Best cheap eats: street food around the globe

Best cheap eats: street food around the globe

If you’re a seasoned traveller, you’ll already know that as soon as you touch down in your overseas destination, money starts flying out of your wallet.

From paying for transport to your accommodation, to museum entry fees and even using public toilets in some countries, nothing comes for free. 

To make your money last the longest, whilst still getting to see everything on your list, you may find that the food budget is the first to get cut. Luckily for the budget traveller, the globe is scattered with delicious street food that in most cases will set you back under AUD $5 for an authentic slice of local culture.

Here are some of the world’s best street foods:

Vietnam – Pho

For around AUD $2 (or less) you can get yourself a steaming hot bowl of traditional Vietnamese pho on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. While confusion around the correct pronunciation of this delicacy’s name prevails (for Australian’s at least), there is no confusing the great value and amazing taste of a good bowl of pho.

Related stories

Singapore – Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle

The streets of Singapore are home to the Michelin Star awarded Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle. For around AUD $1.50 (and 2-3 hours waiting time) you can taste what all the fuss is about for yourself. For those who prefer not to wait, the store sits in a food court complex with plenty of options available of the cheap street eats variety.

Italy – Pizza and Gelato

A classic combination that has kept generations of travellers satisfied as they explore the Italian mainland, a slice of pizza followed by gelato is a must for street food connoisseurs. Depending on the area you are in, prices can sometimes get a bit out of hand so avoid taking your food pit stop too close to main tourist attractions.

Austria – Pretzels

Common throughout the German-speaking world, pretzels are a versatile street snack that will set you back around AUD $4 per jumbo sized treat. Most commonly seasoned with salt, pretzels are also sold with sweet toppings like chocolate and sugary glazes and make a filling street snack for the hungry traveller. 

Greece – Gyros

The staple food favourite of many a budget traveller who has made their way around Greece is the humble gyros. The snack is a delectable combination of pork or chicken meat, hand cut potatoes, fresh tomatoes, onions and tzatziki, all wrapped in warm pita bread. For around $2 AUD, a gyros a day should keep financial hardship away while travelling. 

France – Crepes

There are few things more delicious in the world than biting into a steaming fresh crepe, dripping in Nutella and filled with fresh strawberries and doing it with the Eiffel Tower in the background makes it all the sweeter. Small street stalls are dotted around Paris making fresh crepes at all times of day, making it easy to have a crepe as a substitute for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Germany – Currywurst

For the more adventurous street eaters who are dedicated to their cheap eating regime Germany offers the currywurst. For the uninitiated, the currywurst is a pork sausage that has been boiled, fried and then smothered in ketchup mixed with curry powder. A firm local favourite, the dish is often rounded out with French fries or a bread roll, making it a filling street feed for around AUD $3.

Related stories

Turkey – Döner Kebab

A favourite of many Australians after a night on the town, it is also worth experiencing the döner kebab in its home country of Turkey. Containing any variation of seasoned meat, lettuce, onion, pickles, tomatoes and various sauces, the döner kebab is well loved for its customisability and will set you back around AUD $2.   

Belgium – Fries

For lovers of fried potatoes, it doesn’t get much better than Belgian fries. Not only are they covered in a delicious mayonnaise/tomato sauce but they’re fried twice for extra crunch. Traditionally served on the streets of Belgium in a paper cone, this fried delicacy will set you back around AUD $4 depending where you are in the country.

USA – Hot dogs

Visitors to the USA, and more specifically New York, will be familiar with the local love of hot dogs. Lists of the best hot dogs to try in New York are all over the web so either do your research first or wing it but either way, leaving the city without having one is not an option.

Taiwan – Fried chicken

While most people may think of fried chicken as the domain of Colonel Sanders, Taiwan has its own unique take on it that can be found in food markets all over the country. The chicken is often cut into small pieces, battered, deep fried and then seasoned with salt, pepper and chilli powder to make a delicious snack that is best washed down with bubble tea.  

Japan – Takoyaki

For those travelling around the exotic island of Japan, takoyaki is a local street delicacy that should be on the must-try list. The dish is made of small balls of batter filled with meat or seafood which are cooked and then covered in takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise. You can grab a sample from almost anywhere, including supermarkets and convenience stores, for less than AUD $1.   

Related links

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this article?



Money Health Newsletter

Subscribe for news, tips and expert opinions to help you make smarter financial decisions

By submitting this form, you agree to the RateCity Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Disclaimer.


Learn more about bank accounts

How can I wire money to a bank account?

You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.

How do you transfer money from PayPal to a bank account?

Transferring money from PayPal to an Australian bank account is simple. Just follow these three steps:

  • Go to your Wallet
  • Click ‘Transfer Money’
  • Follow the instructions

The money will take three to seven business days to reach your bank account.

Once you’ve made the transfer request, it can’t be withdrawn.

