Why you should avoid eating out in touristy areas while traveling

If you have traveled to a foreign country, then chances are you want to soak in the culture and have new experiences. One of the most forgotten and overlooked ways to experience this is via the local cuisine; however, almost every major city in the world will cater for a westernized taste, even if it’s simply a McDonald’s on the corner. Many passionate travelers will plead with you to avoid these at all costs, just because there is most likely out-of-this-world amazing local, authentic food literally around the corner.

You will disappoint yourself

All those dishes you make at home have origins of their own, why not explore them? One popular destination is Thailand, so why not try a truly authentic Thai green curry at a Thai restaurant. Many eateries may try and fool you into believing they’re the real deal when, chances are, they’re built for mass production tailored to the western pallet. You’ve come to a new country to explore the differences, so don’t then find yourself eating the generic recipes you can find back home.

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You will lose the opportunity of a lifetime

If you’re one of those incredibly ambitious traveling types, then you might not return for a long time, if ever again. Don’t waste this opportunity by gorging yourself on steak and chips before traversing around the Louvre in Paris, or choose chicken pie after exploring the eerie catacombs of Rome; it would probably be a considerable anticlimax? One of the best places to start is by asking the locals; they will be only too happy to point you in the direction of a fabulous restaurant or food stall that will represent their home town to new visitors. One of the most significant pieces of advice travelers will give when it comes to food is ‘eat where the locals eat’, that way you immerse yourself in the day-to-day of what it’s like to live in that area as much as you can, but that’s why it’s probably best to ask them first hand.

It’s all about the little quirks

Sure, you might find a busy foreign food chain that’s filled with the hustle and bustle of hungry tourists – but does that look like the true authentic experience you were looking for? It’s all about the quirks in life, for many it’s the tiny street cafe on the corner that’s filled with local historical memorabilia, or local artwork. Perhaps they sell unique dishes you can’t get anywhere else in the area? A large and basic restaurant chain will not likely end up in the amazing stories you tell your friends or family when you go back home. Find the niches, go to their farmers stalls, if they have them; most popular towns and cities do, because they’ll provide the produce straight from the source.

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Wherever you go, always do your research first, and have an idea on how to go off the unbeaten track safely and well-informed. There are astonishing foods and dishes out there you’ll have likely never heard off, all it takes is a little courage to try something new, and you’ll probably discover your next favorite foods!