When dining overseas, we often do not know about the things to try and foods to savor and hence often end up missing out on the best local flavors and finest cuisines. Getting a “know-it-all” local food connoisseur to guide us on the savories that we should eat may not always be possible. Hence, here are certain tips on which we can fall back on when traveling overseas to dine like a local.
Do research in advance – Before you head to your destination, learn about the local cuisines, favorite dishes of the people there and ingredients most used in cooking. A quick search about the best places to try local favorites may throw up many results and recommendations. You can also scour through the food journals and publications that often use reviews by the locals and expert journalists for compiling their list on local food places to must-try for tourists. Local food blogs from local writers keen on sharing their local food culture with tourists are also great resources to find about local food.
Go for food tours – Sign up for food tours to get an overview of the must-try restaurants and must-have dishes while travelling. Look out for vacation packages that have food tours included in it or check with tourist office of your place of visit. You would also have many other tourists to give you company when on food tours but they are certainly a great way of exploring the local cuisines in an effortless manner.
Visit the farmers’ and food markets – What could be more helpful in understanding the local food culture of a place than visiting the places from where the locals shop for their ingredients and delicious food. The farmers’ markets are colorful places where you can pick up fresh, seasonal produce and also sit down with the locals to savor some regional delicacies.
Try gorge on the street foods – Street food of a place gives a good insight about the local food culture and are also cheap and widely available. Hence explore the street food options when you would like to dine as a local during your overseas trip. You can take the help of local friends and relatives in learning about the best localities that serve the best street food. Make a beeline at the small cafes, restaurants and university neighbourhoods to interact with young students and find out about hot-selling food items of their city. Once you have found a popular local hangout, you can also befriend someone there or ask other people there as to what other must-haves they would recommend for you on your local food tour of the city.
Following the above-mentioned steps will help you as to eat where, how and what generally locals eat. Take in new flavors and capture the importance of food in one’s culture while you relish the local favorites and explore diverse cuisines.