For some travelers, finding good food takes priority over just about anything else on a vacation. Anyone’s trip can be improved by partaking in a few great meals. The challenge lies in how to find the best restaurants in a place you’ve never visited before. By asking at your hotel, you might be pointed to the safest restaurant or the one most popular with tourists, rather than to the one that will suit you best. Try the following methods instead when searching for food in an unfamiliar place.
– Pay attention to the menu or lack thereof. Unless you’re in an English-speaking country, a menu posted in English tends to be an indicator of more expensive and less tasty food. A menu posted in front of a restaurant often means the same thing. Restaurants with no menu at all often have the best and most interesting food to eat.
– Learn a few words in the native language of the place you’re visiting. Attempting to communicate with people in their own language tends to make them friendlier toward you, and if you don’t have to worry about dietary restrictions or allergies, you can learn the phrase for “house specialty” and trust that whatever you order will be the best thing on the menu.
– Look for lines of locals. If a lot of people are queuing for food, there’s a pretty good chance that whatever they’re waiting for is worth it.
– Do your research ahead of time. Internet forums are a great place to search for information about places to eat. You can post asking for recommendations directly or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, jump into a conversation about which place in town has the best version of a certain dish. Forum threads like that often bring out passionate partisans that will tell you an awful lot about the cuisine in a place.