Tag Archives: cheap eats
December 21, 2012

Prague – Travels with my Mum, Part III


Belatedly, after a few technical glitches with WP, I am glad to present Emma’s third and final chapter of her great Euro backpacking adventure with her Mum. Save the best for the last….the grand finale is in Prague, the ultimate European backpacking destination.

If you missed , here is the first and second part of Sparky’s travels with her mum.


Seven days in to our ten-day Euro trip, I was sure Mum was ready for the big one: Prague. The ultimate European backpacking destination, with a thriving nightlife, plenty of culture and lots to see and do, I was hoping my finale would really impress my once reluctant travel buddy.

I’d booked three nights at Hostel Marabou (Konevova 738/55), which at CZK300 (about £9) a night, was an absolute steal. What I’d failed to mention, was that it was a 14-bed dorm…


We’d flown from Cologne to Prague with German Wings for €75 each, the biggest expenditure of our whole trip.


First stop of course, was Charles Bridge. Over 500 years old, this stone bridge connecting the old town to the portion of Prague on the other side of the Vltava river is a cobbled path to history, which is incredibly atmospheric at dusk, or so I hear. Unfortunately we chose to arrive at around 11am, prime tourist time, and the crowds and buskers were out in force.


I found Prague on the whole incredibly touristy. I’m not sure I saw one local on the streets, except for a shady looking nine-year-old boy on the lookout for unsuspecting fools to pickpocket. Nevertheless, we battled through the throngs of sightseers as we headed towards Prague Castle, stopping for a delicious, warming goulash in a bowl of bread on the way (Kč100 – our cheapest lunch yet).

The castle was beautiful, more of a sprawling collection of buildings in various architectural styles than the British castles I know, all overlooking the expanse of city below.

Tickets cost Kč250.




As we descended, the heavens opened. Time for a mad dash to the nearest museum! The Kafka museum is a must-see for any deep and dark literature-lovers. It just so happened that I had been studying a writer influenced by Kafka’s works, so I was keen to check it out. It was hands down one of the most engaging, well laid-out exhibitions I’ve ever been to. Even if you haven’t read The Trial, the life of this talented yet troubled man is documented so well you’ll be eager to find out more.

Entry cost Kč 120.

So, after a very cultured day, we returned to our dorm, which had – unfortunately for my mum – morphed into a nightclub for its residents.

A sleepless night led to a tired and fed up mama, so we decided to relocate to a twin-room in St Christopher’s (Odboru 4, 12000, Praha 2, Kč2000 per night) – nothing like a little luxury to treat ourselves at the end of our trip!

For the last day or two we soaked in some more of what Prague had to offer, including the Torture Museum (scary stuff) and the Lennon Wall (inspirational). I was a little bothered by the crowds, but Prague’s appeal still shone through the mobs of camera wielding sight-seers (of which, I realise I was one). I’d like to go again in the winter time, as I’m sure it would incredibly romantic.



And just like that, my travels with Mum were over. I’m not sure she’d do it again – hostels aren’t quite her thing – but we had a fantastic time and at least she can rest knowing her itchy-footed daughter can look after herself when it comes to travel. I think we’ll be sticking with spa-breaks from now on, and I’ll save the backpacking for my friends!



October 8, 2012

Cheap eats Edinburgh: Wagamama





Fresh, fast and very tasty food- Wagamama  has been a welcome addition to Edinburgh’s culinary scene.

I thought I’d share with you all a recent review of my visit there.


Reservations are recommended especially on weekends-when I arrived for my Friday night slot there was a fairly large queue.

Nice ambience- dining is a fast food communal setting where you are rubbing shoulders with strangers.

However the food is so good here, you won’t be naval gazing too long.


Wagamama experience- Starts with a chilled, super dry Asahi beer.



Food service was snappy.

Our waiter was very attentive and happy to give his suggestions.

For waga virgins like me, this was perfect.

Starters we were had a plate of each of their popular Gyoza and Ebi gyoza- a seafood variant of the gyoza.

Originating in China, gyoza has become a staple dish in Japan.

It’s reflective of the broad Asian menu you can savour in Wagamama where you eat everything from Japanese, Chinese to Thai, Korean cuisine.

