If you travel for work or for pleasure, this simple and easy guide will help you find the best restaurants near where you are visiting. If you are like me, you can’t stand restaurants that look-like they microwave their food. Remember these foolproof tips on how to find authentic cuisine anywhere in the world, and you will be guaranteed to return home with the most wonderful memories of where you visited.
Food has a major impact on people, not only affecting our dopamine levels in our brain, but also easing our gut and making us feel as ease in our surroundings - in my opinion this is what is categorized as Soul Food. But first, before getting to eat that food for the soul, you need to find the best establishment that will have the quality of food you need, and I plan to help you with this mission in this article.
You may be staying in a great hotel, and they may also have quick and easy items to order from their menu that are fast and sometimes from a microwave. As useful as this can be if you are on the go, you end up paying too much and not enjoying yourself. Nothing beats a sit down meal, especially if you are trying to enjoy the city you are visiting. I would recommend simply stepping out of your hotel and walking around town. Walk into a grocery store, stop at a newspaper stand, or simply ask the hotel valet for a local establishment they’ll recommend. Especially if you are wanting to try something different, trust me they’ll love to help you.
One time driving through Europe, I stopped by the side of the road where an elderly gentleman was sitting and enjoying a beautiful summer day reading a newspaper. I simply asked the elderly gentleman, where is the best place to eat around here, and he responded, my daughter’s restaurant down that road on your left. As biased as his opinion seemed, he said it with such conviction that I could not turn it down. It was amazing and glad that I took the 5 minutes to stop and ask a local. The best part was how cheap the food was.
I like to download the latest app onto my phone and discover what is being recommended on the Internet. The first thing to remember when doing this step is look for dates. Dates of reviews, dates of recommendations by people and dates of when the menu was updated - if even at all. Dates are important because those apps are not updated regularly, and you’ll find that restaurants you find on the apps are now probably closed down, under new management, or simply not unique and local enough for an experience. I only use these apps to really build an awareness of my surroundings and what I can expect. I still prefer to walk out in the city, look around and ask a local if restaurant XYZ (found on the app) is the best choice.
Look for crowds, and for especially local crowds. At around lunch or dinner time you’ll notice a larger amount of people than normal walking in a particular direction. You don’t have to walk into the establishment they are, but you’ll be able to observe the restaurant and see how popular the restaurant is very quickly. The more people walking in, sitting at the tables, the better the quality of food - I think this is the first law of restaurant physics, I’m sure of it.
Locals don’t like to over pay for their restaurant meals, they’ll find the best priced establishment and attend it regularly. So, talk to local unlikely characters in the city you are visiting. Just remember, for safety and security, the more public and established the individual, the better, like a newspaper stand, grocery store clerk, etc.
Don’t be shy, and let your survival instincts kick in. Go out into the world and spread your wings. You’ll return home with stories and memories to tell friends and loved-ones. Even when things don’t work out, especially when things don’t work out. It seems to add more spice to the story and adventure to your trip.
I hope these 3 simple guidelines are of some help to you, and also encourage you to experience new adventures that you would not normally try. If there’s one thing to take away from this article is this, walk around the town, ask the cab driver, store clerk, or simply a local person readying the newspaper or magazine. You’ll be surprised how those locals will want to help you and assist in you having the best experience possible in their city.
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