For many, finding something great to eat while traveling is a challenge. In many cases, food has become more business than art, and time might be a luxury when it comes to hunting down your dinner after a busy day of meetings or sightseeing.
Lucky for you, we have some great solutions to help you find a memorable dining experience regardless of where you are traveling! With the quality and creativity of food reaching new heights, you can implement these tips and have the best dining experience possible.
Prioritize what matters most
First, in order to have a wonderful dining experience, you need to decide what that wonderful dining experience means to you.
Do you want a varied and exotic sampling of the latest in culinary masterpieces or a burrito the size of your head that all the college kids are raving about?
Would you love to be able to walk from your hotel to your dinner and back again? Would you drive thirty miles for the perfect steaming bowl of freshly made pasta? (Yes, please.)
Maybe you’re taking a client out to dinner and want to make a great impression with a expansive menu in a quiet atmosphere. There is always the possibility you care most about a fabulous bottle of wine than the food, and let’s not leave out those of us trying to be kind to our wallets.
Decide what you care most about and work from there. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can eliminate options that might be fabulous for other diners, but don’t suit your situation or desires.
Learn from the locals, even when dining alone
If Corporate America can be credited with at least one improvement to the food world, it is helping to minimize the negative association of eating alone.
With the number of people traveling for meetings and work related business being higher than ever, more people have every reason to feel relieved when they finally reach a quiet and peaceful dinner table.
Solo dining can be a luxury after a long day of business meetings and small talk. If you’re going it alone, you also have the pleasure of being the only one you need to consider when choosing what to eat—which is no small gift.
On the flip side, when traveling alone, you you’ll be forced to make your own dining decisions. So before you leave the out-of-town office, ask the locals you spent the day with where they like to eat. It is no secret that the residents of any city will usually have the most insight into the local community of chefs and restaurant options.
Find the office foodie and ask them what restaurant you simply cannot leave town without trying. In most cases, they will offer a fabulous mix of long-standing local favorites and the hottest new “must try” restaurants.
To-go or not to-go?
Grabbing food to-go used to be another way of saying fast food. Thankfully, the idea of taking a good meal back to your own place has caught on, and many upscale restaurants now boast extensive to-go options as well.
After all, sometimes you just need to watch television and still have an exotic, fancy dinner in your pajamas. Don’t worry, no judgement here. Just be sure your to-go favorites can accommodate your take out request.
On the flip side, food that can be taken to-go may be better eaten right away. If someone tells you where to get the best thin crust pizza in town, you may not want to do anything other than sink your teeth into it … immediately! If you pick it up and take it with you, by the time you actually sit down to enjoy it, that famously crispy crust has suddenly turned to rubber. Eat in pajamas? Yes. Eat rubbery pizza? No.
This also counts if you’re planning to eat in the restaurant and bring some of your order back with you for a later meal. Essentially, consider where you want to eat and how that will affect what you want to eat.
Try regional or local specialties
Finally, take the time to find out what food is local to the area you are visiting. This is different from trying a popular local restaurant because residents often take their regional specialties for granted. For example, while the cheesesteak is special to Philly, your local friends in Philly may assume you’ve had one and leave that option out of a recommendation on best restaurants.
Local restaurants are great, but local ingredients are even better. Wait to try Polish Sausage when you are in Pittsburgh, and if you find yourself in Georgia, for the love of seafood try the shrimp!
A little bit of research can make your traveling days a literal treat, so keep calm and eat on!