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5 Cheap Flights From Dublin That Lead To Great Food

Summer is finally upon us and 2022 marks the first time in far, far too long that most of us will be able to get out of Ireland and enjoy the multitude of regional cuisines that Europe has to offer. However with the cost of flights shooting up for the months ahead, it takes work to pick out the most affordable escapes - and that’s exactly what we’re here for. We’ve trawled through the summer schedule to scope out the most affordable must-visit destinations so you don’t have to, and here it is: the All the Food guide to five of the best, cheapest food trips you can book out of Dublin this summer. Happy holidays...

(All of these flights were found on Skyscanner and fly with Ryanair)

Basque Country, Spain (From €34, May)

We’re cheating a bit by flying into Santander, actually part of the neighbouring Cantabria province, but it’s Dublin’s quickest gateway to one of Europe’s very best food escapes. Known for its pintxos, little tapas-like dishes served on sliced baguettes, the Basque country is best enjoyed by bar-hopping, sniffing out the various little specialties that give one unassuming little joint a unique edge over the next.

Start by getting a bus to Bilbao, the region’s biggest city known for its bustling nightlife and the striking Guggenheim museum, and making your way to the Erribera (or La Ribera) Market, home to a handful of great stalls offering a crash course in the pleasure of pintxos, from gildas and gambas to angulas and bacalao. We recommend a short afternoon roundtrip northward to the beautiful village of Getxo, where the coke-and-wine cocktail kalimotxo first appeared - it’s been a firm favourite of Basque culture ever since.

Guggenheim Museum

The ultimate Basque destination for food lovers is of course San Sebastian, the city with the most Michelin stars per capita in the world. If you can spring for it, the three-starred Arzak is rightly regarded as one of the best restaurants on Earth, but there’s plenty of budget-friendly fare available from Bar Txepetxa’s famous anchovies to Ganbara’s wild mushroom and egg yolk plate, and any amount of incredible produce in between.

Arzak ( © Ronan Doyle)

Anchovies at Txepetxa / Wild mushrooms & egg yolk at Ganbara (© Ronan Doyle)

On the drinks front, don’t miss the txakoli wine and regional specialty cider while you’re here, or take a short hike up Mount Ulia for a kalimotxo and sunset combo you’re never likely to forget.

(© Ronan Doyle)

Feeling spontaneous? You can fly from Dublin to Santander this Sunday until Wednesday for €34. How's that for tempting...

Toulouse, France (From €59, June)

Despite being France’s fourth-biggest city, Toulouse is easily explored on foot - good news given the sheer volume of pastries, cheese, soups and stews you’ll be needing to work off over a visit here.

Get fuelled up for a long day of sightseeing with beautifully buttery breakfasts from the wide choice of patisseries dotted all over town - Sandyan and especially Antoine Fornara are must-visits for their range of gorgeous galettes, macarons and chocolatines (don't even thinking of calling them pain au chocolat, unless you want a stern look from locals).

Antoine Fornara

Spend the day staring up at the architecture of “the pink city” to work up an appetite for Toulouse’s most famously hearty dish: cassoulet, a slow-cooked stew of beans, bacon and (in its most traditional form) duck confit. Canard is one word you’ll be seeing a lot of here, featuring in many local specialty dishes all across the city, not least of all the foie gras typical of the wider Occitane region.

Maison du Cassoulet (© Lisa Cope)

We know what you’re thinking: what about the wine!? Reds from the nearby Languedoc-Roussillon region are perfect for a lot of this food, but it’s the south of France we’re talking about here: it’s all great, and so cheap compared to Dublin that you definitely won’t want to come home. Get a lot more tips from our full write-up on where to eat and drink in Toulouse here.

No. 5 Wine Bar

At the time of publishing we found flights at the end of June for four nights for under €60.

Puglia, Italy (from €57, October)

“The heel of the boot” may be among the poorest of the twenty regioni d’Italia, but the same can’t be said for its food culture. The seafood-heavy takes on classic Italian cucina povera (“poor cooking”) to be found along the south-eastern coastline are rich, heavy, and so satisfying.


