We’ve been wanting to do this for a while – write a post about how and where we decide to eat when travelling.
This is an introduction to a series of posts, each one about a specific town, how we experienced the food, how to avoid tourist traps serving stale overpriced food, and how to eat like a king on a limited budget!
There are a couple of general principles, by no means exhaustive.
- Understand the local food culture – this is a very broad statement. Basically what I’m saying here is that you will be able to make more informed decisions about your food choices if you understand what the local dishes are and how much they usually cost. The only way to do this is:
- Eat around at a bunch of local places first – this will give you an idea of the general flavours you are dealing with, what you should expect to pay, and what each dish actually is. There’s no shortcut to this one – take the first few days in a country as food research time.
- Once you have an idea of what you like and what you’ll be eating a lot of, start being more selective and looking for places that offer something different. Try not to eat the same thing twice until you end up with a menu with nothing new on, by which time you’ll be at step 4 below.
- By now you’ll have an idea of the local cuisine, so the key is now refinement – finding the spots that do it exceptionally well or exceptionally cheaply, or that offer you a twist on local flavours – a vegan version of your favourite curry, vegetable juices with unusual herbs, etc. This is the hunt, the difficult part of this exercise, and here we use all the resources available – guide books, google, tripadvisor, local recommendations, etc. We’ve found that TripAdvisor is very useful, but not necessarily for their top choice – finding up-and-coming places with fewer, better reviews is difficult, but rewarding.
- Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, take a stroll through town in-between meal times and look at the menus – this is usually the clincher. Think of it as your pre-dinner warm up, get your steps in and earn your supper at the same time!
That’s about it for general principles, upcoming posts will deal with where and what we decided to eat and how we got there!
As a start – go check out where to eat in Mirissa!