamoun's Falafel on MacDougal. $3 delicious falafel. Just had a delicious curry wurst for lunch at Leiderhosen on Grove - $5. The Hallo Berlin lunch cart on 54th and 5th - not as cheap but delicious. Rickshaw Dumpling on 46th and Lex - I forget cost but low calorie and cheap.

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1606 posts

There are take out fish and chips places all over the UK - cheap, filling and delicious. Pret a Manger (hope I got that right) shops have delicious sandwiches you can take out. Also, pub food is usually reasonable. In France you will find take out crepes places - also cheap, filling and delicious. The bakeries in France and Belgium have great sandwiches, quiches, etc. for reasonable prices. The street markets have all kinds of take out food for excellent prices. In Germany you can get wurst sandwiches lots of places. I couldn't eat them every day, but they can be delicious.

Posted by Stay-ce
Northern California
155 posts

I can't wait to try all these food items. Food is the most important way to experience a culture. Many people believe that you have to eat in expensive restaurants to get this experience. It's just not true. Yes, when traveling alone with my husband we enjoy $300 dinners but we also enjoy hole in the wall cheap eats. I can't wait to have: an espresso for 1€ Raw herring in Amsterdam A giant Bavarian pretzel for 1€ A baguette in a Paris for 1€ Pom frittes in Belgium with mayo A braut on a bun in Germany A macaroon in Paris Fried sardine sandwich in Lisbon Jamön sandwich in Madrid for 2€ A Mac and cheese croquette out of a machine in Amsterdam for 2€
Gelato in Rome I can't wait to make this list longer! Also does anyone know of a place in Rome that sells Aranchini? We love to get these in Boston!

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
3279 posts

Paris has wonderful bakeries; some have individual quiches and desserts that can be eaten picnic-style. When I am in Paris I like to eat in the Asian delis; the plat du jour is usually a good deal at about $7-10. In Spain, I've eaten at Fresc; it is a deli-type place with salads, pizzas, soups, etc. In Italy I look for pizza-by-the-slice and gelato; ensalata mixta (sp) can be an almost full meal. There are some cafes in Italy that specialize in pasta and salads for about $10. In the Cinque Terre, foccacia (a bread with toppings) is often available in bakeries. I rarely eat an evening meal while in Europe. My habit is to eat a substantial breakfast where I am staying, then have a real meal in the afternoon. Often I will buy cheese, crackers or bread, fresh fruit, and yoghurt to have in my room.

Posted by Beatrix
2204 posts

I also like "Nordsee" in Germany with shops in almost every "Fussgaengerzone" (pedestrian streets). You can get very good fish buns there. Jo mentioned already the food stands at local farmers' markets. My favourite there: potato pancakes with apple sauce. A plate with three of them looks small but they are so yummy and so filling!

Posted by Mark
Phoenix, AZ
73 posts

I look forward to a few Leberkase Semmels while I'm in Munich. Its a just slice of meatloaf on a bun with mustard but wonderful. They are great and only about 2E. I'm sure they're all over but I go to the butcher shops fronting the Viktualienmarkt. One of those and a big beer sitting under the trees...Mmmmmm!!
This is probably not appetizing to some people, but in Paris we look for the little shacks selling huge hot dogs on a bun with a load of melted cheese. Maybe we are usually just starved from walking around, but it really hits the spot.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
8186 posts

Our kids existed on pizza and gelato the entire time we were in Italy. Just walk around and pick up something that looks good. Remember, in Italy they will offer you a seat. If you don't plan to sit down and enjoy a meal, say so - once you sit you pay more. In Germany and Austria. I usually just stop by a kiosk and pick up a Bratwurst. It's a cheap and fast option. We also like Doner Kabobs. The other regular option for us is to stop in a grocery store and pick up food for a picnic. In the back of German stores you typically find what I'd think of as a deli; they'll slice meats and cheeses for you (100 grams of each is more than enough for two big, or four smaller, sandwiches and leftovers). Pick up rolls, sold individually, nearby. Then wander around and pick up some chocolate, olives, something to drink, mustard in a tube, etc.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
3583 posts

