3 Tips to Finding the Best Local Restaurants in a New City

3 Tips to Find Local Restaurants in a New City

Last Updated on March 1, 2023

If you’ve traveled before, you know how tricky it can be to find local restaurants. There are so many different options. And very often, the best places are somewhat hidden, tucked away in narrow alleys and obscure streets. But look no longer to avoid the tourist traps and discover the hidden gems.

Here are three tips for finding the best local restaurants in a new city.

Tip #1 Ask locals for recommendations


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Your best bet when trying to find local restaurants is to ask the people who actually live there. Locals will know about the most popular spots in the city. Ass well as the little hole-in-the-wall places that you probably wouldn’t otherwise find.

Not only can locals recommend quality restaurants to you. They can also advise you on exactly what to order. A restaurant might have a dish on the menu that’s legendary to the local community. But unheard of by visitors and the rest of the world. You should always at least try out the local favorites because the dishes are likely known as favorites for a good reason.

As far as how to obtain local recommendations, there are a few ways to go about it. If you have a friend or family member in the area, you might reach out to them and see if they can guide you through the city’s restaurant scene.

However, if you’re in a place where you don’t know anyone, then don’t be shy about striking up conversations with local strangers. Make an effort to meet new people. Or ask the people who work at local shops for suggestions about where to get the best food. You could also try using an app like eatwith to connect with locals and create memorable dining experiences.

To really get the best recommendations, though, you should speak with bartenders and staff members at the restaurants you do visit. Since they’re both local to the area and familiar with the industry, they can provide you with some well-informed, top-tier restaurant recommendations suited for any budget.

Tip #2 Be open-minded 


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It’s important to keep an open mind when looking for new places to eat. Especially if you’re in a foreign country. It doesn’t make sense to travel thousands of miles to just get the same food you could get back home. Try to step outside of your comfort zone and taste dishes you’ve never heard of, or you would never have a chance to eat.

In the spirit of adventure, you should also try to get yourself into a positive, curious state of mind before even stepping out the door. After all, you won’t enjoy your food to the fullest extent unless you’re in a great mood.

Before hitting the town and exploring all the different restaurants, take steps to boost your mood and maintain positive energy. Use Black Mountain resistance bands to get a workout in, enjoy some high-quality CBD gummies by CBDfx. Or relax and have a few drinks with friends before going out.

Tip #3 Take advantage of social media


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Hop on social media to get some inspiration, ideas, and suggestions to find local restaurants around the city you’re in. Since you presumably don’t know the area, crowdsource information, and get advice from both friends and strangers online. Make a post asking for restaurant recommendations in a given city and you might hear about some surprising places that would’ve never popped up on your radar.

Of course, you can also visit social review sites. For instance, Yelp will help you find out about popular restaurants in the area. The upside of sites like these is you’ll be able to read a lot of different reviews, easily get directions to the place, and oftentimes view a menu and even pictures of the food beforehand. However, the downside of these sites is that they’ll often lead you to the most popular, trendy places rather than the more unconventional spots serving food that’s more authentic to the area.

As an alternative to review sites like Yelp, you might consider browsing online forums such as Chef’s Feed, which offers dining guides compiled by local culinary professionals. You could also try to pick up a guidebook specific to the city you’re in that’s written or edited by a local resident.

If you do manage to find a great local restaurant or a unique dining experience while traveling, show some gratitude. The most authentic places are often mom-and-pop run, so they’d probably appreciate it if you spread the word and sent friends and family their way in the future. And if you love the food, don’t forget to compliment the staff on a job well done!


About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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