Ask your social network – Dining out tip

If you’re on Facebook and/or Twitter, you already have a host of restaurant tips at your disposal: Ask members of your social network what restaurants they recommend in the city you plan to visit.

Those who live in that city will be able to give you a local’s perspective, and you will also hear from people who live elsewhere but have visited that city in the past.

Who knows? You might even find a dining companion or two!

[Photo: Flickr | Patrick Powers]

Exploring a city via pub crawl – Dining out tip

I have found there’s no better way to get to know a new city than to take a tour of its downtown entertainment or bar district, which is why I generally like to go on a “pub crawl” one night when I travel.

Start in a local pub or bar, have a drink or two, and move onto the next one. I find it more enjoyable to find the truly local establishments, and not the national franchises. It makes for a fun night and great stories.

Pro tip: consider wrapping a “progressive dinner” into your pub crawl for more diversity… and less chance of a hangover. helps take the unknown out of airport food

Finding a decent meal at the airport is always a gamble. I suspect my ratio for good airport food is one good meal for every ten bad ones. For some reason, the airport environment seems unable to cook anything that doesn’t taste like baked shoe.

A new online resource is determined to help change that – is a repository of airport dining reviews, and currently covers 409 different eateries.

Each entry provides a photo (when available), pricing, location, opening hours, whether they are kid friendly, and whether they sell alcohol. Users can add their own reviews to the location, and rate them on their taste, ambiance, cleanliness and service. Best of all, reviewers can add their own tips, recommending (for or against) certain dishes.

As of this morning, there are 104 reviews on the site, but over time that should grow nicely – especially if travelers take the time to add their own reviews. Click here to visit the site, and read some of the reviews – then, next time you fly and eat at the airport, add your review and help fellow passengers.

Yelp is a vacationer’s best friend – Dining out tip

Want to find the best restaurants while on vacation? Not only will Yelp help you find which restaurants are nearby, it also provides user reviews for each restaurant, so you really know what you might be getting into before you arrive at the establishment. The site also includes nifty, useful filtering options, so you can zero in on exactly what you need.

No access to a computer? No worries. Yelp also comes in several mobile flavors, including for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android-based smartphones like the Motorola Droid.

Visit the Yelp website and see for yourself.

Look for menus in the city’s native language – Dining out tip

When traveling to a foreign city, you can usually find the cheapest and best-tasting food by looking for menus that are written entirely in that city’s native language.

Generally speaking, these venues are frequented by locals and are found off the beaten path. Travelers will find that restaurants catering to the local population are far less expensive than their tourist-orientated counterparts. Often, the food will be fresher and better prepared, as it has to cater to the discerning local.

Not only will you find the best and cheapest food – it will add to the overall cultural experience of your destination.