5 Travel Hacks For Choosing the Best Restaurants while Travelling

This week’s travel hack of the week comes from Angie Silver, the gorgeous blogger behind SilverSpoon London. Angie is an expert at finding the best places to eat and drink in London and around the world so who better to tell us their top tips for finding great restaurants while travelling?

 

As a dedicated food-lover, finding great restaurants whilst travelling is really a top priority for me. I like to try some of the high end Michelin-starred places, as well as the local favourites and off the beaten track hidden gems.

 

Research, research, research

& where to start your planning

My top tip for finding the best places to eat is thorough research and planning… of course you may find the very best Florentine bistro or Japan Izakaya just by wondering in off the streets but personally I tend not to leave things to chance. The first thing I do when I start to plan a trip is to buy the Lonely Planet Guide which offers a fantastic selection of recommendations both casual and high end.

Some may find the Lonely Planet a rather huge tome with an overwhelming number of suggestions which is why I also love the Luxe Guides, available in small pocket guides offline, online and as an app on your phone. The Luxe Guides do the work for you by suggesting a smaller number of restaurants divided into glam, relaxed and smart casual.

If you’re looking for the most upscale and the very best a place has to offer I’d advise consulting the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This portfolio of restaurants encompasses world-class dining, three Michelin star restaurants and all-star chefs. If you do want to book one of these restaurants be sure to make your reservations well ahead of time.

Finally, when choosing restaurants I always do a final check on TripAdvisor. The website is a rather double-edged sword and reviews are very subjective so I would advise to use it with caution. However, one of the best aspects of TripAdvisor is the traveller photos, we all eat with our eyes and pictures can’t lie so the website is a great way of verifying if you would find the food appealing.

Travel Hacks For Choosing the Best Restaurants while Travelling

Ask the Concierge & be specific

Before I stay at a hotel I’ll always email the concierge to ask for restaurant recommendations in the city or local area. The hotel concierge has insider knowledge of the very best places to go and he or she is there to optimise your holiday with the most appropriate suggestions. But don’t forget to engage fully with the concierge; don’t just email requesting ‘the best restaurant’ be more specific. Request the latest hot spot in town, the finest local cuisine, best on a budget or a great view.

The concierge can also get you into hard-to-book places, find last minute reservations and give handy extra titbits of advice. Personally I find the concierge to be a great tool when staying in a hotel, and you’re paying for it so make sure you use it.

Find the best places to eat while travelling

 

Ask locals

Even with all the research in the world there is no substitute for local knowledge. You never know what hidden gem you could uncover just by talking to people on your travels. So if you have a tour guide, a friendly waiter or a local friend, ask them what their favourite restaurant is. What’s the place that they’d take their family to at the weekend? What would be the perfect place for a date night that serves amazing food?

Also be sure to ask what to order, especially if the restaurant has a signature dish. Monica also recommends the app ‘Spotted by Locals’ as a great way to find restaurants and bars loved by people living in the area.

A final way of harnessing local knowledge is by booking on a food tour which can take you on a culinary journey sampling different foodie highlights of a city. Do this as soon as you arrive in a new destination so you can take advantage of all the suggestions you’ll get during the tour.

5 Travel Hacks For Choosing the Best Restaurants while Travelling

 

#4. Blogs (of course!)

I always rely on blogs for restaurant recommendations as you know you can trust the advice of your favourite bloggers. I’ll first check to see if some of my favourite luxury travel bloggers have already visited to find out if they have recommendations of where to eat. I offer loads of ideas on my own blog, SilverSpoon London and I love the tips from The Londoner, The Travelista, Mrs. O Around the World and The Lifestyle Diaries. Another fantastic blogger to check out is Andy Hayler who has been literally everywhere!

I always check out local bloggers, who can easily be found with a swift google or a twitter shout out. Many of them write in English or are ex pats and will have fantastic insider knowledge of where to eat great food.

Choosing the Best Restaurants while Travelling

 

#5. Social media

When I’m organising a trip I always create Pinterest board for inspiration on where and what to eat. Enter in a few key words into the Pinterest search such as ‘best restaurants in Paris’ ‘top ten places to eat in Barcelona’ and you should find articles from online magazines, bloggers and web guides.

Instagram is ideal if you like to see pictures of your food before you choose what to order. Check out the restaurant’s own account to see their pretty food photos but also check out the geotag or hashtag to see pictures by people who have already visited.

Also have a look a the ‘top city bites’ accounts; these are individual accounts made for city hot spots. The names follow the same format for example top_hongkong_restaurants, top_tokyo_restaurants_ or top_la_restaurants. So find your city of choice and check out the #foodporn available.

 

 

5 travel hacks to find the best restaurants while travelling

Those are my tips for choosing the best restaurants. What are yours?

 

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel. Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

SHOWHIDE Comments (13)
  1. Depending on your followers and friends, social media can indeed be a super quick way to find a good place to eat. Of course, assuming they know the area you’re traveling to.

  2. Great tips Angie! I love doing a food tour to get the full flavour of a new destination. Highlighting the knowledge you can tap into through your concierge is great too, as you often forget they are there to help you. I’ll be checking out the guides you recommend 🙂

  3. These are all great tips, but I must say I have always found the best restaurant through locals. They are a great source when it comes to good food. 🙂

  4. Good tips, Angie!

    I can also recommend apps such as Yelp and Tripadvisor. These days I never visit a restaurant without checking reviews on Yelp to be honest 🙂

  5. I’ve never thought to ask the concierge for recommendations. This could definitely be a great resource to get good information. Food is one of my favorite things about traveling, so finding the best available restaurant is a top priority. Thank you for all of your tips, hopefully my husband and I will find some great places!

  6. Crowdsourcing is really the best way to choose the best places to eat–social media and asking the locals but why have I never considered asking the concierge before. I will be taking note of that and will definitely do that the next time I travel, which excitingly I will be doing this year! Thanks Angie!

  7. My wife and I are going on vacation next month. We are trying to plan where we want to eat, so we’re looking for ways to spot good restaurants. I didn’t realize checking a restaurant’s Instagram account can give you a good idea of how they present their dishes. I’ll be sure to remember this tip moving forward.

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The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

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