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 signing up, you agree to the Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy


Learn more about bank accounts

Are bank accounts frozen when someone dies?

Yes, Australian bank accounts are frozen when someone dies. If you want to close the account of somebody who has died, you might have to provide proof of death and a copy of the will. You might also have to prove your relationship to the deceased person.

If you have a joint bank account with somebody who has died, you will generally be entitled to all the money in the account. Again, you might have to provide proof of death if you want to change the bank account from a joint account to a one-person account.

Can I start a bank account online?

Yes, most lenders that operate in Australia will let you set up a bank account online. The process is usually simple and takes five to 10 minutes. You will probably need to provide a passport or birth certificate, as well as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or another form of secondary identification. Requirements differ from lender to lender, so some institutions might ask for more or different forms of ID.

How can I close a Commonwealth Bank account?

You can close your Commonwealth Bank account at any branch, provided you have appropriate identification. You can also close your account over the phone, by calling 132 221, 24 hours a day.

Can foreigners open bank account in Australia?

If you’re migrating, studying or working in Australia, you’ll be pleased to know that you can open an Australian bank account. For the most part, opening a bank account in Australia is a simple process which starts by comparing the types of bank accounts foreigners can open in Australia.

Once you’ve found a bank account that suits your needs, you can start the application process.

When you apply for the account, you’ll need to provide proof of ID which may include your passport, overseas ID or credit card. You may also need to provide a copy of your visa and proof of address in Australia.

Depending on the bank and the type of account you choose, you may be able to apply for the account online or over the phone before you arrive in Australia.

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

What do I need to open bank accounts online?

Opening a bank account online is a simple process and only takes between five to 10 minutes to complete. To get started you will need a computer or smartphone with internet access.

Information to have available when you’re ready to apply is:

  • Identification (such as driver’s licence, birth certificate, passport, proof-of-age card)
  • Tax file number
  • Residential address, email and a contact number

In some cases, you might be asked to provide employment details. If you’re not able to verify your identity online, most financial institutions let you provide this in the branch at a later date.

There are some types of bank account that you can apply for only in a branch. However, most bank accounts can be applied for conveniently online.

How do I overdraw my Commonwealth Bank account?

Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.

How do you deposit change into your bank account?

One way to deposit change into your bank account is to visit a branch. Many lenders will also allow you to deposit your change through one of their ATMs.

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 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 you find a bank account number by name?

For privacy reasons, Australian banks won’t hand out account numbers or other details about their customers. However, if you provide a bank with a BSB and account number, they should be able to confirm if those numbers belong to one of their customers.

How do you change your account name on NAB banking?

Changing the name on your NAB bank account is straightforward, as long as you have the right documents.

If you’ve just got married, divorced or legally changed your name, here’s what you need:

  • Married – a marriage certificate
  • Divorced –your ‘decree nisi’
  • Legal name change –your legal name change certificate

You can take either the original document, or a certified copy, into a NAB branch, where it needs to be sighted by a bank employee and a copy taken.

Your NAB bank account name will be updated immediately. New debit, ATM and credit cards with your updated name will also need to be issued. These usually take between five to 10 working days to be posted out to you. Your existing cards will keep working until you activate your new ones.

If you haven’t legally changed your name, but just want to change your account nicknames, you can log onto NAB and do it through the Settings/Mailbox menu.

Can I close a bank account with pending transactions?

You can close a bank account with pending transactions. But after the account is closed, any incoming transactions will be declined by your (old) bank.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t occur is to either wait to close your account until all pending transactions are complete, or contact the creditor and supply them with alternate bank details.

If you’re unsure whether you have any scheduled transactions, you can speak to a banking representative over the phone or via online support.

In most cases, your bank withholds the amount owing for pending transactions (such as online purchases).

Because the pending amount is deducted from your bank balance, you can close your bank account and the purchase will be honoured.

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.