Best snacks under $5 around the world

Best snacks under $5 around the world


As any traveller knows, eating well doesn’t require dropping a ton of cash at a high-end restaurant. Sometimes the best meals come from street food snacks, food court stalls, and mom-and-pop shops where the food is cheap and the flavours are rich. We asked our guides around the globe to tell us where they go when they want to eat for cheap. Here are some of the best snacks we’ve found for less than $5 (USD).

Have one to share from your city? Let us know where we should go in the comments, or on social (tag #localsknow) and we’ll add your tips!

Melbourne, Australia


“For me in Melbourne, it is hands down the banh mi at Nhu Lan Bakery in Footscray. AUD 4. I’m often known to travel in the opposite direction to where I’m going just to swing by here on the way. Actually, I think I have to go now…”

– Tony, General Manager, Urban Adventures

street food van in Melbourne

American Doughnut Kitchen in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets. Six hot jam-filled doughnuts for AUD 6 (USD 4.75).”

– John, Melbourne Urban Adventures

La Paz, Bolivia

saltena in la paz

“A salteña. It is basically a pastry filled with beef stew, potatoes, celery, onions, lima beans, peas, carrots, turnip, egg, and red paprika. Very yummy! The cost is USD 0.79 and it’s our mid-morning super-duper 100% local snack in La Paz.”

– Yecid, La Paz Urban Adventures

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“$5 buys a lot of snacks in Rio these days. The exchange rate is close to 4 to 1, so we can even get gourmet burgers in some great joints. But my pick is the filled tapioca at the corner of Sao Clemente and Nelson Mandela Street. Get the condensed milk and banana. Yummy!”

– Luiz, Rio de Janeiro Urban Adventures

Toronto, Canada

banh mi sandwich in toronto

“In the Chinatown / Kensington Market area you can’t go wrong with bahn mi sandwiches at Nguyen Huong, or some jerk chicken at Rasta Pasta, or a few empanadas at Jumbo Empanadas. But my personal favourite would be the cheap nachos and beer at Sneaky Dee’s.”

– Mike, Toronto Urban Adventures

San Jose, Costa Rica

chifrijo dish in san jose

“A chifrijo (a mix of rice, beans, meat, and chimichurri). This one was made from pork. Very popular in the cantinas!”

– Eric, San Jose Urban Adventures

Copenhagen, Denmark

hot dog in copenhagen

Hånddelle. A pork and veal meatball fried in butter that you can pick up at most butcher shops and eat on the go. Also, ristet hotdog med det hele — a hot dog, but Danish-style with remoulade sauce, roasted onions, pickled cucumbers, etc. (det hele means everything on it!). You can get them at one of the many hot dog stalls around the city. And lastly, shawarma from Kebabistan. Best shawarma in Copenhagen, but don’t take our word for it — David Chang loves them as well. They have three outlets, but we prefer the one on Nørrebro (but that is probably only because it is close to the office…).”

– Karl, Copenhagen Urban Adventures

Athens, Greece

deep-fried treats in Athens

Lukumades (deep-fried dumplings) for EUR 3,20. Get them at Agias Eirinis Square and Aiolou Street.”

– Alexandra, Athens Urban Adventures

phyllo pastry in Greece

“The first food stop on our Tastes of Thessaloniki tour couldn’t be anything other than bougatsa (that to-die-for type of phyllo pie that contains a filling of semolina custard or cheese, veggies, etc.). Of course, bougatsa is a locals’ favourite all over Greece, but it is particularly famous in northern Greece, especially in Thessaloniki and Serres.”

– Rebecca, Thessaloniki Urban Adventures

Reykjavik, Iceland

icelandic hot dog

“I’m mildly obsessed with Icelandic hot dogs, specifically those from Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. Even though most tourists are well aware that these are the best hot dogs in the city, the stand still gets plenty of locals, verifying that BBP is legit. The hot dogs are simply steamed and served on a regular ol’ hot dog bun, but it’s the condiments that bring the glory. Ketchup, sweet mustard, remoulade, raw onions, and, the piece de resistance: crispy. fried. onions. They layer those bad boys on the bottom of the bun and every bite with them is just mad delicious. Order “eina með öllu” to get “one with everything”. Trust me. I don’t even like ketchup, but I don’t dare mess with a good thing (and it works – their ketchup is way, way better than American ketchup). Pyslurs are so cheap, I usually get about one a day when I’m in Reykjavik…sometimes two. Pro tip: you can buy them at convenience stores in KEF airport. Don’t do it. It will ruin it for you. Pro tip number two: they’re open late, a.k.a. perfect post-bar food. Pro tip number three: you can buy pylsusinnep (the sweet mustard) in bottles in the grocery store. Perfect souvenir.”

– Lindsay, Global Marketing Manager, Urban Adventures

Mumbai, India

“Any of the toasts at Raju Sandwich in the Fountain Fort area of Mumbai!”

