A big part of the travel experience is getting to experience some local traditions, history, and culture. An easy way to sample all three of these is just by eating local food. Whether you want to try the highly structured Japanese tea ceremony or a simple meal from a street food stall in India, trying the local cuisine in the way the locals eat it is a good way of making your trip more memorable.
Here are a few ways to eat like a local when you travel.
There’s no shortage of food and travel information on the internet, so researching your destination should be easy. As well as looking at travel websites, check the food and drink sections of local newspapers of where you’re going.
You can also check out local food bloggers to find some hidden gems known only to the locals, like jardindelmediterraneo.co.uk.
Hit The Streets
It’s hard to get more authentic than street food as a vibrant and existing way to explore local cuisine.
You can try things like spicy bhajis and sticky jalebis from roadside vendors in India, huge meat kebabs in Marrakech, or some of the best street food in the world in Thailand.
Street food is an amazing way to try local food. Head out, and try lots of small dishes to get a taste of as much as you can.
Shop With The Locals
Think about your own habits and you shop for food and eat at home. Seafood and produce markets are usually busy with local shoppers on market days.
You should visit them to see what the locals are eating and to buy some amazing fresh produce.
Haggle over the early morning fish catch in the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, or eat freshly made tortellini in the traditional delis in Bologna. Supermarkets can also give you some good clues to the way the locals like to eat.
Ask A Local
You can ask locals, like your taxi drivers, for some suggestions for where the locals like to go out to dinner, and may even take you there. Instead of asking the hotel concierge for directions to nearby restaurants where the tourists go, ask them where they like to go for meals with their friends.
Ask locals for suggestions to find out where the locals eat, and experience the cuisine in a more authentic way.
Time Your Visit
Festivals and other local celebrations are a really fun way to learn about local history and food culture. For example, in many countries, Christmas is a huge deal and stepped in local tradition.
You could try traditional Christmas foods like kartoffelpuffer (deep-fried potato cakes) and mulled wine at Germany’s Christmas markets. There are a huge number of food festivals all around the world, from oysters in Galway in October, to garlic festivals in Lautrec in France in August.
Time your visit to arrive somewhere new while a food festival is going on, so you can join in the fun.