Holiday alternatives for small budgets

The sprawl of malls that includes Houston’s Chinatown, for example, is the only clue you’re still in Texas. Nowadays, restaurants serving Chinese, Hong Kong, Vietnamese, Thai and other Asian cultures fill these malls.

If you’re looking to channel France, look no further than Montreal’s cafes and green markets, including Jean Talon Market and Atwater Market.

Toronto has a virtual UN of restaurant districts, from Little India to Little Jamaica. Suresh Doss, a Toronto-based food writer who focuses on the city’s multicultural pockets, grew up in the suburb of Scarborough, where he takes small groups to Sri Lankan restaurants, among other food tours in the Greater Toronto (250 Canadian dollars, or about $195).

“There’s a fleeting quality to food, because you don’t know if it’s going to be there in 10 or 12 years,” Doss said, referring to successive waves of immigrants over the past 80 years who have established Greek, Hungarian and Italian. enclaves, followed by Vietnamese, Chinese and Sri Lankans and, more recently, Syrians.

For do-it-yourselfers, he recommends a progressive feast along Toronto’s Danforth Avenue, home to Trinidadian, Venezuelan, Japanese and Ethiopian restaurants, among others. “It’s not completely gentrified yet and has an inviting feel,” he said.

Among affordable accommodations in Toronto, try Hotel Ocho near Chinatown where a recent search found rooms starting at C$209.

The safest way to explore Ukraine right now might be to eat in Cleveland, which has strong Eastern European roots and a concentration of Ukrainian shops and restaurants in suburban Parma.

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