– Pravar, Mumbai Urban Adventures

Florence, Italy

“Panini and a glass of wine at I Due Fratellini costs EUR 4.”

– Linda, Florence Urban Adventures

Venice, Italy

cicchetti and wine in venice

“Here in Venice we have delicious cicchetti (traditional finger food similar to Spanish tapas) with an average price of EUR 1,50 each, and all homemade with fresh ingredients from the local market. Together with a glass of local wine (ombra de vin) it’s a cheap way to eat in such an expensive city. Some examples? Crostini with baccala’ alla veneziana (bread with creamy codfish) and polpette (meatballs) — delicious, traditional, and cheap! Now, try to imagine eating cicchetti and drinking wine in a place that opened in 1462. I’m not kidding — Cantina Do Mori is the oldest bacaro (traditional wine bar) in town!”

– Elisabetta, Venice Urban Adventures

deep-fried sandwich in Venice

Mozzarella in carrozza. It’s a deep-fried sandwich made out of mozzarella cheese, and crust stuffed with ham or anchovies in a tomato and herb sauce. The price is just EUR 1,50. Our team loves getting them from Cantina do Spade but the most famous ones are from Rosticceria Gilson in Calle della Bissa, San Marco 5424, Campo San Bartolomeo, Venice. It’s right near the Rialto bridge, and open everyday from 9am until 9:30pm. Note that it’s stand-up (no seating) only.”

– Cecilia, Venice Urban Adventures

Tokyo, Japan

woman grilling yakitori in japan

Yakitori, cooked on coals. The meat is usually chicken but you can choose between breast, thigh, or chicken skin (which is a personal favourite). What makes this street meat great is the sauce they brush across it as it cooks.”

– Louise, Community & Acquisition Manager, Urban Adventures

Vilnius, Lithuania

“Toasted bread with garlic (with or without melted cheese), Lithuanian or Latvian peas with bacon bits, and smoked pigs’ ears with peas, mustard, and spices. All snacks are best accompanied by a pint of craft beer from one of our microbreweries. They’re available in the majority of local pubs, but Snekutis Pub (in English, it means “Small Talker”) is our all-time favourite, offering a Lithuanian village atmosphere in the city centre.”

– Kestas, Vilnius Urban Adventures

Merida, Mexico

plate of panuchos in merida

“In Merida, you can get panuchos — sort of a tortilla filled with beans and topped with turkey and salad. Best way to have it is with habanero salad. The baby in this pic was 25 pesos, so under $2.”

– Luis, Merida Urban Adventures

Mexico City, Mexico

taqueria in mexico city

“Mexico City is the taco capital! You can get a huge variety of different tacos all over the city. Hungry? No problemo! Just walk to the closest corner and you’ll find a taquería (taco venue) and the majority of tacos will be under $2 (actually, in CDMX you can get a whole meal for $5. This photo is of a taqueria that serves carnitas of deep-fried pork cooked in its own lard (sorry, vegans!).”

– Luis, Mexico City Urban Adventures

Amsterdam, Netherlands

amsterdam fries

Vleminckx sausmeester‘s homemade fries. The best fries shop in Amsterdam.”

– Sean, Amsterdam Urban Adventures

Lima, Peru

picarones in lima

Picarones are one of the most delicious deep-fried things I’ve ever eaten! These doughnut-like treats are made from squash and sweet potato (yes, seriously) and have a hint of anise flavouring to them. They’re drizzled with a honey-like syrup when they’re served — piping hot straight out of the fryer. You can order them as dessert in some restaurants, but they taste best when eaten from a cart out on the street (for cheap).”

– Tammy, Content Marketing Specialist, Urban Adventures

Krakow, Poland

cheese sandwich in Krakow

Zapiekanka is a hot baguette with cheese and mushrooms and a drizzle of ketchup, and is classic Polish street food. Buy it at the Bienczycki Market — for me, it’s a taste of my school years! This small local market in Nowa Huta district has not changed in years and looks exactly like it did when we would eat zapiekanka after school.”

– Monika Krakow Urban Adventures

Bucharest, Romania

local eating mici in Bucharest

“Terasa Obor is our favourite place in Bucharest to head to when we crave some tasty mici — grilled, skinless sausages. Made of glorious beef and pork with spices and a secret ingredient that makes them fluffy and puffy and just a tiny bit sweet. Having them well dipped in mustard and accompanied by an ice cold local beer is a must. For USD 5 you can buy five of these babies, the bread to go with them and an ice cold beer. That that will pretty much be your lunch and dinner for the day. Trust us on this.”

– Doru, Bucharest Urban Adventures

San Sebastián, Spain

“San Sebastián is full of pintxos and generally they are under $5 — those are our everyday snacks! In summer, gelato. San Sebastian is very well-known for its gelato (we recommend getting it from Oiartzun or Venezia). In the winter, chestnuts. They are sold in different corners of the city and by the riverside, from stands that can be decorated in different ways. All year long, churros — fried-dough pastry that we simply love and eat with sugar.”

