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New study reveals top European cities for dining out: from cheapest to most expensive

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New data unveils that Istanbul is the most affordable city in Europe to eat out. St. Petersburg and Budapest follow closely behind as the second and third cheapest cities for eating at a restaurant. Oslo, Copenhagen and Bergen are the most expensive European cities for restaurant dining. London ranks as Europe’s fifth most expensive city for dining out.

Istanbul offers the most affordable dining out experience in Europe in 2021, a new study reveals. The study carried out by Maxima Kitchen Equipment, examined the top cities in Europe to discover the cheapest and most expensive places to dine out using data on the cost of living from Expatistan and Numbeo.  

The analysis was based on the price of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, the price of a meal at a mid-range restaurant, the cost of a lunchtime meal, the cost of a pub dinner and the price of a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant.  

The study reported that Turkey’s largest city Istanbul, is the most affordable city to eat at a restaurant with the average cost of 17.42 euros for two people to dine out. The Turkish city offers many low-budget dining experiences, topping the lists for mid-range meal, lunchtime meal and pub dinner to make it the cheapest city in Europe. 

St. Petersburg is the second cheapest city to dine out in Europe with an average cost for two totalling 21.60 euros. The Russian city provides a variety of low-priced restaurant options including pubs. However, the average price to eat at a mid-range restaurant is 30.10 euros, 10.90 euros more than Istanbul, making it the second cheapest city in Europe.  

Budapest placed as the third cheapest city to eat out in Europe, costing only 22.50 euros for two people. The Hungarian capital also topped the list as the cheapest place to eat a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant with an average cost of 31 euros for two people. 

Top 10 cheapest cities in Europe for eating out 

City 

Average cost for a meal at an inexpensive meal for two 

Average cost for a meal at a mid-range meal for two 

Average cost for a lunchtime meal for two 

Average cost for a pub dinner for two 

Average cost for a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant for two 

Total average cost to dine out for two 

Istanbul 

€7.70 

€19.20 

€8.20 

€15 

€37 

€17.42 

St. Petersburg 

€13.30 

€30.10 

€8.60 

€16 

€40 

€21.60 

Budapest 

€12.80 

€34.70 

€14 

€20 

€31 

€22.50 

Kiev 

€12.40 

€26.30 

€12 

€16 

€49 

€23.14 

Prague 

€11.80 

€35.40 

€14 

€21 

€44 

€25.24 

Lisbon 

€19.80 

€40 

€18 

€28 

€43 

€29.76 

Moscow 

€19.30 

€36.20 

€12 

€25 

€66 

€31.70 

Naples 

€20 

€50 

€22 

€27 

€51 

€34 

Dubrovnik 

€27.90 

€70 

€18 

€24 

€40 

€35.98 

Athens 

€20 

€40 

€32 

€36 

€52 

€36 

 

In contrast, Oslo topped the list as the most expensive European city to enjoy a meal out with an average cost of €66.48 for two, almost 400% higher than the average cost in Istanbul.  

Norway hosts two of the top three most expensive cities (Oslo and Bergen) for dining out which could be attributed to the country’s high monthly net salary average of 3,068 euros compared to Turkey’s average monthly net salary of 346 euros.  

Copenhagen ranks as the second most expensive city in Europe for eating at a restaurant with an average of €63 for two. It has the second highest cost for a meal at a mid-range meal, costing €94.10, only 4.80 euros less than Oslo. 

London comes in at fifth with a total average cost to dine out for two at 53.82 euros. Other top UK cities include Manchester which ranks as the 14th most expensive city in Europe with an average cost of 45.22 euros for two, with the Scottish capital city Edinburgh following closely behind as the 18th most expensive city at 42.80 euros for two people eating out.  

Commenting on the study, a spokesperson from Maxima said: “Since the amber list has been scrapped, holiday makers are more eager than ever to start booking trips to Europe. Dining out and local cuisine are undeniably important factors when selecting a destination, so this research provides good guidance on which city is most cost-effective for food fans”. 

The analysis was conducted by Maxima Kitchen Equipment, which has more than 40 years of experience in the supply and maintenance of professional kitchen equipment.

Top 10 most expensive cities in Europe for eating out 

City 

Average cost for a meal at an inexpensive meal for two 

Average cost for a meal at a mid-range meal for two 

Average cost for a lunchtime meal for two 

Average cost for a pub dinner for two 

Average cost for a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant for two 

Total average cost to dine out for two 

Oslo 

€38.50 

€98.90 

€40 

€55 

€100 

€66.48 

Copenhagen 

€34.90 

€94.10 

€26 

€50 

€110 

€63 

Bergen 

€38.50 

€81.10 

€34 

€49 

€85 

€57.52 

Helsinki 

€25 

€80 

€24 

€49 

€94 

€54.40 

London 

€35.40 

€70.70 

€30 

€46 

€87 

€53.82 

Milan 

€30 

€70 

€30 

€42 

€90 

€52.40 

Stockholm 

€23.70 

€79 

€22 

€43 

€87 

€50.94 

Paris 

€30 

€60 

€34 

€51 

€78 

€50.60 

Edinburgh 

€35.40 

€70.70 

€32 

€44 

€69 

€50.22 

Brussels 

€30 

€60 

€32 

€49 

€72 

€48.60 

 
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