One of the best ways to get to know a new country’s culture and history when traveling is through their food. About 45% of travelers admit that they have at least five different activities related to food. As tourists, you will usually only get to try the most obvious food choices in a certain country or city, which would appear to be something like sushi in Japan, pizza and pasta in Italy, or pad thai in Thailand. These dishes are already widely known worldwide and are just a fraction of the best local cuisine in these different places.
Food is one of the universal ways to experience a new culture. However, most tourists will only taste and experience a small portion of the rich food cultures found in different countries. It might also be possible that these famous dishes are not among the local’s favorites. Without even realizing it, you’ll find yourself missing out on possibly the best local cuisine that tourists won’t usually find. To fully experience and appreciate a new culture, eating out and indulging in underrated local cuisine can be a delightful surprise. Here are some tips and tricks that can help tourists find underrated foodie destinations in different countries.
Let technology help you
Being prepared for your trip can be a great way to make the most of your time in a different and unfamiliar environment. Though you might think it’s better to keep away from Google when searching for underrated foodie destinations, take a different approach and use the internet to search for more intimate and personal information. All sorts of experiences and stories can be found from a food travel blog or YouTube channel from residents in the area. In this way, you can get a feel of the place and see through the eyes and perspectives of locals.
Furthermore, equip yourself with reliable phone applications that can help you track and trace local cuisine instead of famous tourist spots. For example, an app like Eatwith can help you connect with a local chef in the area that can let you taste authentic homemade cuisine as they welcome you into their very own humble abode. This usually includes cooking classes or food tours to get to know their local food culture better. Another app called Localfu lets you ask the locals for suggestions on where to eat and what to avoid. You can communicate with locals for an affordable fee and get a personalized travel plan with the necessary details like phone numbers, addresses, maps, etc.
Think like a local
After thoroughly researching the destination and its people, it’s time to pretend to put yourself in their shoes and practice thinking like a local. To do this, you must have an open mind. Due to the difference in cultures, you might have difficulty thinking like a local. That is why it wouldn’t hurt to adapt to the new environment, even if it’s usually not the way you roll. This can also let you explore and gain more connections and newfound friendships during your trip. Ask around and hang out with locals near you so that you can collect a sufficient amount of information that you wouldn’t normally find on the internet. Talking to locals and getting to know how their daily lives usually go will lead you to some of their favorite food spots.
On top of that, expose yourself to local markets and communicate with vendors as they are the ones who are familiar with the local food demand. Once you find unique and unfamiliar ingredients in local markets, talk to vendors about how these are incorporated into local cuisine. By thinking like a local, you’ll be able to discover gems and treasures in the most unexpected places. Go for walks and investigate the quiet and idle parts of town.
Don’t be afraid to take risks
Ultimately, being in an unfamiliar environment might be terrifying at first. The fear of getting lost and getting caught in potential danger can easily hinder you from experiencing local activities and cuisine. That is why it is important to push aside those negative thoughts and be brave. If you’re someone who gets easily anxious about these things, make sure to accomplish precautionary measures like setting up travel insurance so that you won’t have to keep worrying during your stay in a different country or city. Don’t be afraid to talk to different kinds of locals in a certain area. Let go of existing prejudice and stereotypes in your mind, and allow yourself to connect with the locals. Through this, you’ll be able to look back on great memories and trusted connections whenever you want to visit again in the future.