– Tomasz, San Sebastián Urban Adventures

Valencia, Spain

horchata and a pastry

“A must-try is horchata de chufa — a nutritious and traditional local, dairy-free drink made with water, sugar and chufa (a tuber-root vegetable called ‘tigernut’ in English). Enjoy it like a local by dipping the soft bread-like pastry (called fartón) into your horchata. You can find this drink almost everywhere but we recommend it at Horchatería Santa Catalina where they use a decade-old recipe.”

– Lenny, Valencia Urban Adventures

frying bunuelos

“Forget Spanish churros; in cooler months, you have to try these deep-fried pumpkin fritters called buñuelos while you’re in Valencia. Either top them with lots of sugary goodness or dip them in hot chocolate. You’ll find them mostly during our biggest and noisiest festival of Las Fallas in March. They’ll be on every street corner!”

– Lenny, Valencia Urban Adventures

Seoul, South Korea

bowl of tteobokki in seoul

Tteokbokki from a street food vendor. It costs maybe USD 3 or less. It is very spicy but you will become addicted very easily!”

– Thomas, Seoul Urban Adventures

Chiang Mai, Thailand

deep-fried bananas in chiang mai

“Deep-fried bananas. In Thai, we called them kluay-tod. They’re coated in wheat flour and sesame, and deep-fried. You mostly find them from small stalls — the top three for locals are The Fast (opposite the 7/11 and Chiang Mai City Hall), But-Q (next to Sanpakhoy local market), and Yod-Heng (Doi Saket Road). We usually buy one small bag, which is 20 baht (less then $1). Also, Thai-Muslim roti pancakes — or just called them roti. We mostly find them sold from carts from late afternoon until nighttime. A plain roti starts around 15 baht. If you want extra flavours such as eggs, banana, or chocolate, it’ll be approximately $1.50. Best roti in Chiang Mai are Paa-Day in front of the Mahawan Temple (Thapae road), the Cheese-Kluayhom Night Bazaar at the Kale Boxing (Night Bazaar Street) entrance (I highly recommend cheese and banana!), and Guu Fusion Roti at Nimman Soi 3.”

– Amy, Chiang Mai Urban Adventures

(Throughout) United Kingdom

ice cream cone with a flake bar in it

99 Flake (aka ‘a 99’). It’s vanilla soft serve in a cone, topped with a stick of Flake, and it’s the best. I love classic soft serve and the addition of the Flake ups the ante. When I was growing up, I’d visit my family in England about once every year or two, and I’d make it my mission to eat as many 99s as I possibly could. It’s a good thing we don’t have them in Canada!”

– Lindsay, Global Marketing Manager, Urban Adventures

Los Angeles, USA

plate of tacos in los angeles

“The $1 tacos al pastor from the truck on La Brea and Venice (parked in the gas station) is an LA classic. Another favorite: In-N-Out double double animal-style with fries — an LA original.”

– Summer, Los Angeles Urban Adventures

New York City, USA

knish street food in New York

“Get a knish from Yonah Schimmel (a ball of potato mixed with different veggies, covered in a super-thin dough and baked. Some places fry it and that’s just wrong. Also, falafel at Mamoun’s is amazing and under $5. Also, my favourite bagel spot in Queens (Brooklyn Bagel) is $4 and change for bacon and egg on a freshly made bagel.”

– Nikki, New York City Urban Adventures

“For that money you can buy 30 fried pork dumplings at the dumpling place we visit on our Tenements tour. Delicious and you can feed a whole family if you can believe it. Of course you can also get a bagel or a slice of pizza, which are probably more iconic of NYC. Murray’s Bagels and Prince St. Pizza are two of my favourites.”

– David, New York City Urban Adventures

“We have so many under $5 options in NYC. It’s truly shocking considering this city is thought of as being so expensive. The best bet would be to travel to Jackson Heights, Queens, where you can basically get snacks from all over the world for under $5. I especially love Tibetan momos, Mexican elote, and Colombian arepas. In Manhattan, Chinatown is the place where you can get noodles, dumplings, skewers, rice rolls, etc., all for $1 or $2. And just about any food cart will sell a huge portion of delicious food for under $5.”

– Brian, New York City Urban Adventures

Philadelphia, USA

Amish pretzels in Philadelphia

“I’ll stick with a Philly classic from the Amish: a soft pretzel at Miller’s Twist for about $1.50.”

– Jason, Philadelphia Urban Adventures

Hanoi, Vietnam

bowl of pho in hanoi

“All food is very, very cheap in Vietnam (so long as you kick it local and skip the touristy restaurants). But the best of the best, of course, is phở. It’s different throughout the country, with each area offering up its own twist on the soup. I was partial to Hanoi’s versions, which are much more simplistic than the phở you’ll find in the south. A bowl at breakfast will keep you full for hours for just a few bucks.

– Tammy, Content Marketing Specialist, Urban Adventures

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