Vienna, Budapest and Prague on a Budget this July!
I'm a university student on a budget traveling to Vienna, Budapest and Prague in July. One week in each in Vienna and Budapest and the last two weeks in Prague. All breakfasts are included in my research expedition.
I am looking for inexpensive lunch and dinner destinations, café’s and bars (wine bars, beer gardens) for each city. Late night dining options are a must as well.
I plan on splurging for a few meals in each city and finer dining recommendations would also be appreciated.
While I studied in Budapest, I relied on a terribly inexpensive cafeteria-style restaurant called Főzelék Faló like the wandering Jews relied on manna in the desert. The rather poor quality food is not much of a bargain during the day, however, after eight-thirty every night, in a rush to dispose of the unfinished dishes, they mark everything down by half.
Where are you going to be staying in Budapest? I could point you to an even cheaper destination (the sort-of food court above the market near Móricz Zsigmond körtér) if you're on the Buda side. The price of a meal drops dramatically here, as does the quality, but it's very authentically Hungarian and you'll have the lucky opportunity to fratrenize with the unemployed Budapesters who spend all day sipping cheap wine and lukewarm beer at the pseudo-bars in the food court.
As for late-night options, many of the kabob places tend to stay open late enough to cater to the dolled-up but disheveled previously partying people who'll stumble towards the warm glow of the neon sign and the smell of roasting "meat" on their way home from a mind-numbing, drum and bass-fueled danse party. You can find little convenience stores open 24 hours a day, but typically the grocery stores close pretty early. Actually, I often had trouble finding places that continued running as long as I typically do. Plan ahead.
The "finer dining" establishments most typically recommended on this board differ only minimally from those recommendations you can find in any Budapest guide book. Go to the library and pick up a Lonly Planet - Budapest (which has an hilarious picture on the cover - look for the creepy voyeur concealed in the mist), or it's equivalent. You'll get the same reviews, but with more accurate spellings and addresses.
Eating inexpensively is not difficult in Vienna. There is ample street food of good quality, not only the local hot sausages (Burenwurst), but also Döner Kebap and Falafel and Pizza. There are numerous Chinese restaurants with all-you-can eat buffets, and some are even quite tasty...
Considering Viennese food you can always ask for the next "beisl", were you will get Goulasch, Wiener Schnitzel and othe local specialities.