The cheapest way to get a meal is to eat at a "hotely". For about 1300 ariary (or a little less than $1) you can buy a plate of rice, laoka (malagasy for side dish accompanying rice) like chicken, beans or pork, and rice water. For 200 ariary extra you can get a small glass of homemade yogurt.
Bananas (hundreds of varieties) and rice cakes (Malagasy 'bread') are staple 'street food' and available everywhere. Coffee is very good, usually hand-made by the cup and served very sweet with condensed milk. Steak-frites is available in restaurants in the larger towns.
There is no safe tap water so be prepared with bottled water, which is usually easily obtainable. The only other option is ranomapango (RAN-oo-ma-PANG-oo) or rice water (water used to cook rice, which will therefore have been boiled). It's particularly important to plan ahead if visiting rural areas.
In towns, roadside drink stands, stores and bars are plentiful. Most sell a range of drinks including bottled water, Coca Cola and Madagascar's beer, Three Horses Beer ("THB"). You can also try the bubblegum flavored soda 'Bonbon Anglais' (similar to South American Inka Cola, if you are very brave!). Be warned that this may be sold as 'limonade' - leading you to think it may be lemonade.
Home brewed rum, and creme de coco, is also available - in many flavours!
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