With food costs playing a large role in vacation budgets, it pays to know where you can get great grub for less. Portugal for example, is currently the cheapest place to eat out in Europe, according to a recent price survey. Specifically, in the Algarve region, a succulent seafood soup can ring in at only 3 euros. This same area also sees dish of the day offerings averaging 6 euros, and tourist menu prices for an appetizer or soup, main dish, drink, dessert and coffee can be frequently be found for approximately 10 euros. Here are a handful of other frugal food finds for travelers.
Norfolk, Va.: Make your way to Doumar's, where they've been serving ice cream in hand-crafted waffle cones for more than 100 years. Prices start at $1.80. The $65 Granby Street Food Tour is an elegant progressive dining experience featuring such highlights as an award-winning crab soup in an antique abbey and authentic Moroccan fare in an 1840s carriage house. Peggy Sijswerda, editor of Tidewater Women magazine, loves happy hour at Luna Maya on Colley Avenue, where specials include $3 drafts and $5 appetizers such as mushroom-poblano quesadillas and vegetarian tamales. Norfolk also has a notable network of independent coffee shops, which can be a great way to break up a day of free, self-guided historical walking tours, available for download at http://www.visitnorfolktoday.com.
Manchester, England: Host to several of the soccer games during the 2012 London Olympics, Manchester has a number of affordable food opportunities for tourists. Soup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter offers a variety of brunch selections ranging from 3 to 7 pounds, while the famed Curry Mile boasts the largest concentration of Asian restaurants in the United Kingdom with more than 70 dining options available to suit a variety of budgets. Entertainment freebies include Heaton Park, Whitworth Art Gallery and the gothic John Ryland's Library with cathedral-like public reading rooms.
Theriault is the best-selling co-author of the book "10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget," and founder of TrekHound.com, a website for independent travelers. She also founded TheLessonMachine.com, a website for teachers.