If you are planning a trip sometime in the near future, whether it be for business, schooling, or simply because wanderlust has finally set in, you may find yourself eager to try out new and exciting foods wherever you travel. So few things define a culture better than its local dishes, but with international restaurants staking claims all over the world, it can be hard to find a place that serves something that truly represents the area. To help you make the most of your travels and tastebuds, here are a few tips that you can follow that will assist you in eating local.
The simplest thing you can do to expand your palate is to walk and visit places around the area that you’ve travelled to, especially near the downtown. You’ll be more likely to happen upon restaurants and diners rather than plan to go somewhere familiar to you. This presents the opportunity of opening your tastes up to both new and local flavours. Don’t be afraid to travel outside of the beaten path as some of the best food can be found in the most unusual of places. If you stick to what you know, you’ll never try anything new, so never be afraid to try around.
If you really want to know what is the best local food, then you’ll want to make friends with the locals. A good start is being friendly with your concierge or barista, but open yourself up to the populace. Approach people dining outside and ask them what they’d recommend. Be sure to learn to speak the language of your destination so that you can best communicate with them. Once you’ve accomplished that, you may find yourself enjoying food closer to the local culture than any chain restaurant can get you. If you’re very lucky, some may even invite you to eat at home with them, where you’ll be able to not only be able to enjoy a home-cooked meal, but a genuine local home environment, as well.
Use Your Resources
If you’re not the type to make friends with people that you don’t know, then don’t despair. You may be able to find just what you need on your computer or mobile phone. Social media is a great way to explore the area around you without having to move, with the ability to read reviews and rates on all local restaurants and bars right at your fingertips. If you’re in Hong Kong, you can check in on Facebook or Twitter and ask for recommendations. If you’re in Dubai, you can read from Dubai foodie blogs to get a better idea of what’s offered around you. You could also look up upcoming food and wine festivals that allow you to sample different dishes and drinks all in one place. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you may consider renting an Airbnb, which still opens up the chance for you to try that local kitchen cooking!