Fly into Bari, whose old town Centro Storico offers up an ideal base to explore the region with plenty of picturesque apartments dotted along its winding, cobbled streets. Unmissable is the via dell’Arco Basso, a narrow residential street where an army of grandmothers sell fresh-rolled orecchiette - the “little ear” pasta shape closely associated with the city - by the bagful from stalls set up at their kitchen windows

It’s on the menu everywhere too: for a particularly indulgent twist try the squid ink-infused iteration in nearby La Tana del Polpo. If you like the house special octopus salad, it’s just another short stroll down to the pier where you can see the catch landed every morning, and enjoy oysters and urchins fresh out of the water.

La Tana del Polpo, Bari

While car rental offers a bit more freedom to explore inland sights like the Instagram-ready Alberobello, regular train lines along the coast make it easy to explore a string of towns and cities from Polignano a Mare and its picture-postcard beach right down through to “the Florence of the South”, Lecce.

Lecce (© Ronan Doyle)

Make sure to get off for a pitstop in the white hilltop city of Ostuni, where a winding walk from the station up through the intoxicating smell of olive groves guarantees an appetite on arrival.

Ostuni (© Ronan Doyle)

At the time of publishing we found flights in mid-October for under €57 for 7 nights.

Lisbon & Porto, Portugal (From €105, June)

Fast emerging as one of Europe’s hottest food destinations, Portugal boasts a wealth of incredible produce from land to sea, seen nowhere more clearly than its seafood. From its long history as a naval power the country has developed some of the continent’s best preserved fish, from the salt cod you’ll see everywhere around Lisbon to the ubiquitous tinned sardines that make a perfect memento.

Douro Valley, Timeout Market Lisbon, Conservas

June is a great time to arrive in the capital with the two-day Santo Antonio festival celebrating the city’s fishy heritage—barbecued sardines are a must.

Barbecued sardines

For food on the fly, stop by the Mercado de Ribeira, renovated in 2014 to include an enormous Time Out Market food court offering an ideal intro to local delicacies. And don’t leave Lisbon without a visit to Pastéis de Belém for the OG custard tarts: if only the ones cropping up all over Dublin now tasted like this.

A couple of days up north in Porto are a must for any trip, not just as a gateway to the Duoro valley’s many wine tastings and tours. Pack a picnic at the Bolhão market or the Mercearie das Flores before spending a day on the beach. Swimming should build up enough of an appetite to take on the monstrous Francesinha, Porto’s infamous many-meats sandwich drowning in melted cheese and a beer-based sauce - a little like a croque monsieur, with a vengeance. If there’s any room left, a sweet glass of port is the perfect nightcap before the inevitable food coma.

Francesinha, Café Santiago

At the time of publishing we found flights to Lisbon for two nights for €105.

Slovenia (Via Zagreb, from €65, September)

Less a quick weekend getaway than a cross-country journey, a trip to Slovenia may involve the most effort of anywhere on this list, but believe us it’s worth it for this fulfilling food pilgrimage - to date the only entire country to be named a European Region of Gastronomy. The best route from Dublin is a direct flight to Zagreb, and a two-hour train to the capital Ljubljana. It’s a conveniently central base to reach much of Slovenia, easily explored at just under a third the size of Ireland.

Lake Bled

nd Farm-to-fork is a major way of life here with game and mushrooms the real specialties; aplenty of the same great produce as neighbouring Italy available for a far lower price - you can expect to enjoy more truffles than you’ve ever eaten before.

Truffles, Slovenia

If you really fancy going all-out, book a table at Hiša Franko in Kobarid, the two Michelin-starred restaurant headed up by Ana Ros, who’s previously been named the world’s best female chef and was featured in Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

Hiša Franko

Must-visit day trip sites include the stunning shores of Lake Bled, where you can enjoy Bled’s own Kremna Rezina cream cake, hikes along the emerald green Soča river, and tours in any of the country’s many wineries.

Slovenia has also become a low-key leader in European wine in the last decade (you might have tried Roka, made in the country by an Irish couple and increasingly popular in restaurants here), with a major focus on biodynamic bottles - the excellent orange wines are not to be missed.

We found flights from Dublin to Zagreb in September for €71. Return trains to Ljubljana start at €50.


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