If you are like me, traveling is all about FOOD. It can be extremely overwhelming visiting a new city having no idea where the best eats are, so I’ve put together some of my favorite resources for finding the best eats in ANY city. Bon Appétit!
This online website covers everything you need including food, drinks, and travel. Under the Cities drop down menu you can pick any of the biggest cities in America and it will take you directly to a page all about the food in that area. You can also use the search bar and enter any city plus the word “food” and it will direct you to loads of articles that are exactly what you are searching for. For example when I type in “Miami food” articles such as The Miami Food Bucket List, The 8 Most “Only in Miami” Foods, and the 14 Best Restaurants in South Beach show up. This website is great not only to see what is the best type of food in a city, but also to get specifics on which restaurants in what neighborhoods you should be hitting up.
Eater is very similar to Thrillist, but the drop down Cities menu is really only useful for well known American cities. Eater is unique because it gives more in depth articles about food traditions and pop culture. This site is great if you want to learn about WHY to eat certain things in any city. Eater just came out with the The Eater Guide to the Whole Entire World. It breaks down the world by continent and then by city to tell you the most updated list of the best restaurants in the most popular travel destinations. the list has an interactive map on the same page and even ranks the restaurants on a monetary scale so you make sure not to break the bank when visiting.
One of my favorite things to do is type in the name of the city where I am going and see what Instagram accounts include the name. Typically there is always a sponsored travel guide profile for tourists, but if you dig a little deeper there is typically a well established food Instagram dedicated to all of the current best restaurants in that city. For example I searched “London” and a few spaces down was london.foodguide, an incredible account that tells you the best places in each neighborhood and even has pictures of the food so you know exactly what you are getting.
For those of you that are shy, this one is a little bit more difficult. If you are a backpacker or even just a savvy traveler there are three types of people I believe you should ask for food recommendations: locals, friends, and fellow travelers.
The local person here that I would recommend is usually shop-owners and those that work in hotels. If I find myself in a particularly great neighborhood in a city, I will ask any employee in a store where to find the best eats in that neighborhood, and they never disappoint. If you want more high class recommendations, I suggest asking the staff at your hotel or hostel. They will usually tell you the most tourist-friendly places, but don’t worry, many are as genuine as can be.
I can’t stress asking friends enough. While I was studying abroad I briefly mentioned that I was headed to Florence to my class, and later one girl I barely talked to told me about the best restaurant she had ever eaten at called Osteria del Sol in Florence. She made me promise that I would go there, she had the absolute highest recommendation for it. I went to the restaurant and it turned out to be the best meal of my trip. The people around you are full of great information, sometimes all you have to do is ask.
Last but not least you should ask fellow travelers. This is easy for those of you who are backpackers and stay in hostels. The culture in hostels makes it very easy for you to spark a conversation with anyone, and usually people are excited to share their discoveries with others. Fellow travelers who may have been in that city a bit longer than you will have insight not only on what to get, but where to get it, usually very cheap. This is the perfect option for those who want to find the best eats while on a budget, ask like-minded people!
Do some research
The last thing I would recommend is to do some research on the classic cultural dishes of a city. This is helpful because if you see it on the street or in a restaurant, you already know what it is. Knowing about the culture of food is just as important as eating the food when traveling. Travel is all about experiences, and knowing that you are eating a historical cultural dish adds greatly to the overall experience in a city.