I'll, hopefully, be going to Fairfield, CT (from Trinidad and Tobago) next month with my wife, a 2yo and a 9mo.

What's a reasonable amount of money to budget per day for somewhat healthy (or home-style) food for the 4 of us?

If were to spend a day in Manhattan, how much should I budget for the same kind of food?

Edit (covers Karlson's questions about the question):

1. You need to know where you will be shopping if you cook at home. 2. Are you talking about restaurants?

I'll be staying at a hotel, so cooking is not an option. That pretty much covers both questions.

3. What does somewhat healthy mean to you?

Anything that's fast food I assume is not healthy, hence I mentioned "Home Style" food on the original question. Anything that makes a reasonably balanced meal I consider healthy food. eg rice + veggies + grilled chicken.

  • 3
    There is no real way to determine that. 1. You need to know where you will be shopping if you cook at home. 2. Are you talking about restaurants? 3. What does somewhat healthy mean to you? Once those are answered you can come up with somewhat reasonable guides otherwise budgeting is impossible.
    – Karlson
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 14:43
  • there ya go. It was my mistakes for assuming people knew what kind of food is healthy and what not, or not being more specific about staying in a hotel without a kitchenette in the room
    – rantsh
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 16:31
  • Where in Fairfield are you staying? It covers a somewhat diverse area plus a meaning of "Home Style" in the US means something completely different then your example. :)
    – Karlson
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 16:35
  • Fairfield inn (around the circle?, on the circle? can't remember the exact name of the hotel), on post road.
    – rantsh
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 16:46
  • 2
    As for your original question, please remember that everyone travels differently. Some live on the cheapest food they can find, while others travel extravagantly, trying classy restaurants, and others cook in hostels. This is why asking for a food expense budget needs to be very specific, and include all the details about how you travel/eat - which is why Karlson was asking those questions.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


Ok. Based on your location there are a few places within a walking distance.

  • Circle Diner (website no longer works)
  • Bangalore which might be good for lunch but will run $30pp for Dinner for adults.
  • The King and I which may be decent.

But you can look at Yelp for the reviews.

When it comes to Manhattan there are options galore. I will give you some of the better chains, but you can probably find a lot of other small restaurants on Menupages that will suit your fancy but here goes:

And the list goes on and on and on.

There are also a lot of places not part of the chain like Cafe Duke which have a hot/cold food bar as well as other possibilities in them.

One thing to suggest is to try and find places slightly away (2-4 blocks away) from main tourist attractions. Quality may be the same or better but prices will surprise you.

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