We’ve all done it at some point… Ended up at the local generic food chain because we can’t be bothered searching any further for somewhere local. But what if you spend a little time researching? Below are my super easy tips to making the most out of your food and beverage adventures in a new location… Or even in your own city.
Ask your network – Go on, Put out a Facebook post and ask your friends for some recommendations on the city you are visiting. If you know any friends that live there or have been there, tag them in it so they see it. Some people feel like they are bothering others by posting stuff like this but let me assure you, Your friends will be stoked to be able to talk about their experiences, connect and help you out.
Make friends with the locals – Talk to EVERYONE!!! I invite you to befriend anyone you cross paths with and ask for their recommendations on places to check out. It could be the concierge at your hotel, The bartender at a bar you’ve been recommended or another diner in a restaurant you are at (Plus hundreds of others you interact with and probably don’t have a conversation with… What about the flight attendant on your flight that constantly visits the city you’ve just flown into?). I had an experience in Cuba a few years back where we were struggling to find decent food anywhere. We met an American guy in a cigar bar and through our chat we discovered that he spent a lot of time in Havana for work and he had some awesome recommendations for us. He gave us a list of five incredible restaurants (on a bar napkin) that were all secret at the time, hard to find and that we never would of found without talking to him.
Facebook Groups – This is another gem that I love. There are so many expat community groups on Facebook that have a wealth of knowledge to help you out. One I am a part of is the Buenos Aires Expat Hub – Once you join and are approved you can go to the search bar at the top and pop in what you are looking for and see the recommendations others have given or if you can’t find what you need you can post a question yourself and have local expats give you their highlights.
Google – I love a good google of a city before I arrive but I also recommend taking everything with a pinch of salt when reading reviews as one persons idea of something amazing can be another persons idea of rubbish. Get creative with your searches and try different buzz words to return alternate responses depending on what type of experience you are after. Googling ‘Best secret bars in Paris’ or ‘Top speakeasies in Paris’ will give you a very different return to something generic like ‘Best bars in Paris’.
Apps – Does the local tourism authority have an app you can download? Not all do but it is worth a check to see if you can pull more information before you go. To give you an idea, Tahiti Tourisme has a fantastic app that gives you a lot of insider information on the islands of Tahiti that puts everything in the one place to save you time and includes bonus material you would not necessarily find by searching online.
What are your top tips for discovering the best local places in a new city? I would love to hear in the comments below.
Love, Dana x
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