When it comes to any culture, food is always an integral part. So, when you are traveling abroad, you want to make sure you are making the right stops. In many cities, your options are quite limitless the moment you step off the plane. Of course, there will also be the tourist traps and overpriced pitfalls that you should be aware of and try to avoid. With that said, let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you find the best meals when you are traveling abroad.
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Before you leave for your trip, be sure to research local food blogs of the area along with Yelp. You can also look to traditional sources like guidebooks and magazine articles. According to Laura Shockey, author of the book Four Kitchens, “given that restaurants open and close regularly and print publishing can take a year, the web has become a more reliable source for up-to-the-minute recommendation.” Also, if you have someone who is a big fan of food and traveling, you can ask for their thoughts.
Eat Regional Dishes, But Be Picky
If you’re traveling to another country, be sure to try out some of the local cuisines. You want to try and ingratiate into the culture and food is the best way to do that. You might even be surprised at how good the local food is. Shockey said, “I like experiencing local cuisine as much as possible and will try to seek out amazing renditions of local fare.” So, regardless of if it is arrachera (skirt steak) tacos in Mexico or ramen in Japan, try to find the ultimate version of whatever it is you are craving, rather than the nearest vendor. Be on the lookout for food-obsessed locals as well because they will know where to go.
Avoid What’s Familiar, Unless It Is Necessary
Do your best to avoid any foods you can have at home because you don’t want to miss out on the one-of-a-kind culinary experience available to you. Plus, most American-friendly foods in short supply elsewhere in the world may come with an unnecessary premium. Now, this is not to say you should completely restrict yourself from your favorite dishes. If you absolutely love hamburgers and having some will make your trip more enjoyable, then, have yourself a hamburger. While traveling is certainly about experience new things, it is also about enjoying the moment to the fullest.
Crowded Places Are Good
According to Laura Shockey, ”a rule of thumb is to eat at restaurants that are very busy and look like they have high turnover.” So, if there is a line going out of the door, then that could be a sign that people are willing to spend the time and money on a delicious meal. However, try to avoid the places that advertise a “tourist menu” or display menus in several languages. You also want to stay away from the establishments that have staff trying to bring in vacationers on the sidewalk. Occasionally, tourist specials can have good deals, but they are usually watered-down versions of local cuisines that have been made cheaply.
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