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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do equivalents of Spain's famed "menu del dia" (a set menu offered on weekdays, usually between 8 and 10 euros, drink, bread, 2 courses, dessert included) exist in other countries? I'm especially wondering about Italy, France, and Germany. This is a great deal for those trying to travel on a budget, especially because the portions are sometimes large enough to fill one up for the rest of the day, and it helps a lot with defeating the exchange rate.
 

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pooh bear
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Well there's Chinese buffets in the US, and in China food is so inexpensive for Americans that you can as much as you want without breaking the bank (except at american fast food restaurants, those are expensive).
 

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As regards Italy, we do have menù del giorno and menù a prezzo fisso but they are not as common as in Spain. There are other chances to have a cheap meal though, such as trattorie, although as a general trend Italy and France are a bit more expensive than Spain.
 

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meow
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Seems to be common in Copenhagen too. But if you want cheap food in DK you should have chinese food. However you may get a bit sick afterwards. :D
 
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Seems to be common in Copenhagen too. But if you want cheap food in DK you should have chinese food. However you may get a bit sick afterwards. :D
In Spain is the same. "El menú del día" costs around 10-15 euros in cheap restaurants. But you can find chinese menu by only 6-7 euros (and you could feel sick after :D ).
 

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Espere verde
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I couldn't eat Chinese food every day. I mean, the menú del día is especially made for workers who can't have lunch at home, so the Chinese restaurants are not a good alternative (unless you're Chinese :D).
 

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You can find similar lunchtime deals at some restaurants in the UK but it's nowhere near as common as in Spain.
 

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♥사랑해요♥
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I couldn't eat Chinese food every day. I mean, the menú del día is especially made for workers who can't have lunch at home, so the Chinese restaurants are not a good alternative (unless you're Chinese :D).
For Chinese either. Mainly because that food sold in chinese restaurants is not the same food chinese eat everyday.

Anyway, Chinese restaurants are some short of "fast food". This stuff of "Menú del Día" have nothing to do with the "fast food" kind of food.

You could be eating everyday in restaurants with "Menú del Día" without getting unhealthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In Spain is the same. "El menú del día" costs around 10-15 euros in cheap restaurants. But you can find chinese menu by only 6-7 euros (and you could feel sick after :D ).
Actually, most places I saw had it between 8 and 11 euros, except on weekends. Some of the Chinese menus were under 6 I think...
 

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spaghetti polonaise
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In Hamburg many restaurants in business areas (incl. city centre) open during lunchtime and offer a "Mittagstisch" which is a limited version of the usual menu card, but with lower prices (5-10 Euro). One menu sometimes includes a drink and or dessert, but is not everywhere the case. Then there are also the asian buffet-restaurants where you can eat as much as you can put on your dish (no refill tough). (4-7 Euro)
And if you are near a university, you can also eat there, which is actually the most economic way to get a warm meal (1,80 - 3,45 Euro student price). As a non-student you just have to pay a surcharge of 1 Euro per meal (Usually german university campuses are open to the general public).
 

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Actually, most places I saw had it between 8 and 11 euros, except on weekends. Some of the Chinese menus were under 6 I think...
The cheapest I had on my recent trip was €5.90 but that one didn't include a starter.

The full starter/main/dessert + bread and wine ranged from €8.50 to €14.

The restaurants here in my home town in the UK that do similar deals range from £5-10 but you don't usually get wine and bread included or if you do get a glass of wine you usually only get a main course dish with it. Chinese and Indian buffets tend to start at around £5 at lunchtime, £10 in the evening and you can have as many plates as you want. They can be good but they can also be bad at this price.
 

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That's what she said
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I remember it used to cost 1000 pesetas (€6) but some months after euro arrived average price jumped suddenly to €10. It is possible to find places for €8 if you know the area though. In my uni it's €4, but it is somehow subsidized.

'Menu del día' is absolutely widespread through the country and only a few restaurants/bars don't offer it during weekdays. It has become even more important in the last years since Spaniards has less time to have lunch (in the past a 2-hours break was usual, so many had lunch at home). It's also typical to receive luncheon vouchers as part of your salary for a limited amount of money.

In Europe, I haven't seen a similar concept. Some locals in Britain and France offered similar menus, but they were not that widespread at all.
 

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^^ No it's not that common here, maybe only 10-20% of restaurants in Shrewsbury offer something similar to 'menu del dia' whereas in Spain it seems more like 90%.

Some pubs offer 2 meals for the price of 1 at lunchtimes but that is no use if you are dining alone and anyway, the food in those places tends to be not too good. Some other restaurants offer a different, cheaper menu at lunchtimes with lighter dishes and more limited choice but you still pay for each individual dish plus extra for drinks.

