One of the best parts of traveling is the chance to try out new places to eat. However, finding good restaurants can be a challenge when you aren’t familiar with the area. These tips can help.
1. Ask the Locals
If you want to find the best places in Alaska that other travelers may miss, ask the locals where they like to eat. Keep an open mind. Sometimes places that don’t look like much from the outside end up being the best discoveries.
2. Skip the Tourist Traps
Tourist traps can be flashy, but most are overpriced and overcrowded. Seek out quality local restaurants instead.
3. Avoid the Chains
Many people find comfort in eating at chain restaurants because they know what to expect on the menu. However, if you stick to the same things you can get everywhere else, you may miss out on the unique local flavors you could be trying instead. Do some research on the local cuisine before you travel and be sure to try out some new dishes and regional favorites.
4. Try a Culinary Walking Tour
Many popular destinations offer walking tours and some even have tours that are specifically culinary in nature. If there is no guided tour, try walking around the city yourself to see what you can find. It’s easier than trying to spot a restaurant while driving a vehicle.
5. Use the Internet
Sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and other review aggregators can be a good way to start researching restaurants near your destination. You can also use Google Maps to see which restaurants are close to your hotel or to places you plan to visit.
6. Look for Lines
Standing in lines may not be a lot of fun, but if you see people lining up to get into a restaurant, that’s usually a pretty good indication that it is worth checking out. You might even get a chance to chat with the locals and get some advice on where else to eat while you are in town.
7. Check Social Media
Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, can be useful tools for finding nearby restaurants. Search the type of restaurant you are looking for and their tools will help you see which restaurants are near you, how far they are and may even include a menu and prices.
8. Check a Guidebook
You can find guidebooks for many cities online, in rest stops, at travel information kiosks, in hotel rooms and even order them through the mail. Most guidebooks have a section on popular places to eat.
9. Read the Local Paper
Pick up a local paper and check the ads. You might even find some good deals while you are at it. Watching the local TV stations may also help you discover some new places.
10. Visit a Local Market
Sometimes the best food to be had is at the local market. You can find new fruits and vegetables to try. There are often vendors selling baked goods or other ready-to-eat items. You may even be able to try out the local street food.
11. Ask the Hotel Staff
The concierge at your hotel should have some good recommendations for you. You might also try asking the bellhop or the valet. Make sure you tip them for their trouble.
12. Food Delivery Apps
Even if you aren’t planning to have food delivered, you can use food delivery apps as a way to see what is close by and then look up the restaurants on the internet. Though the prices in the app may be different, it should give you a ballpark idea of what is on the menu and how much it will cost.
Don’t get stuck eating at the same old boring chain restaurants or get lured into tourist traps. Use these tips to find the best local places and turn your vacation into a culinary adventure.