I don’t know about you, but for me, one of the must-dos in the travel bucket list is indulging in both the local cuisines and your own set of comfort foods. Of course, eating is a basic need, but it’s special when you’re out of the country. Food trip is always a phrase that’s connected with travel. Travel is never complete without trying out the local restaurants.
Ironically, the must-include food tripping can sometimes turn into a horror story—an inevitable part of traveling. Food poisoning, bad customer service, facilities that lack proper sanitation and weird flavors you can’t take are just some of the ugly experiences when you happen to enter the wrong restaurant. Well, even in our own hometown, we fell victims to awful restaurants. What more in other countries we’ve never been?
But this shouldn’t worry you. There are foolproof ways you can do to avoid this stressful situation.
Check Out Food-related Websites and Apps
These days, you’ll find many websites and applications that are designed in providing valuable information about restaurants in a particular city. Examples of information you can get are the menu, prices, directions and reviews from previous customers. With just a click, you can have access to these and more, even the macro shots of the dishes you’ll drool over.
When you’re out and about and you have difficulty deciding where to eat, all you have to do is to google “restaurants near me” and several results within or near your current location will show up. Then, check the reputation of these restaurants through a reliable app like Foodporn. Why is it a good option anyway? Foodporn has been around for decades, since the year 1997 to be exact. Don’t forget to visit it to check the best deals as well as a particular restaurant’s reputation.
Go Directly to the Source—The Locals
Of course, if there’s anyone who knows better than you about all the good eats downtown, those are the people living there. They’re the ones who already probably had a firsthand experience of dining in those places. Thus, they’re more credible to tell you where to get the best pizza in town or the best seafood. Really, the locals are the living Google. So, be sure to check out their suggestions especially if you run out of mobile data or if you don’t have wi-fi access.
The locals are also the best source if you have questions about the delicacies native in that town. They know how it should taste like, the exact consistency, the appearance and more things like these. Thus, you’ll get a better idea on what an authentic experience should be.
See Where the Crowds Go
While taste is subjective, you’ll usually never go wrong if you follow the crowd to where they line up. Why would they endure the long queues anyway if the food isn’t worth it? Perhaps, it’s really worth the try. You may even ask the one who’s standing next to you what’s in that restaurant that people are willing to wait this long. You might learn something interesting from that conversation.
Read Guidebooks, Travel Magazines and Blogs
Writers of these publications put in effort to maintain the credibility and reputation of their publication’s name. So, they make sure that their content is always authoritative and useful to their target readers. They do so by doing extensive research about the place in question, getting a firsthand experience of a restaurant’s menu, interviewing qualified sources and comparing other options available.
Before you travel to somewhere unfamiliar, do as much research as you can—yes, even about the food. You don’t know what you’ll come across later. Some tourists have been victims of food poisoning just because they didn’t do enough research on where to get a safe food to eat and water to drink. Read here to learn how you can prevent it.
So, always ask around. Read as many travel magazines, blogs and guidebooks as you can. After all, a bad-tasting food can be chalked up to experience. But you surely wouldn’t want to experience food poisoning in another place as much as possible!
Can you think of some other foolproof food tripping hacks? Do share with us!