How do I find good food on the road?
I love food. it has become a passion of mine. I like thinking about preparing it, planning what I want to try to make, and actually putting dishes together and serving them to friends and family. I also love watching food being prepared, learning about the ingredients and culinary customs behind dishes. and being able to share a meal with locals anywhere I go. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the Travel Channel’s show “Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations,” I highly recommend it. That show has given me such a desire to stay raw and local in my travels, to avoid tourist traps, and to hunt down the best grub around. He has my dream job. Anthony, if you’re reading, I envy you!
I have searched the Internet for ways to find great restaurants while abroad and I have come up with a pretty nice way to decide where to eat while on the road. One of the new and interesting websites I use is www.chowhound.com, it is a website full of food news, media, videos, recipes, hot topics and to my aid discussion boards. The whole site is interesting but when searching for information about a locale I am visiting I go to the discussion boards and search by location then scroll through the discussion boards for tips on dining. As far as St.John goes I found a great discussion about dining on the Island. I looked through the restaurants and took the most commonly recommended places with local fare and saved them into my phone so when we get there we can check them out. When I save the name of the restaurant I also may included little details such as what people really liked there, tips on finding the place or the dress code.
After I compile my list I also spend a bit of time on www.tripadvisor.com searching the local scene for anything I may have missed, reviews of the places I have chosen and additional places to add and any other bits of information I see helpful.
My St. John List:
The Lime Inn- lobster or whole fish
Shipwreck- for lunch, conch fritters
Caneels- Monday night seafood Buffet, need reservations
Zozo’s- nice, reservation
La Tapa **** definitely try
La Panche de Mer ****definitely try
Sogos- Local joint across from Lime Inn-Roti dish is they have it
Mrs.Fretty- local place on the corner by a bus stop coral bay, pink building , no sign weird hours.
Very Casual places: Skinny legs,Lucy’s, Banana deck, Spyglass(tacos).
Another strategy I use is when in a local book store or library I look at the magazines for local editions or food features on places I am going. A great magazine for this information is Southern Living, I have a list of places close to me in Charleston SC, and Atlanta GA to try. As I continue collecting ideas they really add up, and by the next time I visit one of these places I have a whole list of coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants to try. I found a feature on dining in a magazine on Texas and saved a bunch of the Dallas restaurants for my April trip. I also save the website or phone number so I can check out the menu or call as needed.
My Dallas List
Breakfast- Company Cafe, White Rock Local Market, La Duni, All Good Cafe and Crossroads Diner.
One Art****- need reservations definitely go
Nana****- reservations definitely go
Maple and Motor
Then when you arrive pick up a copy of the local “free” paper which usually features a ton of food options. Search for local food trucks, street vendors and back door joints and ask as many locals as you can where to eat. Don’t be scared to try new things they may amaze you and when you find something great tell people about it.
My number one food rule on the road: No Chain Restaurants! Support local business.
Next on my agenda is a food tour in hopes of experiencing some real local fare. Check these sites out if you are interested in a food tour on your next vacation.
Foodie Tours- Offers a world wide search feature by location.
Houston Culinary Tours
Okay, yes I am a little obsessed, but food is one thing that gets me excited about travel. Please share your tips and tricks as well as any amazing places you’ve found or experiences you’ve had while on the road.
Eat Well, Live Well!
– Shannon, The Rookie