How to eat like a local

With the proliferation of TV shows like No Reservations and Bizarre Foods, I’m always pining to find some hole-in-the-wall restaurant in India or Vietnam, to eat just how the locals do. But it’s not always as easy to find those places as it seems on television.

Over at Brave New Traveler, Ross Tabak explores the “7 Secrets for Eating Like a Local,” in which he encourages travelers to get off the tourist trail, and instead explore the real culinary scene of your destination. So how do you find the best places to eat? Simple– you ask.

“Every town and neighborhood has its famous restaurants,” Tabak writes, “but more than likely they aren’t written about in any English guidebook or magazine. The only way to find them is to cruise the streets around mealtime and ask for recommendations from locals.”

For me, finding good food is accomplished with the same set of skills that it takes to have a great travel experience. It’s all about the ability to cross invisible boundaries– whether it’s striking up a conversation with a local, trying a food you normally wouldn’t, or entering a part of town that tourists usually don’t.