5 Tricks to Finding the Best Places to Eat in Europe
By Marina Shea, WSA Intern
Guide books are great, but if all the tourists have them then everyone will be flocking to those restaurants. Here are some tips to finding the most authentic and cost-efficient eateries around Europe.
1. ASK LOCALS
Your hostel might have some good recommendations, but they’ve also probably partnered with some restaurants and will be more inclined to point you in the direction of places other tourists frequent. If you can struggle through the language or find someone who speaks English, ask a local for their personal recommendations and then ask your waiter, they’re bound to know other great eats around town!
2. BE AWARE OF LOCAL DINING TIMES
If you know what the local eating times are, you’ll be able to avoid the other masses of tourists and eat with the people who actually live in the city you’re visiting. It can also do you good to search out food festivals if you’re a foodie and plan your trip around those dates, but also be aware of major holidays when the restaurants will all be booked plenty in advance.
Since all the tourist are hitting up the major sites, the restaurants in the area are going to be majorly marked up in terms of price. Wander a bit past the eager waiters trying to sit you at their restaurant into the backstreets to find more local food.
4. WHEN MENUS AREN’T IN ENGLISH, THAT’S A GOOD THING
Sure in most large cities you may be hard pressed to find a restaurant that doesn’t have an English menu, but if you are able to find such a place, enjoy the roulette: point to something and go with it! When you don’t hear English in the mess of talk at a restaurant that means it’s a local friendly place!
5. SOMETIMES IT'S ALRIGHT TO SPEND A LITTLE EXTRA MONEY
Yes, most of us are traveling on a budget. But, of all things, food is not something you should have to skimp on. Every once in a while treat yourself to that restaurant that would usually be out of your price range for the taste and experience!
Learn the basics of dining language etiquette in the local language. A basic “please”, “thank you”, and “the check, please” in the native language can get you a long way!
About the Author
Marina Shea is a member of Spring 2016's WSA Intern Squad, and studying abroad in Seville, Spain for the Semester. She is a Junior at Goucher College in Baltimore, where she also serves as a Resident Assistant and student ambassador.
Bogi is a great guide. She was everything you could want in a guide plus more. She was fun, cool, and the best part- knowledgeable. She really made the trip great. We got to the hostel late and she was able to rearrange our schedule so everyone could go caving. After caving we were picked up by Bogi (thank goodness because figuring out Hungarian public transportation is really hard if you don't speak Hungarian). WSA made sure to include super cool things- caving, thermal baths, bus tickets, escape games and the hostel. I would definitely do this trip again. Bogi was fun and flexible, we didn't have to stick to a tight schedule and we were able to do things that we wanted to do like the Liberty Statue. She is great, WSA is lucky to have her.Cheyenne Hodur, Drake University ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015
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