Food Tourism

Eating out abroad: 5 places where it's cheaper than SA

Good news for globe-trotting foodies: there are some exotic places where a restaurant meal costs less than in Mzansi

06 February 2020 - 00:00 By Toni Jaye Singer
South Africans will get good bang for their buck when eating out in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
South Africans will get good bang for their buck when eating out in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Image: 123RF/Diego Grandi

For foodies, the highlight of any overseas trip is tasting as many local dishes and drinks as possible — something that can be financially tricky when travelling on the weak rand.

The good news is that there are some exotic destinations where the cost of eating out is more affordable than on home soil.

International ground transportation company Hoppa compared the prices of food and drink in 100 global holiday destinations, including Cape Town and Joburg. They then ranked these cities to create lists of the 10 cheapest places to enjoy a cocktail, a pint of beer and a three-course restaurant meal for two with wine.

How the average cost of eating out in Cape Town compares to Johannesburg, according to Hoppa.
How the average cost of eating out in Cape Town compares to Johannesburg, according to Hoppa.
Image: TimesLIVE

Here are some of the places that featured on more than one of these top 10 lists, making them a good option for thrifty travellers who want to have a food-centric holiday abroad:

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

According to Hoppa, you'd be hard pressed to find a more pocket-friendly place to have a cocktail than in Cape Town or Joburg. With drinks costing around R67, these cities took the third and fourth spots on their cheapest cocktails list.

That said, Buenos Aires beat both to the punch to be crowned the home of the most affordable cocktail (R61). 

This vibey South American destination also came second on Hoppa's list of the 10 cheapest places to have a three-course meal for two — you can expect to pay R404 including wine. That's more reasonable than in Cape Town or Joburg, where you'd be billed R538 and R557 respectively.

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

At an average cost of R365, Ho Chi Minh City can brag that it's the destination where you'll find the cheapest three-course meal for two including wine. 

Having a beer here won't break the bank either — the Asian city ranked third on the list of the 10 most affordable places to have a pint. Expect to pay around R19 for the pleasure, whereas you'd pay around R33 and R29 in Cape Town and Joburg respectively. 

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA

Many SA tourists fly through Dar es Salaam on the way to Zanizibar, but foodies may be inspired to stop over in Tanzania's capital city when they find out it appears on Hoppa's cheapest restaurant, beer and cocktail lists.

You can expect to pay R480 for a meal for two, R18 for a beer and R77 for a cocktail. 

ANTALYA, TURKEY

Antalya is the gateway to Turkey's Turquoise Coast, so called because of its vivid blue waters, so you're sure to find a scenic spot to enjoy a sundowner. At R70 per cocktail, it's among the 10 most pocket-friendly places to do so.

It's also fourth on the list of the 10 cheapest places to have a three-course meal for two, with prices averaging at R423 including wine.

The Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Image: 123RF/vvvita

TBILISI, GEORGIA

Like Turkey, Georgia boasts aspects of both Eastern and Western culture, and according to the country's official tourism site it is the "cradle of wine" — they've been making vino for more than 8,000 years.

Sampling a glass or two with a three-course meal in the capital city, Tbilisi, will cost around R500 for two people.

Along with placing on Hoppa's list of destinations that serve up the most affordable restaurant meals, this multicultural city has also earned a spot on the cheap cocktails list. Expect to pay R70 a drink.

To see Hoppa's full lists of the 10 holiday destinations where you'll find the cheapest cocktails, beers and restaurant meals, visit hoppa.com