How to Find Great Restaurants when Traveling Abroad

how to find great restaurants when traveling
6 min reading time

If you want to travel the world but also want to sample some of the finest food, then you need to make sure that you don’t overlook these top tips. Take a look below to find out more.

Don’t Overlook Bakeries

Bakeries are one of the best places for you to find cheap, yet amazing meals. This is especially the case if you are going to Europe. Whether you are sampling fresh pastries in  France or whether you are trying olive focaccia in Italy, it won’t cost you much more than one euro most of the time.

By sampling different bakeries, you can also find out from the locals where other local gems are and this is a great way for you to make the most out of your travel experience.

Shabby Restaurants Aren’t All Bad

If you see a restaurant that looks a little run down or worse for wear, then this doesn’t mean that it’s a bad place to go. The food is probably amazing. This is especially the case if you notice that people are queuing up for the chance to eat there. A lot of great restaurants have shabby exteriors purely because the food is usually good enough, to the point where it compensates for any work that may need to be done.

how to find great restaurants

Avoid the Tourist Spots

If you want some great food then try and go where English is not the dominant language. If you are in Rome, then don’t dine there. Instead, venture a few blocks away or go a bit further afield. You may need to take a few days to figure things out but the food is probably going to be worth it.

The main reason for this is that you will come across more local and family-run restaurants, which can make a major difference to your general experience.

Be Clear about What You’re Looking For 

If you are booking a table through a hotel concierge then this is great, but you do need to be clear about what it is you are looking for. A lot of the time, a hotel concierge will recommend the top tourist places, which is what most people want.

If you want a better experience then ask them where they take their wife, or their husband when going out on a date. This will give you a clear idea as to where the gems are and it will help you to make a way better choice overall.

It’s About the View

Sometimes great dining experiences come down to the view and not the experience. If you have a sunset view and a picnic table that overlooks a stunning lake, then this may make the food taste that bit better. Try and focus on what is going to make it a good experience for you, rather than focusing solely on the food.

Be Spontaneous

It’s always a good idea for you to be spontaneous. If you walk past a nice restaurant and something about it intrigues you then visit it. When you do, you will soon find that you end up going off the beaten path and this can work wonders in terms of your overall experience in a country. If you are backpacking then this will help you to immerse yourself in the country more too.

If you have your bags with you when visiting a restaurant then remember, you don’t have to go back to the hotel. You can simply use a luggage storage area. If you’re in London then the left luggage Victoria Station unit is a great option.

Learn a Few Phrases

Remember, if you are going to a country where the native language is different to your own, it’s a good idea for you to learn a couple of phrases so you can navigate the menu, and so you can make the most out of your dining experience. Phrases such as “thank you” and “check please” are essential. If you like to get restaurant recommendations then be sure to learn this phrase too.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of free apps that you can download to translate phrases on the spot. If you can take advantage of them then this will make the ordering process smoother.

Bad Food is A Real Thing

There is such a thing as bad food. It’s very easy to think that every single slice of pizza you get in Italy is going to be fantastic and that every croissant you eat when in Paris is going to blow your mind. This isn’t true, however. A lot of restaurants will churn out bad food, and they will target tourists as they think they don’t know better.

This is a major mistake. If you can, it’s helpful for you to avoid flashy places that might be near tourist spots, and get off the beaten path. If you can do this then you are bound to get a better result overall.

Research the Norms

Research the norms regarding tipping, ahead of time if you can. While it is customary for you to tip, on average, 20% when in the United States, you don’t have to tip this much wherever you go. Read about what is normal for that culture and take the time to learn tipping etiquette. It may surprise you, but tipping in some countries is frowned upon as some see it as being charity. 

Establish Priorities

Another thing you can do is try and establish your priorities when it comes to dining out. Sometimes you just want to have an amazing view, but other times, you want to excite your taste buds. Focus on the reason why you are there and everything else will fall into place.

You may also find that you can get the best dining experience as well, so give this some thought and choose your restaurants accordingly. This is the best way for you to make sure that you are always focusing on what is important to you as a whole.

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