Finding cheap places to eat is pretty simple if the destination isn’t that expensive. However, some cities are just expensive places to visit. NYC, London, Sydney, Singapore, etc are all fantastic cities to visit but can get very pricey especially when you’re constantly eating out. So, how can you get by without spending more than necessary? Start by asking yourself how all these people who live and work in the city can afford to spend this much on lunch every day. Not everyone packs a lunch to work but everyone has to eat. So, where do they go?
A simple but effective trick I use when I travel in an expensive city is to walk around the business district during lunch when everyone is trying to grab a quick bite. Without fail, I always find a group of people on their way to grab lunch together and almost always, it’s at a food court or small eatery that has great food at an affordable price. And it’s always packed with people. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons people eat wherever they do, but if given the choice, I don’t know of anyone who would willingly eat crappy food over tasty food for the same price.
When I’m there, I usually walk around to try and see where the popular food stalls are and what the majority of people tend to be ordering. Then I come back in an hour after the lunch rush has subsided. This way I don’t feel rushed when ordering since I typically don’t know what I’m doing and I can find a place to sit pretty easily.
It isn’t gourmet, but it is tasty and affordable. Even better, you aren’t paying inflated tourist prices.