Whether traveling across the country or around the world, you need to know the best places to eat. Part of the fun of visiting new sites is sampling the local cuisine, but an internet search only gets you so far.
Reviews from other restaurant patrons could be a good source of information about decent eateries to hit. But other people who are traveling the same as you are, aren’t going to necessarily know the little hole in the wall that makes the best sandwiches or the places that have the most delicious coffee off the beaten path.
For that intel, you’ll have to play detective and do a bit of digging. So, here are some places you can start doing your research and build your restaurant list.
Listen to Local Chatter
Before you arrive at your destination and even after you get there, look at the town’s Facebook page or website and check to see what restaurants the locals frequent. Locals are the best people to talk to about the area and towns usually have a social media presence to encourage this chatter. While you’re there, you can discover local events, and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a food festival featuring restaurants in the area.
If not, browse around posts on social media where people are talking about eateries at your destination spot. After you arrive, you could also pay attention to which restaurants are the busiest while driving around town. Chances are if they have that many patrons, the food is bound to be good.
Make Travel Friends
The best way to find the best places to eat is to talk to the people who live there. Consider striking up a conversation with individuals who work in the grocery store, the gas station, or at your hotel. Find out where they like to eat and ask them if they know of any places that only the locals frequent.
Discovering that little secret hideaway that makes the best pizza will be challenging without a resident’s help. So, make small talk with the people you meet. It might surprise you how willing they are to share their restaurant secrets.
Read Travel Blogs
One thing about the age of technology that can make life a lot easier is taking advantage of someone else’s experience and knowledge. There are a significant number of travel blogs, and some of them will probably talk about the place you want to visit. See what they have to say about where to eat and secret local places that you might not find otherwise.
Many travel bloggers do extensive on-the-ground research and stay at communal living spots to make the most of their trips and report their finds. Don’t let their hard work go to waste! There’s no reason you have to reinvent the wheel, so browse what they have to say and start gathering a list of restaurants to try. You never know what you might find.
Try and Try Again
Once you have your list together, it’s time to venture out and try some local favorites. If your list seems short, there’s nothing like making some discoveries yourself. So, take a chance and try a restaurant that looks appealing to you. Head in and look at the menu before you commit to see if you’re interested in the food.
And if you are, have a seat. If not, try another place until you find one to satisfy your needs. Then when you uncover your favorites, consider sharing that knowledge for the next traveler that follows you down the beaten path.