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When you’re on a budget, every little expense counts when you are taking a vacation. You don’t want to go over budget, but you also don’t want to have to pack brown bag lunches while you’re supposed to be relaxing, either. Thankfully we’ve got you covered…there are many US cities out there that provide good quality food and adventure but are also on the cheaper end too.
For this list, we’ll be looking at US cities that offer these cheap foods, but we are also ranking them in terms of affordability. What we mean by this is we’ll also consider what other cities provide outside of just the food. For example, Washington DC doesn’t cut our list because while there are many affordable places to go, food is way up there and is ranked one of the least affordable cities around.
- Kansas City, MO It’s one of the few cities around that has both low hotel prices AND cheap eats. You can save a lot of money on it when you look at some of the restaurants. Among them, the cheapest item goes to Danny Edwards’ Boulevard BBQ. They have a classic “burnt ends” sandwich priced at $5.99.
- Nashville, TN Renowned for its locavore-friendly food scene, this city is packed with burger joints, cafés, and microbrews. Because of this, there is a lot of local talent around giving you the opportunity to tour the place and enjoy performances. The cheapest item that was spotted was at the Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden. It’s got some wacky and creative toppings such as wasabi aioli, “beer gravy”, and stroganoff béchamel, however, their local-beef burgers run as low as $7.
- San Antonio, Texas The big reason it’s made our list is because of the number of free attractions that are around the area. There’s, of course, the Alamo along with five historic missions as well. What is also good to note is that San Antonio has been working on being eco-friendly–which is rather progressive for this southern state. For this city, it’s advised to go during cooler months, ideally around Christmas as the city provides some of their cheapest foods called tamales around this time.
- Minneapolis, MN Around the area, there are 20 lakes and well over 200 miles of biking and walking trails. In other words, if you want to explore the city or go outside city limits and get outdoorsy, there are plenty of options. What is also good to know is that this town is also recognized for their brainy, offbeat locals. In short, that means there is a lot of places that are affordable and fun things to do. One particular place is Bryant Lake Bowl’s weekly Cheap Date Night which for $28 total gets you a dinner for two, a bottle of wine, along with a game of bowling.
- Memphis, TN This city made the top five on our list due to the plethora of street performers. There’s so many that you can listen to a lot of free music while indulging in the city’s culinary scene. Of particular note is the city’s WPA-built Levitt Shell, where you can take in a local show for free. Venture out for the city’s plethora of finger-friendly gourmet food. Going over to Hog & Hominy you can get a duck sausage with brussels sprouts slaw, or even a mortadella corn dog for less than $10 each!