So you’re in a place where you don’t know a soul, wanting to experience the local flavor—and that doesn’t mean dining at the local fast-food joint. What to do?
- TIP: Don’t be put off by a place that looks a little eccentric or bland—but if it’s empty, don’t bother!
- Step 1: If you’re in a restaurant but still aren’t convinced, check the bread—and the restroom. If patrons are served fresh, quality bread, they’ll likely get a good, quality meal. But if the restroom is dirty, chances are the kitchen is, too.
- Step 2: When you find the right place, be sure to ask your waiter what the most popular or signature dishes are. Bon appetit!
- FACT: The first restaurant called a restaurant opened in Paris in 1765.
- Step 3: Hit the pavement—restaurants often are located in a central area where you can browse menus and look for ratings signs. If a restaurant is crowded with tourists, keep looking, but if it’s crowded with locals, it’ll no doubt be worth the wait.
- TIP: Consider befriending some locals online before you begin your travels. They might have recommendations, especially for places that might require an advance reservation.
- Step 4: Research nearby restaurants online. Check reviews and diner-feedback, but make sure the information is current. If you’re not carrying your computer, browse at your hotel or in an internet café—or research before you go.
- TIP: It’s a good sign if the restaurant is rated. That means it’s had to meet a certain level of standard, even if it’s not rated very high.
- Step 5: Get recommendations from locals—shopkeepers, someone who takes a photo for you, someone who gives you directions. Just remember that tour guides will probably direct you not to restaurant that they love, but to one that’s paying for their recommendations.
- Step 6: Ask the employees at the front desk in your hotel for recommendations to fit your taste. If your hotel has a concierge, definitely ask him.