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How to Eat Like a Local When You Travel

People often ask us how we always find great local food all over the world. Our answer is always the same – you need to eat like a local when you travel. Read on to learn about our local approach to global food travel.

Meat on a Stick in Vietnam

As slow travelers, we endeavor to eat like locals whenever and wherever we travel. In addition to dining at local restaurants, we also take food tours, visit local food producers and attend local food festivals.

Not only does this style of food travel makes us happy but it also leads us to unexpected experiences that often become the highlights of our food trips.

Eat Like a Local - Cheese Factory
Daryl found his happy place inside a Parmigiano-Reggiano factory in Modena Italy.

We take pleasure in finding local places to eat off of the tourist trails. Using our tried and true techniques, we easily find local restaurants serving authentic food made by and eaten by locals.

As a bonus, these local food places are often cheaper than the more popular restaurants frequented by travelers.

Eat Like a Local - Sushi
Eating sushi off the grid is tastier and cheaper when you do your research – even in expensive cities like San Francisco.

Just as importantly, this independent food travel style has allowed us to meet kindred souls who have given us gifts of friendship that are more valuable than any travel souvenirs we could buy.

We now have food-obsessed friends in cities like Hanoi, Lyon and Ljubljana that we would never have made if we didn’t make the effort to eat with locals.

How We Eat Like Locals

Eat Like a Local - Tallinn
According to our unscientific study, couples who eat like locals are happier than couples who eat like tourists.

This approach to travel allows us to dive into the local food culture and become one with every city we visit. But how do we do it?

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We share our tried and true techniques with subscribers in a FREE guide. Subscribe now and receive a downloadable guide that you can use when you travel for food.

Where We Stay

In terms of accommodation, we typically stay in an Airbnb apartment when we visit a city for an extended amount of time. This cost-effective type of accommodation lets us shop for local products at local markets and cook local dishes in our temporary home.

Hopefully, you’re already a member of Airbnb. If not, join now and get a special discount for your first stay.

Eat Like a Local Guides

We’ve enlisted top travel and food writers to share their insider tips about where to eat in cities around the world. These local experts share their favorite spots for iconic foods, desserts and special occasion meals as well as cute cafes and hidden gems.

Athens

Moussaka - Eat Like a Local in Athens Greece
Photo Sourced from Deposit Photos

Local expert Chrysoula Manika shares her favorite places to eat like a local in Athens, Greece. If you love moussaka and souvlaki, then you need to check out this Athens guide.

Pittsburgh

Pierogies at Apteka in Pittsburgh
Photo provided by Jeremy Jones

Local expert Jeremy Jones shares his favorite places to eat like a local in Pittsburgh. Spoiler alert: Jones is NOT a fan of the Steel City’s famous sandwich.

San Francisco

Indian Food in San Francisco
Photo Provided by Anne Lowrey

Local expert Anne Lowrey shares her favorite places to eat like a local in San Francisco, USA. She includes insider tips for cioppino, mission burritos and more.

Seattle

Lola - Eat Like a Local in Seattle Washington
Photo Provided by Laura Lynch

Local expert Laura Lynch shares her favorite places to eat like a local in Seattle, Washington. Seattle may be famous for its coffee scene, but the Pacific Northwest city has lots of great food too.

Seoul

Bibimbap in Seoul
Photo Provided by Robert Schrader

Local expert Robert Schrader shares his favorite places to eat like a local in Seoul, South Korea. Schrader is crazy for the megacity’s street food and who can blame him.

Sydney

Oysters - Eat Like a Local in Sydney Australia
Photo Provided by Jo Karnaghan

Local expert Jo Karnaghan shares her favorite places to eat like a local in Sydney, Australia. As it turns out, Sydney is more than just a pretty city if you know where to eat.

Taipei

Quick Fry Restaurant in Taipei
Photo Provided by Nick Kembel

Local expert Nick Kembel shares his favorite places to eat like a local in Taipei, Taiwan. Not surprisingly, he’s a big fan of night markets for those looking for the best Taipei food experiences.

Valencia

Clochinas at La Pilareta in Valencia
Photo Provided by Theresa Gomez

Local expert Theresa Gomez shares her favorite places to eat like a local in Valencia, Spain. Since Spain’s third largest city is on the Mediterranean coast, Gomez includes lots of seafood suggestions.

Check back often to see new ‘Eat Like a Local’ guides with tasty tips about the cities you want to visit again or for the first time.

Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.