Traveling is hard work – but fear not, backpackers! Cheap drinks can be found anywhere in the world if you know where to look, and delicious snacks always follow. Here are a few of our personal favourites from Europe!
1. Ouzo & Mezedes (Mezze) in Greece
Mezedes are the small plates of snacks that are always – always – served with the good old anise flavoured rocket fuel known as Ouzo. Depending on where you are, the mezze range from fresh seafood to lamb keftedes (meatballs), dolmathes, eggplant, and all manner of tasty treats. You’ll hardly notice that you’ve guzzled enough ouzo to sink Atlantis.
2. Beer & Sausage in The Czech Republic
Not everyone can afford to sample Czech absinthe, and visiting with the Green Fairy isn’t exactly in a backpacker’s budget. The Czech Republic is home to the best beers in the world, and paired with a simple sausage with rye bread and mustard – found at any number of kiosks throughout towns, cities, & train stations across the country – you don’t have to miss out on the best stuff here.
3. Wine & Menu del Dia in Spain
Tapas, schmapas. Tasty? Yes, but sometimes you just want to dig in to something more than a small plate. Most eateries in Spain have a Menu Del Dia – a daily selection of 1 or 2 lunch or dinner items that you can choose from for a very affordable set price. It will include a main dish, a small dessert, and of course, a generous glass of the local wine!
4. Raki & Donair in Turkey
Raki has an anise flavour, not unlike Ouzo, but it’s a whole other beast. It pairs well with the sweet smoke of apple shisha and a bowl of olives, but the ubiquitous donair is an absolute must for cheap eats in Turkey, so why not warm your belly with both?
5. Table wine & Goulash in Hungary
No joke, Hungary produces some of the best tasting wine in the world thanks to it’s rich soil. Even it’s average table wine, found in most restaurants & cafes, tastes like it should cost you much more. Goulash is a hearty beef & paprika stew that you can find on almost any casual pub menu, but it will make it’s home in your heart – and your belly.
6. Cider & Chips in England
Ok, nothing is all that cheap in the UK for anyone who lives outside of it, especially if you’re in London. However, going down the pub for a Sunday lunch or a glass of proper cloudy scrumpy should be something backpackers do at least once. Get a pint of the local brew and a plate of chips. Which are french fries. But you knew that. Right?
7. Rakija and Roast Chicken in Bulgaria
Rakija is Bulgaria’s national drink, and it’s not hard to see why. A plum or apricot based brandy, Rakija is said to have been brewed in these parts since at least the 14th Century. Bulgaria also happens to be a great place to find roadside grills with hot, smoky, juicy chicken for sale. A great (and cheap) way to fill up while you are (literally) on the road.
8. Beer & Dumplings in Slovakia
Stuffed dumplings in Slovakia resemble perogies but are prepared in a variety of ways – in fact every dumpling I had in Slovakia was called a perogy but served golden, crispy, and with a generous helping of sauerkraut on the side, rather than the soft, cloud-like perogies & sour cream you’ll find in Ukraine. These babies will fill you up, and washed down with some cheap and delicious beer from any of the local breweries, you’ve got a perfectly filling meal for just a few bucks.
9. Vodka & Borscht in Russia
Vodka is like air to Russians – it is simply everywhere, a part of life. You’ll find top-shelf vodkas that will drain your wallet in this huge country, but you can also find cheap brands to sample alongside a cheap & delicious bowl of bright magenta borscht – a sweet & savoury soup made of beets, onions, cabbage, & greens often topped with sour cream & served with sharp rye bread.
10. Guinness & a Meat Pie in Ireland
You simply can’t go to the home of Guinness without sampling a pint o’ the priest. The world’s favourite dark brew is a meal in itself, but if you’re feeling peckish, grab a meat pie or pasty to go with it. Tip: in most Irish pubs, the supply of Guinness can and will disappear long before the dinner hour. Have yours at lunch to avoid disappointment.