No matter where you’re going, you’re going to need fuel to get there. Make every meal memorable with these tips for finding good grub on the go.
Know the Local Specialties
You want papaya salad and spicy coconut curries in Thailand, not pizza. Save that for Naples. Eat couscous and tagine in Morocco and bretzels and sausage in Bavaria. Know before you go the best things to eat wherever you are, and seek them out. Be fearless in your willingness to try whatever new things come your way. You’ll have a culinary experience you can’t have anywhere else.
Eat Like a Local
You know where to find the best grub in your city. So do the people who live wherever you’re visiting. Ask around. It’s as simple as going to the front desk of your accommodation or to a shopkeeper in the neighborhood where you’re exploring and asking for a tip. Don’t ask for an official recommendation – try instead to ask the fellow human standing there about their favorite place for a bite or a drink. When you see their face light up, you know you’re about to be on your way to a very good meal – and likely at an affordable price.
On the same coin, try just taking a stroll down the street and seeing where is filled with locals around mealtime. If tables are full, chances are there’s a good reason. Go see what the fuss is about.
Make it Iconic
Seek out establishments that have become the stuff of legend. When in Mumbai, visit Leopold’s, made famous by Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram. In Paris, have a drink at the haunts of your favorite writers and artists, imagining a time when Le Select, Les Deux Magots, and The Hemingway Bar were places to eavesdrop on the likes of Satre, Picasso, Hemingway, Joyce, and de Beauvoir. Any music (or Blues Brother’s) loving visitor to Chicago must include dinner at the House of Blues on their agenda. Make where you eat as important as what you eat, and your meal will become so much more memorable than the food.
Welcome to the Modern Age. While used too liberally it can steer you wrong, as a starting point the Internet is a valuable tool. Starting to get a little peckish while you’re out exploring? Pull out your phone and type into Google Maps anything you have a craving for, from sushi to tacos. Heck, maybe just search “restaurant” for a radius of however far you’re willing to walk. Choose something with good reviews and take your chances. It’s all part of the adventure, after all. Bon appetit!