When you’re on the road, traveling and just enjoying the experience, the missing piece to complete your journey is to eat like a native. Whenever you eat sushi or ramen, you’re not just eating food- you’re partaking in Japanese culture. The same goes for other cuisines; when you’re in Spain, you should try their local cuisine and partake in their culture. It’s perhaps the best part of traveling—getting to experience their culture in a tangible manner, this time through taste. Below are some tips and recommendations on how you can find even better food when you’re traveling. You want a type of food that is reflective of the culture and won’t break the bank, too.
Research Food and Culture Before You Travel
What we eat and what we like to eat are normally dominated by the culture we grew up in. However, they can greatly differ from those of other countries. This is a great opportunity to try something new and widen your horizons. However, it’s a smart idea that you learn more about the food and the culture of the place you’ll be visiting before you even travel. Research as much as you can about the place you’re going to.
Your research will assist you in determining where and when to dine and when restaurants, cafes, or food markets are open or closed. Researching will also provide you with ideas on which meals to eat, where to try them, and how much they will cost. Don’t forget to consider food etiquette in the location you are visiting, too.
Locals Know Best
You won’t get it through regular methods if you’re searching for something more local and less opulent. Perhaps, the greatest method to get delicious and genuine local food wherever you can go is to ask the locals. It’s that simple. You can simply inquire with your taxi driver or even your hotel receptionist for recommendations. If you want to experience real local flavor (not the ones they’d show to the tourists), ask the receptionist for recommendations on where they eat since they’re most likely going to refer you to a local eatery instead of an expensive tourist-trap restaurant.
You can also try using the services of a culinary tour program. They’re good at finding the best food for sampling and being able to find different varieties of said food. Regardless, asking locals for what they recommend is a great strategy- and it’s not limited to where to eat, too. You can ask them where the best nature reserves are, lovely wedding venues in the area, or even hidden spots that only locals know. Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions, especially from the locals, and you’ll be surprised by the results.
Shop Where the Locals Shop
Nothing beats a trip to a local market. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet people, and you can also see the freshest produce and purchase native products. This is where the real magic lies since local markets aren’t made to appeal to tourists and foreigners. They’re genuinely for the local people and buy the ingredients they use in their native dishes in these places. Pay a visit to one of these; you’ll find that a small amount of money goes a long way because everything is at a really low price.
Aside from discovering fresh farm items, another advantage of visiting the local market is that several local food sellers are bound to be present in the market or nearby. Other than buying the best ingredients, another reason you should visit the local farmer’s market is that there are most likely going to be food stalls and similar establishments nearby. If you’re after a genuine and legitimate culinary feeling, then this is one of the best methods. Look around markets, especially near the edges, and pick out the spots or food joints with the longest lines or queues.
A long line is a clear indicator of delicious local food. In other words, if you see people lining up for a certain food joint, you’ve found what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to join them. Busy food outlets are busy because the food is either delicious or inexpensive or maybe even both. However, the odds are it will be both inexpensive and excellent.
It’s hard to deny the beauty of traveling, especially when you travel to experience local cuisine and food. Eating what the locals eat just magnifies the experience as you’re essentially experiencing a part of what it’s like to live there. Hopefully, the tips provided here can guide you in your next travel experience.