How much do you actually have to pay for lunch in Cologne? In Munich or even in Tokyo or Madrid or Ottawa? Do you pay a lot more in Hamburg than you would in Amsterdam? And are there any price differences depending on specific cuisines?

At Smunch we’re convinced that a healthy lunch is an integral part of a successful workday. That’s why we have compared lunch deals in business areas of 35 international and 15 German cities, to see how affordable business deals actually are. We also put those prices in relation to the disposable monthly income within that location for a more accurate overview. The detailed results and parameters used for the study were published here.


Untitled design-4

Since the study also takes restaurants into account that have no business deal and calculated an estimate, the average lunch prices might seem too high. They nonetheless accurately display the common trend of the localities.


Which city has the highest lunch prices?

Our neighbors in Switzerland are among the front runners. To be exact, they occupy the second place, just below the metropolis Tokyo with an average lunch price of € 23,84. Madrid is similarly expensive. Local food is the most expensive in all those cities, but they’re not the only examples that’s true for. If you like eating locally, you often have to pay a little more than for other cuisines in most countries.


Fresh Pasta


That said, Germany doesn’t follow that trend, since French or Italian food is generally more expensive. In global comparison, we place among the lower ranks with our capital Berlin. Out of the 35, we occupy the 24th position. Here, you can comfortably eat for around € 13,00. The same can be said for Austria. Though, if you like to eat French or Italian cuisine, you pay around € 10,00 more than in Berlin, up to € 27,00.

But not just lunch prices are an important factor. If you calculate the balance of income and monthly expenses, the seventh place should have the best conditions for a delicious lunch break. Even with the relatively high prices, around € 19,00 on average, the people in Oslo can afford to eat out more with their salary.

As a tendency, the business lunch is nonetheless more expensive in northern countries and international metropolis, And how does it look in the lower ranks?




Cheaper lunch options - but are they even affordable?

With € 6,80 as the average price for lunch, Mexico City is the cheapest among the compared cities. Still, that isn’t an affordable option with the median income of a Mexican worker. The monthly expenses are too high too. According to the study, employees with the local average income in Dublin, Mexico City, Paris, Jerusalem and London wouldn’t even be able to have a proper lunch in a restaurant in their break.

That’s different in Poland, on the 34th position. Here, the affordable business lunch deals allow for plenty of eating out even with a low income. The same luxury is made possible in Canada, as the monthly expenses are relatively low.




Globally, there are large margins, for both the average price but also for the various cuisines. Does the same apply to Germany?

15 German cities in comparison

Do you eat cheaper as a Berliner, or can a Stuttgarter afford more business lunch deals? Germany’s 15 most densely populated cities were analyzed more closely. The results were published in a separate study by Smunch.

To no one’s surprise, Munich leads the list as the most expensive city. In business areas, the asian restaurants seem to cost more than the local cuisine or american food. That’s very different in the follow up city, Duisburg, where asian food is a lot cheaper than eating at italian restaurants or bistros. Nonetheless, between the top contenders there is a large difference in average prices of € 3,00, making Munich not only expensive, but a lot more expensive than other cities.




First and second place are generally high lunch prices with € 19,00 and € 22,00, in contrast to the German average of € 15,77.


At least here you can eat a little cheaper:

Eight cities are below this German average, with Dortmund and Hannover just barely being included in this group. Business lunch is the cheapest, not in Berlin, but in Dresden. Most dishes here are around € 10,00. This makes the average here € 11,98.

Dusseldorf and Berlin follow and have about the same prices. For € 13,00 you can eat out according to your cravings in both cities, though French or Italian restaurants charge the most.


French Food


And how about the comparison of Hamburg and Amsterdam I teased with in the beginning? Netherland’s capital will have you dig a little deeper into your pockets. Business lunch will average around € 17,00 here, while people in Hannover pay around € 15,00. The gap here isn’t as big apparently.


So much for theory…

This index also accounted for the cost of living in Germany. While the affordable prices in Berlin potentially would allow for lots of delicious breaks, that’s only true in theory. Just focusing on the lunch prices, the citizens of Hannover, Essen and Dusseldorf could even buy lunch for 90 people per week. In practice, the truth for Berlin is that they can afford way less than in other cities, with ‘only’ 21 business lunches per week for the monthly income.


Euro money


So while the German living standard would allow the average worker to eat out daily, there are noticeable differences. Munich would rank even among the upper field of the most expensive lunch prices in the international index. Dresden would rank in the lower.

But maybe eating out isn’t the be all and end all anyway. Maybe you won’t have to even brave any weather, or have the stress of waiting in line. We at Smunch certainly think you deserve more comfort, so we deliver lunch from restaurants directly into offices. We already operate in Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin and Hamburg.

For a low cost, we deliver a balanced diet made to fit comfortably into you workday.



Subscribe Our Blog

Smunch Reviews with