REASONS TO EAT LIKE A LOCAL INSTEAD OF A TOURIST
- GO BEYOND THE CITY CENTER
When you are on a tour, for instance, you tend to pass through many capital cities and hence might think your only option is to dine in the main city square. There you will likely find pricy restaurants; not for any other logical reason but simply for the fact that it is a prime location.
Not because the food is higher quality because it doesn’t mean it will be, and at times can be even sub-par. Desperate to fill your belly, you whip out your credit card and pay six Euros for a cappuccino at what seems like a very average café.
- BENEFITS OF GOING “OFF – ROAD“
All you had to do was stroll a few blocks away from the city center and examine a few other restaurant menus. Getting out of the touristic zones when searching for grub can result in big savings. Yes, you may have to walk additional street blocks to find an affordable place to eat, but it usually worth it. I have had great experiences at less known and lesser-populated local restaurants compared to the more commercialized, strategically located restaurants.
I chose to go “off road,” so-to-speak, and venture down into the side streets whilst I was in Rome. Many of the centrally located restaurants would definitely break my budget. I knew that there must be other options available behind the city center scene and did not want to settle for the first options available to me.
- FINDING AUTHENTICITY IN UNLIKELY PLACES
After strolling around for ten minutes or so through the backstreets, I found this lovely pizzeria. It did not look like much from the outside or the inside for that matter with its very casual and lack of décor. Still, I had a good feeling about this place.
I knew the food would be tasty and would cost significantly less than restaurant on the main, touristy streets. It worked out really well for me and my fellow travelers that were also happy we explored the area further before deciding on where to eat.
- INQUIRE WITH A LOCAL
Rather than spending what could be hours checking online reviews, why not ask a local where they go for lunch? I have had success with this also when I was on the small island of Aegina, nearby Athens, Greece. I hopped on a ferry to get there and didn’t spend a moment considering what I might eat the half-day I was spending there. As soon as I spotted a shop owner, I asked her where I could find tasty food and she pointed to a place that was totally out of my sight! This local spot was amazing and I probably ate the best calamari of my life! It’s a place I would have easily overlooked whilst wandered the area.
- BE SAVVY WITH YOUR MONEY
Although, it can be very tempting to go straight to one of the heavily advertised restaurants on a commercial street, it is worth checking out more local places. Be that savvy tourist that digs a little deeper to find those great eateries outside the tourist zones.
Not only will you save money, you will also find more unexplored parts of a city that most tourists would never find otherwise. I love it when I find a restaurant that is unlisted on a restaurant app or review site and figured that I scored by trying something entirely new.