6 tips for the best food experiences abroad

Woman looking longingly at a plate of nachos

Food and drink are one of my favourite ways to experience a new place. Cuisine plays such a big part of the local cultures you will want to immerse yourself in when abroad. Sure, nowadays you can eat food from pretty much anywhere in your nearest city but it probably will never measure up to the authentic experience. Often times it isn’t the fancy meals that are the best when travelling but the authentic. Here are 6 tips for the best food experiences abroad.

Check if you can drink the tap water

In many places it isn’t safe to drink the tap water so never assume it is! This should be one of the things you research before you fly out so you are well prepared. If tap water isn’t potable either buy bottled water or boil tap water to be used for drinking, cooking, and brushing your teeth. If you drink non-potable water you could be exposing yourself to bacteria which could make you sick and ruin your tip.

Research delicacies your destination is famed for

Another thing which is always on my list to investigate before I go off on a trip is what I should be eating and drinking when there. Are you visiting a famous wine region? Is there a local beer? Is there a signature dish that everyone associates to a country or city? Make sure you know what the must trys are for wherever you are headed to as well as a couple of eateries that are known for it to make sure you don’t miss out.

Eat at food markets / street food

Food markets are a brilliant way to snack your way through multiple local delicacies and can typically be much cheaper and more convenient than sitting down for a meal. My advice is to always try things even if you don’t think you will be a fan! It is better to have an experience once rather than to regret not having it. The smaller portions often typical of food markets means you can try multiple dishes and get a fresh and quick sweet and savoury fix.

Ask locals where they eat

Most hostels and airbnbs are happy to provide food recommendations and often have a prepped list for their guests. I usually ask locals where they eat when I am out and about too so I am not getting a recommendation to a place that hospitality staff think tourists will like or which are affiliated with my accommodation. If your friends and family have previously visited where your destinations, definitely make sure to get their favourites beforehand too!

Ask waiters for their menu recommendations

Although often times waiters simply will respond to this question with the most expensive thing on the menu or the special the chef wants to sell out of, it is always worth asking the question. With a bit of charm and rapport with the wait staff I have found I always get truly good suggestions on my trips and have never regretted a choice.

Share multiple plates with your travel buddy

Now I know some people won’t share food even with their mother but please relax your rules when abroad! I am someone who never knows what to choose on a menu because there is too much I like the look of. I have a couple of travel buddies who are always down to get multiple things to share which means we all get to experience and discover more than if we each just had our own singular plate of food.