Which bank is best for business accounts?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question of which bank is best for business accounts. That’s because ‘best’ will differ from customer to customer, depending on their unique circumstances. These include not only your company’s financial position, but also its size, its age and the sector in which it operates. Another factor to consider is what features you want in a bank account. Your business may require different features than another business; and your business may require different features tomorrow than it does today.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

Can foreigners open bank accounts in Australia?

Many Australian lenders allow foreigners to open bank accounts in Australia. Often, this can be done before you arrive in the country – with no Australian address required. When you get to Australia, you can pick up your debit card, using your passport as identification.

Can you deposit money into somebody else's bank account?

One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.

The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:

  • Payee’s name
  • Bank, building society or credit union (though this isn’t necessary)
  • BSB (or bank code, which is the branch identifier)
  • Account number

Including the name of the financial institution isn’t necessary – particularly with online banking – because the BSB will identify this for you.

A handy tip is to record yourself (or add a personal message) in the transaction description or reference. This will show up on the recipients account, letting them know who’s paid them the money.

Can debt collectors take money out of your bank account?

Many people find themselves struggling to cope with debt at one time or another. In these cases, a debt collector could contact you to demand payment for a debt, to explain the consequences of you failing to pay a debt, or to organise alternative payment arrangements.

If you’re contacted by a debt collector, you may be wondering what their rights are and whether they can take money out of your bank account.

Creditors cannot access money in your bank account unless a court order (also known as a ‘garnishee order’) is made to allow creditors to recover debt by taking money from your bank account or salary.

If this happens, the creditor can take money out of your bank account unless you pay the debt in full or make an alternative payment arrangement such as paying in instalments through the court.

How to transfer money to another bank account

Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.

Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.

How do you set up a bank account online?

Once you’ve compared bank accounts and found the right one, the process of opening a bank account online is quite simple and can be done in around 10 minutes.

To set up a bank account online, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide an approved form of ID as well as your tax file number (TFN).

If you’re a new customer of the bank, you’ll need to verify your identity and potentially upload documents before you can complete your online application.

Once your ID has been verified and you’ve set up your bank account online, you should receive your bank cards in the mail along with your PIN and any other account details.

Can the government take your money from your bank account?

There are some instances when the government can take money from your bank account. This generally occurs in situations where you have an outstanding government debt.

Before it can take money from your bank account, the government authority owed money would first need to issue a garnishee notice. 

A garnishee notice is issued by the government agency (such as Centrelink or the ATO) to a third party that holds money for you or owes you money.

To take money from your bank account, your bank would be issued with the garnishee notice requiring it to pay ‘your money’ to the requesting agency to satisfy the debt.

Can I open a bank account in another country?

Despite having a bad rap for facilitating tax evasion, it is possible and legal to open a bank account in another country, also known as an ‘offshore account’.

Some people choose to open a bank account in another country to invest overseas, for higher interest-earning potential or to access foreign banking services.

The process for opening an offshore bank account differs depending on the financial institution and country in which you’re opening the account.

Typically, you will need to provide identification such as a passport, a local bank statement and a signed declaration proving the source of the money being used to open your account. Usually, deposits into offshore accounts can be made by international money transfer.

How do I transfer money from Paypal to my bank account?

Transferring cash from Paypal into your bank account is simple…if you have a Paypal account that is.

Once you’re logged into your Paypal account, the account balance will appear on your home page. Below your balance are two options:

  • Add money
  • Withdraw money

Choose option two if you want to transfer money from your Paypal account to your personal bank account.

The next screen will prompt you to either enter new bank account details or choose a bank account that’s connected to Paypal. You can always add more bank accounts to your Paypal profile.

Another way to transfer out of Paypal is by jumping to the wallet tab on the top menu, and clicking ‘transfer money’. Both options will give you the same result.

How can I find bank accounts in my name?

To find ‘live’ bank accounts in your name, you’ll have to ask individual lenders, which involves contacting them one by one and proving your identity each time. To find ‘unclaimed’ bank accounts (those that have been inactive for at least seven years), you can use this website.

Can I close my bank account over the phone?

In most cases, you can close a personal or business bank account over the phone. In fact, this is the best way to ensure you’ve closed an account properly.

By speaking to a banking representative, you can capture and close out any pending transactions, or interest owing/payable on the account being closed.

In the instance where the account is a joint account, or you have multiple bank accounts you want to close, your bank may send you a form that you need to fill out and return.

Either way, you would be advised over the phone of the steps you need to take. Calling your bank ahead of closing an account is often a smart course of action.

Can I link a bank account to Paypal?

Paypal is a safe and convenient way to pay online without the need to share your financial details. You can send and receive money or accept credit and debit cards as a seller using Paypal.

It’s easy to link your bank account to a Paypal account and start making transactions within minutes.

To start, you first need a Paypal account (it’s free to join). When setting up your Paypal account, you will be prompted to link a credit card or bank account (or both if you wish).

PayPal works without a balance; you can use Paypal to shop or send money when your balance is zero.

When your Paypal balance is zero, Paypal will ask you to choose your preferred payment method at the checkout.

This could be either your linked bank account or credit card. Your bank details can be updated if you change banks or credit cards.