Inside every budget traveller lies a secret gourmet. Lucky, then, that some of Asia’s finest food is served for discount prices down on the street.

Tempted? Tickle your taste buds with this sample from our new title, The Best Things in Life Are Free.

Mouth-watering pork, mouth-watering prices © momo / CC 2.0
Mouth-watering pork, mouth-watering prices

Warung Ibu Oka – Bali

If you thought suckling pig was just for 16th-century monarchs, think again. In Indonesia, roast babi guling is food for the people, and Warung Ibu Oka serves roast-pork plates for rupiah-saving prices.

Jl Suweta, Ubud, Bali; 10am-4pm; mains from 50,000Rp.

Sri Sagar – India

The south-Indian dosa (crepe) is a way of life, and Bengaluru’s were voted best in the world. It’s worth braving the queues for Sri Sagar’s thick benne dosa (butter dosa).

Margosa Rd, Malleswaram, Bengaluru; 7am-9pm; dosas from Rs30.

Joo Hooi Cafe, George Town, Penang © Peter Morgan / CC 2.0
Joo Hooi Cafe, George Town, Penang

Joo Hooi Cafe – Malaysia

Penang without laksa is like Batman without Robin. When trawling George Town for this hawker treat, swing into Joo Hooi for one of the island’s best bowls.

Cnr Jln Penang & Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town; 11am-5pm; mains from RM3.

Talat Chang Pheuak night market – Thailand

Chiang Mai gourmands head straight for the night markets. At Talat Chang Pheuak, the Cowboy Lady’s stall serves the finest kôw kăh mŏo (stewed pork leg with rice) in the north.

Th Mani Nopharat, Chiang Mai; 5pm-midnight; dishes from 30B.

Sushi's a must in Tokyo – but it doesn't have to break the bank © Bex Walton / CC 2.0
Sushi's a must in Tokyo – but it doesn't have to break the bank

Daiwa Sushi – Japan

Sampling sushi at source is de rigueur on a trip to Tokyo, and sashimi is sliced straight from the day’s catch at Daiwa Sushi, where set-menu lunches are ocean-fresh and (by Tokyo standards) friendly on the pocket.

Bldg 6, 5-2-1 Tsukiji Chūō-ku, Tokyo; 5am-1.30pm Mon-Sat; sushi sets from ¥3500.

Kimly – Cambodia

Kep-sur-Mer was where Cambodia’s colonial masters came to feast on the finest crabs in the Mekong Delta; the French are gone, but the crabs remain, served an incredible 27 ways at this veteran seafood restaurant by the Crab Market.

Crab Market, Kep; 9am-10pm; dishes from US$2.50.

Don't pay a high sum for your dim sum © Greg Elms / Getty Images
Don't pay a high sum for your dim sum © Greg Elms / Getty Images

Lin Heung Tea House – Hong Kong

Finding discount dim sum is a challenge in Hong Kong, but Wellington St’s Lin Heung is as old school as they come: steamers on trollies, sulky service and delicious, inexpensive dim sum that makes it all worthwhile.

160-164 Wellington St, Hong Kong; 6am-11pm, dim sum to 3.30pm; from HK$12.

Nasi Kandar Pelita, Kuala Lumpur © Zuki / CC 2.0
Nasi Kandar Pelita, Kuala Lumpur

Nasi Kandar Pelita – Malaysia

Malaysia gets a double dip thanks to its fabulous Mamak hawker food; at Nasi Kandar Pelita, a meal of exquisite roti canai (fried flatbread with daal and chicken curry) will set you back pennies.

149 Jln Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 24hr, RM2-8.

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