While every city has its fair share of chain restaurants and casual dining fare but it also has a food culture. In the US, food culture is largely dictated by the immigrant groups that call that place home. While international destinations have unique qualities that combine food and life. Tapas in Spain, street food in Singapore, and seafood in Japan. Wherever you’re traveling, take some time to dive into the food culture to get a real taste of the location.
Do some research before you go – what is the food scene like? Is breakfast a big deal? Do people eat later at night? Is the best food found in pubs or street vendors? Really dig in and find out where and how people like to eat. You’ve got to be in the know before you go!
In many cities around the world food tours are offered. These can be a single meal in a local restaurant or a multi course meal in several different destinations. Tasting tours are also very popular. This might include a drink in a local bar, a stop at a bakery, nibbles at a market, and dessert in a café. Often times locals will undertake running these tours privately. If you’re not really sure where to start, are short on time, or would rather have someone else do the researching legwork for you this is an excellent option.
Strike out alone
If you’re confident in your research go it alone and hit up some of the highly acclaimed spots. Or wander around until you find something interesting. Whether you’ve done a lot of research to find the best spots, or you’re simply wandering you’re destined to find great food.
Take a cooking class
To really understand what makes up a cuisine, taking a cooking class is the only way. No matter where you go, there’s likely to be cooking classes offered. Check out bakeries and restaurants that offer authentic local foods as they’re invested in sharing the food traditions they sell. Some classes you simply show up and everything is waiting to be put together, while others invite you to the market to choose ingredients. Cooking a locally influenced meal and sharing it over great conversation will be memorable and you’ll be able to take your new skills home – what a souvenir!
Ask the Locals
If you’re shy this last suggestion might be difficult to do but the results are worth it. There’s one way to find really good food, and that’s to eat where the locals do. Strike up a conversation with the person next to you on the subway, your hotel concierge, or someone you meet during the day. Ask them where there favorite spot to eat is or where they take out of town guests. You’re likely to discover places that aren’t listed in guidebooks but offer a fabulous meal.
How do you enjoy food culture when traveling? Do you immerse yourself in regional food culture?