We never get luncheon vouchers here (or at least i've never heard of it) and we only get 30-60 minutes for lunch so eating in restaurants is not that common unless it's a business meeting paid for on expenses or something similar. Most people buy a sandwich or salad or something like that which they eat in the office or in the park if it's nice weather and they have their main meal of the day at home in the evenings. Some people bring their own lunch to work that they have made at home.

To be honest it was only the 'menu del dia' concept that I found to be cheap in Spain at the current exchange rate of £1=€1.25, eating 'a la carte' in the evenings in the same restaurants was no cheaper than I am used to at home (although wine to drink with the meal was much cheaper).
 

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We never get luncheon vouchers here (or at least i've never heard of it) and we only get 30-60 minutes for lunch so eating in restaurants is not that common unless it's a business meeting paid for on expenses or something similar. Most people buy a sandwich or salad or something like that which they eat in the office or in the park if it's nice weather and they have their main meal of the day at home in the evenings. Some people bring their own lunch to work that they have made at home.
Right. It was a bit shocking to me to see people on suits eating while walking or in parks. Here, 1 hour break is a must and it's still 2 hours in some jobs (something which annoys me, cause you consequently finish really late). Luncheon vouchers are extremely common and offices pretty often make deals with restaurants in the surroundings.

To be honest it was only the 'menu del dia' concept that I found to be cheap in Spain at the current exchange rate of £1=€1.25, eating 'a la carte' in the evenings in the same restaurants was no cheaper than I am used to at home (although wine to drink with the meal was much cheaper).
Geez. That rate seems to be harmful. It was £1=€1.5 when I was there just 10 months ago. I cannot imagine the situation for Americans...
 

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Right. It was a bit shocking to me to see people on suits eating while walking or in parks. Here, 1 hour break is a must and it's still 2 hours in some jobs (something which annoys me, cause you consequently finish really late). Luncheon vouchers are extremely common and offices pretty often make deals with restaurants in the surroundings.

Geez. That rate seems to be harmful. It was £1=€1.5 when I was there just 10 months ago. I cannot imagine the situation for Americans...
£1=€1.50 was no good for our tourism industry, it made the UK one of the most expensive places in Europe along with Scandinavia and Switzerland. Now at €1.25, I think we are very similar in terms of cost to places like France, Germany, Netherlands etc and not much more costly than Spain so it is probably a more realistic rate I think.

I'm quite lucky, I work flexible hours so if the weather is bad and I have nothing I want to do at lunchtime I can take 30 minutes only for a sandwich and go home early but if I am meeting a friend for lunch or if I want to sit in the sun in the park or do some shopping, I can take 2 hours and finish later.
 

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At my uni a full meal used to cost 2.50€ three or four years ago, and since it was open to the general public you would have met all the local skinflints. :crazy:

Besides most university canteens over here have a full kitchen rather than warming up precooked food, so they are definitely a good choice if your budget is tight. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The cheapest I had on my recent trip was €5.90 but that one didn't include a starter.

The full starter/main/dessert + bread and wine ranged from €8.50 to €14.

The restaurants here in my home town in the UK that do similar deals range from £5-10 but you don't usually get wine and bread included or if you do get a glass of wine you usually only get a main course dish with it. Chinese and Indian buffets tend to start at around £5 at lunchtime, £10 in the evening and you can have as many plates as you want. They can be good but they can also be bad at this price.
If you're going to get into buffets, they are very common in Chinese and Indian restaurants here too. The last time I checked one had a buffet for $8.95 and the other for $8.50; this excluded drinks (other than tap water, which is free), sales tax (almost never included in any prices here, other than for gas), and the tip for the waiter (generally less when it's a buffet and they don't have to work as much). Generally, I prefer getting Indian take-out, which is considerably more expensive here for just one dish than getting a buffet, because the buffet food here is so mild as to be, well, not too good. I haven't eaten at a Chinese buffet for a very long time but I recall they were very cheap, maybe $7? There's also a Thai buffet here, but it's expensive, like right around $10, and not that great. Finally, there's the "Old Country Buffet", which is a chain serving a big buffet and nothing else all day. I used to love going there when I was a little kid. The food quality isn't that bad (nor do I think most would say it's excellent), but the variety is excellent: everything from pretty much any meat to pastas / macaroni / etc. to a salad bar to ice cream and cakes. There must be about 30 different choices. I can't find the price but I'm guessing it's about $13 / person now, all the pop (soda, refresco) or coffee / milk you want from the tap included. Bet you can't beat that :) It's very popular with old people.
 

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At my uni a full meal used to cost 2.50€ three or four years ago, and since it was open to the general public you would have met all the local skinflints. :crazy:

Besides most university canteens over here have a full kitchen rather than warming up precooked food, so they are definitely a good choice if your budget is tight. :D
At the restaurant for employees in Barcelona Airport, menú del día:

-In 2001: 500 pesetas, so 3 euros.
-In 2002: 5 euros.
-In 2008: 8 euros approx.
:eek2:
 
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