Traveling This Summer? 4 Tips to Have Authentic Restaurant Experiences

June 21st or the Summer Solstice usually marks the start of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. With this comes longer days and warmer temperatures.  And for many, it is also a time to slow down, relax, spend time outdoors (grilling, fishing, swimming or laying out in the sun) and travel.

Are you traveling this summer? Is anyone traveling to visit you? Regardless of the distance you may be covering this summer, we invite you to open yourself to new flavors and tastes and awaken your taste buds.

We have created a great resource “the 5 best ways to find authentic food while traveling”, that is jam packed with several tips to help you enjoy authentic food along your travels.

For this blog post, we putting a spotlight on restaurants and how to have authentic meals on your trip. Get the rest of the tips by downloading your free ebook here.

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Find The Local Restaurant Gems On Your Trip

On your summer travels, get off the beaten path and discover the local and authentic foods in the area. Disconnect from your digital devices (smart phones and tablets) and immerse yourself in the local culture. Pick up the local and free magazines and newspapers and see the local restaurants that are being featured.

Find out what the popular cooking shows are on TV and get inspiration. Ask around for suggestions. Start by asking your hosts where you’re staying. Ask taxi drivers and locals at the museums or tourist attractions you are visiting. Be curious, engage with the locals and eat at the local hours and follow the  local rhythm.

Traveling This Summer? 4 Tips to Have Authentic Restaurant Experiences 2Resto V outside patio
Traveling This Summer? 4 Tips to Have Authentic Restaurant Experiences 3Italian Restaurant

Eat Where The People Are

When it comes to food, look for the restaurants that are filled with locals.  The further you move away from the tourist attractions, the better the chances are you will find local and authentic restaurant options. Having lots of locals in a restaurant is usually an indication that it’s worth trying. Once you settle down in the restaurant, look around and see what the locals are ordering. Take a chance and try something new.

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Go For The Short Menu

When looking for an authentic experience at a restaurant, let a short menu be your guide. When a restaurant forgoes a multi page menu and has only a few signature dishes, this is usually a good sign of specialization using fresh and local ingredients. Stop there and choose to have a meal at this restaurant. Don’t ask for any alterations or changes to the meal. Let the chef delight your senses.

Traveling This Summer? 4 Tips to Have Authentic Restaurant Experiences 4Resto V Menu
Traveling This Summer? 4 Tips to Have Authentic Restaurant Experiences 5Lunch at Bitacora, Barcelona
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Choose the Plat du Jour or Menu of the Day

When you find yourself at a restaurant that has a “plat du jour” or special menu of the day, make a point to order it. The reason is that not only it is usually a dish that the chef has mastered, it is also a seasonal dish made with fresh ingredients.

One little known fact is that generally the meal of the day is slightly cheaper. By making the dish in large volumes, the restaurant is able to price the meal affordably, passing the savings on to customers.  Keep in mind that when the special of the day is done, it’s gone. So, don’t hesitate, order the plat du jour or menu of the day and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

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Wherever your travels will take you this Summer, we want you to experience the best of the local and authentic food. Get the rest of the tips here and Savor The Adventure.

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17 Comments on “Traveling This Summer? 4 Tips to Have Authentic Restaurant Experiences”

  1. I love that you talk about trying the specials and not changing things because those meals are likely the ones that use local ingredients and are the best in the restaurant. I have been thinking that I need to branch out more with my flavors. Someone told me that I should start exploring new restaurants. I will have to follow your tips as I look for new places to dine.

    • Thanks, Greta and glad you found the article helpful. Always ask for the daily specials and to taste dishes made with the freshest ingredients. Do check out our restaurant recommendations to get you started. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I like your tip to choose restaurants that are filled with locals. My brother’s favorite food style is BBQ and I want to take him out for his birthday. I’ll be sure to check out the restaurants where a lot of people go.

  3. Awesome tips and hints (as always), especially love the special of the day, Plat du Jour or chef’s choice, I find that often ordering this meal means you get to really experience something delicious. Wouldn’t have found sushi burgers in Japan if I hadn’t of ordered the special. Cool post, hope you both enjoy your summer, Im getting ready to hibernate now. :/

    • That’s right Anna, you are in the Southern hemisphere. The tips still apply even in the Fall/Winter 🙂 The little known secret is the plat du jour which opens you up for new discoveries – sushi burgers 🙂 Incredible!! Thanks for your comments.


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