There are travelers, and then there are foodie travelers. They’re the ones who have food illustrations in their kitchen, follow the latest food porn stars on Insta, choose food-inspired baby names and love learning about food culture around the world. Foodie travelers are known to spend countless hours with DIY food kits trying to recreate meals they tasted abroad, which is why getting to taste the real deal is nothing short of heaven. Traveling solo can be a dream come true for a foodie, because it gives them the freedom to eat whatever, whenever. To really get out and experience the BEST local cuisine in any city, follow these four tips.
1. Don’t be afraid to talk to locals. Travel definitely breeds serendipity. Randomly finding yourself in an Italian grandma’s kitchen for a traditional meal is a totally feasible scenario. Strike up conversations with waiters, and ask for recommendations from store clerks. People love to talk about their community and culture, especially when you’re interested in more than just the tourist traps. Check your set of safety tips before accepting invites from strangers, but be open to new experiences. Your taste buds will thank you.
2. Trust the restaurant rule. If it’s packed, it’s probably good. Better yet, look for places that have communal tables. Family-style seating automatically situates you in a social setting and increases your odds of good conversation and food sharing. Other cultures LOVE sharing food, which is an awesome way to try more than just one dish at each sitting. That is the tragedy: So many foods to try and so little time.
3. Embrace the perks of being alone. Most people want to accuse you of secret loneliness when you’re traveling solo, but sometimes solitude is a great change of pace from our hyper-socialized everyday lives. The anonymity of traveling, especially in a country that speaks a different language, can be a welcomed divergence. Bring a book or journal, and make the experience about enjoying your meal and you time.
4. Wander to find gems. You have the luxury of just poking around a city without catering to someone else’s itinerary. Take advantage of that! Grab a map and wander the streets to get a feel for a new city. Not only is this a great way to actually see a city, but you’ll be surprised how many gems you can find. Side streets sometimes have the best and cheapest off-the-beaten-path restaurants, so let your nose guide you.
What’s the best dish you’ve tried while traveling? Tweet us your yummiest story @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)