My favorite good eats for cheap is to go to the fresh market hall and have lunch from one of the prepared food vendors. It's fresh, local and pretty inexpensive. And you can look around for what suits or interests you best. But that's not an option in every city. Sidewalk crepes in Paris is of course a must. Pizza by the slice can be very good too. You'll find brat vendors in Germany, though be sure to order the ones with a bun if you don't just want a link of meat... Tapas work good in Spain and someone mentioned the Market Hall in Madrid that I love (a little more high end but great). The vendors there have several crostini options. And you'll find shops/vendors that sell "sandwiches" in just about every city. Mostly they are something like simple ham and cheese on a baguette. Nothing fancy but cheap, tasty, easy and can be eaten as a picnic in a park somewhere. Fast food joints are everywhere, including European ones. I avoid them since I can eat there at home (and generally don't) but in a pinch, it's better to have a full tummy than be grumpy. For snacks, nothing beats gellato, crepes or a yummy pastry from a shop. A general rule is that if you sit down to eat, you'll be paying more.

Posted by Rik
Vicenza, Italy
711 posts

I agree with the doner kebabs, they're probably my favorite food although I prefer the long thin style rather than the round pita bread. Here in Italy, it's called a "piadina". Of course, they can be greasy and fatty so if you can't handle that kind of food, be careful. I get asked all the time for restaurant/food recommendations in Venice and I usually tell people that the best food in Venice is the takeaway stuff. There are takeaway pizzas, kebabs but the panini are the best. They toast them up for you, they're delicious, cheap, fast and filling. Best food bargain in Venice. Most cost less than 5 euros but remember that if you sit down in a bar or cafe to eat them the price goes up. Don't worry about finding them, they are everywhere.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2030 posts

I'm a cheap eats expert? Whoohoo! Unfortunately for Germany, Jo and Tom pretty much covered the good options in Germany, and many have mentioned the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, but that's always my first stop for some of the best Bavarian food at great prices (and if the weather is nice, a really lovely spot to eat outdoors) In Paris, get some falafel in the Jewish quarter in Les Marais, or head to the neighborhood near the Arts et Metiers metro stop, where there's a "little Vietnam" with AMAZING sandwiches (and super friendly service!) at Bahn Mi and really good Pho (noodle soup) two doors up. Both will set you back about 6 euro, but you'll be stuffed. For sit down eating, portions in Germany tend to be large (don't buy that 'portion sizes are smaller in Europe!' stuff) and I find that you can generally split entrees at sit down restaurants and be stuffed, particularly if you get an appetizer or some bread/pretzels with your meal. Just be sure and mention that you'll be splitting the plate, some places charge a nominal fee for the practice.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
5059 posts

Hi, If you're a real fan of Austrian cuisine, esp. Schnitzel, two places I've been to are well worth trying in Vienna, in case you decide to detour to that city. #1: Schnitzel Haus is like the KFC of Schnitzel, instead focusing on chicken it's big slabs of Schnitze. Schnitzel Haus is a chain located all over Austria, Salzburg too. The one I go to is within walking distance of Westbahnhof, the area I stay at. #2: Schnitzelwirt, also in the Westbahnhof area, on Neubaugasse is a very inexpensive reataurant...great Schnitzel there. I agree with "Nordsee"...located also in Vienna

Posted by Jeff
333 posts

WIESBADEN: "Walter's Futterkrippe" German "fast food" as it's meant to be at non-tourist prices. MUNICH: Any of the foodstands in the HBF are great and a reasonable value at least I've thought so. On the road in France: "BUFFALO GRILL" a national chain specializing in American food....as the French interpret it. Great burgers and salads all done slightly differently than America. Before the purists carp....it is a French experience at what Americans might be like. ELTVILLE AM RHEIN: Kloster Eberbach...a nice Abbey to visit,(location for the filming of The Name of the Rose) wine to buy and during the summer outdoor dining with great light meal selections at fair prices.

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
1597 posts

In Madrid: Churros!!! - sort of a linear doughnut (not "bagel shaped") freshly fried, served dangerously hot, with a cup of hot chocolate pudding for dipping. Nothing at all like any so-called "churro" you may have encountered in the US. Maybe not the healthiest food but lordy it's good and you're only there for a short time so laissez les bontemps roulez!