Hi, lovelies! How's your week going so far? I just know that the last 3 non-stop raining weeks have made me crave all the carbs #sorrynotsorry. Also, it made me realize how important it is for us to plan our trips around... food! Of course! For us, savouring the local cuisine is one of the best ways to really experience a new culture (and have some fun stories to tell when things don't go as expected).
Does eating your way through your vacation destination sound like an absolute dream? If so, you might want to consider planning the ultimate foodie getaway: a trip centered around experiencing the local cuisine. Choose your destination well, and you’ll find many culinary adventures at your disposal - you’ll just need to do a little research first and put some thought into your travel plans to create the experience you’re looking for.
Fortunately, planning the perfect foodie getaway isn’t as hard as you might think! Here are a few steps you can take to make it happen:
- Choose your destination carefully. While many vacations offer an opportunity to try new foods and experience the local cuisine, some places are known around the world for their local specialties, while others don’t even make a blip on the radar as far as culinary arts are concerned. If you’re committed to eating your way through your destination, do your research and pick a spot that will provide plenty of gastronomic adventures and experiences for you and your crew.
- Connect with a local. Once you’ve identified your destination, don’t rely on Yelp reviews alone to plan your dining experiences and build your itinerary. Instead, see if you can find a way to get in touch with someone local to the area - someone well-versed in the local fare.
And no, your hotel bellhop or receptionist doesn’t count as a local in this situation. Many are rewarded by nearby restaurants for pointing guests in their direction, so take any recommendations they provide with a grain of salt.
- Take a cooking class. What better way to get to know the cuisine of a place than to learn how to make it yourself? See if you can find a cooking class at your destination to sign up for. Even if you’d much rather eat than cook, you’ll pick up some new skills in the kitchen and get to learn about local flavors and techniques from a chef who knows them best.
- Don’t shy away from street food. Street food is huge in cities around the world. Vendors set up small shops along sidewalks, in alleys, out of vehicles, and wherever else they can find space to cook and sell their dishes - typically, a limited menu of several well-made, affordable plates that can be eaten on the go. While some view street food with skepticism, any foodie will tell you that street food is one of the best ways to experience the authentic flavors and cooking traditions of a place. A good rule of thumb is to go where there seems to be more people around (even if you have to wait for your lunch a little longer) as those are usually the best known places.
- Plan a picnic. That's right! Grab a few items from your closest deli or grocery store and head to a beautiful park to enjoy some fresh air. Some bread, cheese, jam and fruit and you're all set! Just don't forget to take a blanket with you and make sure to clean your space after you are done. Afternoon picnic on the Champ de Mars with an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower? Yes, please!
- Plan plenty of activity. The last thing you want to do on your food-centric vacation is to stuff yourself to the point of being miserable. Even when enjoying the local food is the focus of your trip, you’ll still have plenty of other sights and attractions on your itinerary. Don’t eat until you are miserable. Instead, break up your meals and sampling sessions with plenty of walking and taking lovely photos around your destination. Eat, walk, eat, sleep, repeat!
With a little planning and prep work, you’ll find that planning the foodie getaway of your dreams isn’t an impossible task. See what options exist in your destination and make plans to rest, relax and indulge in the local delicacies. Where would you go for the ultimate foodie vacation? Leave a comment and let me know!