We all know the famous gourmet regions of the world: France, Italy, Peru, New York City, Las Vegas, the Napa Valley. But, I am a firm believer that any vacation can be turned into a “gourmet vacation”. Good food is all around and you can find it just about anywhere as long as you are willing to put a bit of effort into finding it. My number one tip for finding the best food in any city is to ask a local. Where do the locals eat? Chances are it is a neighborhood cafe with an organic garden in the backyard or it is an Irish pub with no advertising and no sign out front or it is a food truck parked on the corner of Main and 8th Street only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These are all local gems that could easily be overlooked.
So often in our regular lives we eat things that are quick, easy and we rarely take the time to slow down and really enjoy eating. Vacation really should be the time to slow down, find a local bistro and really enjoy your food. A gourmet vacation doesn’t always have to feature expensive meals or a 5 star restaurant with a celebrity chef. It really should be about enjoying the company you are with and tasting all that an area has to offer. You know the old saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Some of my most memorable meals while traveling have been in small town cafe’s served by an owner or at a tiny restaurant with few tables and a line out the door.
I highly recommend skipping the famous restaurant chains. Where’s the fun in eating something you can get around the corner at home? Even if you are in the mood for a quick burger, I suggest giving the local drive-in a try and skipping the burger chain you can find in every city. I bet you will find a great burger and maybe even that tasty shake you haven’t had in 20 years. It is vacation!
Every area has their specialty. Every town has a cafe that makes the best omelet or has a bar and grill with the best happy hour. If you don’t look, you are really missing out! I promise the next time you are in Grand Forks, North Dakota you will find the best fried pickles you have ever tasted at a little restaurant called The Toasted Frog. Ask anyone in town!
Your Friendly Travel Consultant,