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Do You Seek Out Local Restaurants When You Vacation?

This holiday season, I took a brief hiatus from San Francisco to spend New Year's in Chicago with friends. Being the devoted diner that I am, before I arrived I made sure to score reservations at restaurants that I'd been itching to try, like the James Beard-nominated Spring. Do you do the same?


Random2 Random2 8 years
I love eating at local places! Casse-Crepe Breton in Old Quebec City, Reuben's and Juliet et Chocolat in Montreal... yummy! I'm going to Mexico in February, and am looking forward to trying the local fare there.
pinky8486 pinky8486 8 years
Of course!! Being from New Orleans, eating at a chain restaurant anytime is blasphemy--especially when traveling!! Spring in Chicago is AMAZING...i also love North Pond, Frontera Grill/Topolobombo and Spiaggia.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I try to find some local places when I am traveling, but it doesn't always work that way. When I go to visit my friend in DC, I always make sure we go some place fun and new. And she has taken me to some really good places. I will say when I was in Russia several years ago, I did try all the local cuisine and traditional foods. I certainly think when you go to a new country, you should at least try (even if it's one bite!) their food. Who knows, you might actually like it!
superfoxml superfoxml 8 years
Aren't the 'hole in the walls' always the best?!?! I'm looking for some great local Vegas haunts..anyone? I'll be there this fall and have a very good lay of the land when it comes to the strip and downtown, but any off strip ideas would be great. In Houston, Churrasco's on Westheimer has AMAZING south american fare. In Dallas, Dos Charros (technically in Richardson) has incredible Mexican fare. In the Atlanta area, Sprayberry's has amazing barbecue..though they are technically in Newnan. Also, anyone in Stamford CT? Ideas on restaurants?
aistea311 aistea311 8 years
When I went to Sarasota my friend was dying to try food at an Amish restaurant. No Chains, thats our rule on vacations. They made the most AMAZING peach pie you could ever imagine. When I went to London I had dinner at Dans Le Noir and though it was the most expensive dinner for one in my life, totally worth every bite in my wallet :)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I love to check out small local places, especially when I'm out of the country. I went to El Salvador with my mom and she was the most boring dining buddy because she always wanted to eat at Wendy's or McDonald's because she didn't want to try the local food. Meanwhile, I went to this tiny little seafood place and had THE BEST lobster I've ever had and it was only $6.
magickalrealism magickalrealism 8 years
The only reason I eat at chain restaurants at all is because my fiancee likes them. I always prefer the small, local outlets.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Absolutely! It's part of the traveling experience.
sugaryamy sugaryamy 8 years
I live in New York and I'm always trying to find restaurants in other cities that have the same quality as the food here. I'm usually pretty lucky ;)
emalove emalove 8 years
Oh yes! We always try to skip the real "touristy" places and find out where the lesser-known-but-better-food places are! That's part of the fun! And I love trying new foods and I love to eat! Every year when my husband and I go to Key West, we try out a new restaurant...and we always skip the usual tourist traps.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
yes, i certainly do my best to find 'local' flavor when i go on vacation since that's part of the trip - experiencing some place new. only in dire situations will i stick to the whole 'franchise/chain' restaurant thought.
nevadamtnbear nevadamtnbear 8 years
Not being one to understand the obsession of chain restaurants, yes, we seek out local places to eat. We're beer lovers, so it generally starts with looking for a local microbrewery. If there's no local brewery we'll look for regional fare - a good hole in the wall mexican food restaurant, etc. Most of the best meals of my memory are from local little hole in the walls we've found travelling. The only "chain" we'll hit regularly is Starbucks, but that's generally if we can't find a local coffee shop.
ksmithcolo ksmithcolo 8 years
We always check out the local flavor whenever we go somewhere. It is so much better than a big national chain. Try Tropcial Taco when you are in Kauai , yummy fish tacos!
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
Last summer I was in Killarney which was quite touristy. I asked a local shop owner where she would eat. We went to the pub she recommended and I said to the bartender: "How is your lamb shank?" He replied: "I made it me self and there are only 5 left." Best one I ever had. We always ask the locals.
TxRdRaider TxRdRaider 8 years
That's half the fun of travel! I love trying new places and I'm lucky my b/f does too. We have been known to sit down and research food right after we book our flights!!
Food Food 8 years
@LaurenG22 -- I did enjoy Spring a lot —— especially because I was with a bunch of close friends from college. We all went with the tasting menu (you didn't want to see the tab on this meal!) and had a spectacular, memorable time. And the lemongrass coconut soup was my favorite course of the meal, too! I thought it sounded like any old soup that one could get from a Thai restaurant, but it absolutely was not. Its consistency and flavor combinations were amazing!
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
ALWAYS. I never go to chains (unless they are local, of course). Did you love spring??? I went there for my b-day last year. Their thai-inspired soup is AMAZING. So was the oxtail scallops... :feedme:
corcar86 corcar86 8 years
I like to dine at local restaurants that make specialties of the area I am whether it is in another city or another country! I also like to try out restaurants I have seen on shows on the food network and was excited to discover we drove right past The Varsity, a restaurant in Atlanta, GA highlighted on an episode of diners, drive-ins, and dives! (Famous for their hot dogs in particular I believe (as you can see I have a highly sophisticated food preference lol!)) :)
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
That's terrible, Martini! :o I feel that half the fun of traveling is eating my way through wherever I'm at!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I have a friend who got married last summer and they went to Thailand for their honeymoon. They ate at McDonalds every day because she was too "afraid" to try the local food! :jawdrop: Are you kidding me???
texgirl texgirl 8 years
yes yes yes after living in france for quite a while i grew to actually hate chain restaurants. now when i travel i seek out the local spots and feel that you get a better sense of the city or town i'm in. also, if traveling in a foreign country, this is a great way to work on your language as many of the locals are encouraging once you step away from the tourist filled areas!
miznic miznic 8 years
Every city around the world has their own restaurant gems waiting to be unearthed. The local-owned, non-chain ones are the ones I look for, and I cannot rely on tourist guides and that sort of thing for that. I usually ask a desk clerk (or other local person) where they would go for food, and they point me in the right direction. I'm never disappointed. :)
sofi sofi 8 years
Definitely- even when the kids are with us. I'll either research ahead of time and book or ask/seek out when I arrive. Love trying local cuisine and local faves.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
Of course, if I get a recommendation!
A-Journey-To-Wellth A-Journey-To-Wellth 8 years
Recent trip to Vegas in Oct we went to Sushi Roku and Bouchon (Thomas Keller restaurant) because they are such acclaimed places. Glad we went there :)
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