Steamed and then grilled lightly to give it a nice crispy edge and stuffed with chicken and veggies, the Gyoza (£5.25 )was great, complemented nicely with a choice of chilli, garlic, sesame and soy sauce.

Washed down with a nice chilled of super dry Asahi beer ( Large £5.25 )- was perfect.

Very addictive.

One plate is never enough!


Wagamama Edinburgh: Great experience- Ebi Raisakuree , Chilli Squid and Gyoza was awesome



On the recommendation of our waiter, we tried the chilli squid ( £5.55 ).

Deep fried in a light batter and seasoned with sea salt + shichimi and an awesome chilli, garlic coriander sauce for dipping them in-wow, a real tasty dish.
The good food keeps coming,

Next up is another Wagamama signature dish called Ebi Raisukuree ( £10.85) King prawns in a coconut and lime curry sauce with ginger, chillies, coriander, red and green peppers, red onions and mangetout. This was quite fragrant, very spicy and delicious.

By this time I must admit, I am a bit stuffed.

No good meal is complete without dessert.

I go for the White Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake ( £4.95 )with a chilli toffee ginger sauce.
Good decision- one of the best cheesecakes I’ve had for a long time.

I wasn’t too keen on the Deep Fried sweet ginger and apple gyoza with vanilla custard (£4.10) – I prefer the gyoza the authentic way.

I waddle out of Wagamama with a stuffed belly and a happy heart- I will be back definitely.

Next time I am keen to try their famous ramen noodles in soup and katsu curry.

Menu prices are pretty reasonable with main not more than the £12 mark.

Highly recommend!



1 Castle Terrace (on the corner with Lothian Road)
Edinburgh, EH1 2DP.

July 30, 2012

Cheap Eats Guide to Cardiff


Cheap Eat Guides: Discover cheap eats from across the world, every Monday on the BudgetTraveller


Our second serving of awesome cheap eats across the world comes from Cardiff ( if you missed, here is last week’s cheap eats guide to London by Steve Lowy) –  thanks to London based food/travel writer- Sophie Rae.



When not eating she can be found planning her next meal. 

Find her recipes and ramblings at anythingbuthungry.blogspot.co.uk or follow her via twitter @muffintops88



Wales’ capital city Cardiff plays host to some of the most incredible attractions; from the majestic castle and plethora of shops to the historical arcades with their hidden gems.

The heart of the city centre is a bustling hub of welsh life with welcoming faces ready to help make the most of your visit. So tuck in…



Crumbs Kitchen


Crumbs Kitchen, Cardiff

Crumbs Kitchen, Cardiff


Freshly made in store are the infamous mountainous bowls of colourful salads, as popular today as when it first opened 41 years ago.

Relax upstairs in the ‘quiet room’ with free WiFi while you tuck into tasty handmade deep filled pies, gluten free soups and spicy chilli.

Salads start from £3.70

33 Morgan Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1AF


10 Feet Tall


Best cocktails in Cardiff

10 feet Tall


For the best cocktails and tapas in the city, head to this chilled out 3 storey bar. Nestled amongst the leather sofas and antique furnishings, friendly staff share their knowledge of what treats are on offer.

After dark the basement turns into a nightclub to dance the night away.

Open till 4am.

Top tip: Sign up for an ‘Eat, Beats & Treats’ Loyalty Card for discounts and promotions

2 meals for £10 or 3 tapas for £7.95

11a-12 Church St, Cardiff, CF10 1BG



Best italian in Cardiff Giovanni's

Giovanni’s, Cardiff


Established in 1983, this Italian family run business offers the chance to taste the classics done well.

Tempt your palette with delicate Carpaccio di mazo, insalata caprese andhandmade ravioli.

If the sun’s shining, make the most with the outside courtyard.

Just sit back and relax with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio. Buon Appetito!


Mains start from £7.95

38, The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1AJ


Ashton’s Fishmonger


fishmonger cardiff

Ashton’s , Cardiff


Proudly sitting on the edge of the historic Cardiff Central Market, Ashton’s offers the best fresh fish in the City.

Pick up a pot of locally sourced cockles, whelks, muscles or prawns, grab a crusty baguette from a nearby bakery stall and hop on down to Cardiff Bay, to eat your delicious catch while watching the ships come into harbour.

Pots start from £1.79 per 100g

Central Market, Cardiff, CF10 1AU


The New York Deli


new york deli cardiff

New York Deli, Cardiff


Voted ‘Best Sandwich Bar in Cardiff’ for the last 2 year running, this place has it all.

Choose from sandwiches on light rye, bagels, hot grinders and the acclaimed hoagies stuffed to the brim with British sourced ingredients. Students even get 10% discount with a valid NUS card.

Open 7 days a week

Bagels start from £3.20

19 High St Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1QR


December 9, 2011

Budget Eats in Florence: Snack Bar Anna





Snack Bar Anna, Florence


Situated in heart of Firenze in Via de’ Ginori is a great wee snack bar called Bar Anna.

I was drifting around Florence with fellow travel blogger/amigo  Melvin aka Traveldudes  looking for a bite to eat to help soak up our hangover :)

It looks quite simple from the outside.

Inside you are greeted by owners Stefano and Anna who are some of the friendliest Florentines you will meet.

The bar does a brisk over the counter services- their homemade bagels are their speciality plus they also do a range of tasty sandwiches.


Sandwich- Spicy salami, aubergines grilled with a dollop of ketchup-yum!



I plumped for a filling of spicy salami with aubergines and dollop of ketchup, grilled in between some delcious focaccia bread.

They have a small back room where you can eat at no extra cost.

The coffee here is excellent and would recommend.

My sandwich plus Cafe Latte came to just 4 euros- bargain!!

Highly recommend.


Snack bar Anna

Via de’ Ginori, 26-red  50129 Florence, Italy

November 9, 2011

Budget eats in Rotterdam : Bazar





Rotterdam has a fantastic, diverse multi-ethnic community which means when it comes to food, its a treasure trove of really tasty and cheap foodie treats.





For hearty, good honest tasty food to help line your stomach before begining your clubbing festivities head to the North African diner, Bazar.


As the name suggest, you walk into a colourful food joint that is chaotic, bags full of character and stylish interior decor, brimming with diners and awesome food smells that evokes the feeling of being in some crazy bazaar in the East.


Its perfectly situated right in the hub of Rotterdam’s thriving bar scene on Witte de Withstraat.

On the menu you can findup a fantastic range of fusion fare- my top recommendations here is the Royal Persian Lamb- a steamed dish of lamb, chickpeas and almonds served with rice and salad.

Cost: 11 euros.


Tavuk Sis Kebab, Bazar. Lip smacking and very tasty!



The kebabs are sensational here too- Go for the Tavuk Sis Kebab:  Tender Chicken Fillets marinated in yoghurt and saffron, served with rice, curry mayonaise, haydari and salad.

Cost: 12.50 euros

Finish your meal with some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or homemade Baklava which costs 3.75 euros.

Portions sizes are fit for any royal banquet. Awesome place.


Witte de WithStraat 16.



My trip to Rotterdam was courtesy of Eurolines and Visit Holland

Big thank you to Carly from Eurolines, Erica and Rianne from Visit Holland and last but not least, Kim Heinen from Rotterdam Tourism Board for a great trip!

About Eurolines and Visit Holland

Eurolines is Europe’s largest scheduled coach operator and they run daily services from London Victoria to Rotterdam from £39 return. For an extra £15 return you can connect to any National Express coach service from England, Scotland or Wales.

All Eurolines fares include tax, baggage allowance and booking fee and all coaches are modern with air conditioning and more legroom than budget airlines.

For more information please visit: www.eurolines.co.uk  or call 08717 818181


For more information about clubbing in Rotterdam and Holland check out www.hollandclubbing.com

For general information avout visiting Holland, please visit www.holland.com






August 17, 2011

Cheap Eats: Berlin -Amrit, Kreuzberg




Berlin is blessed with a hive of excellent budget eateries but the Ind0-Singapore diner Amrit in Kreuzberg has to be one of the best deals in town.

Their lunch meny offer of 2 courses for 4 euros is super value for money.

Starter I got a lemongrass infused spicy tomato soup with crispy naan bread -wow, amazing flavours.

Mains- I tucked into a delicious lamb curry served with an awesome salad and thai jasmine rice.

Highly recommend on your next visit to Berlin!



Oranienstrasse 202 / 204 | Kreuzberg