Eating well in your hometown is not a complicated task. As a local, you know all the places that serve great food, from pancake diners to elegant restaurants.
However, things are very different when you are a tourist. Visiting a city for the first time involves lots of sightseeing and walking, or spending plenty of time on the beach, swimming and playing volleyball. That is why a satisfying breakfast is so important.
What conditions should a great breakfast place fulfill?
- A diverse menu: fluffy pancakes, waffles, French toast, omelets… to give enough energy and strength;
- Delicious and fresh food;
- Large portions;
- Affordable prices.
So, how to find the best breakfast place wherever you are without wasting too much time and money? Here are 5 tips that will prevent you from starvation and bankruptcy while traveling.
Talk to the Locals
Asking local people where to eat well is probably the best way of discovering great breakfast venues in the city. Always polite hotel employees, taxi drives, waiters, police officers, shop assistants, or the first random person passing on the street - the more people you ask, the more alternatives you will have to choose from.
Locals can inform you on the hottest new places, recommend cheaper venues, tell you where to get great coffee (never underestimate the importance of coffee when you are on foot all day), authentic foods, vegan or vegetarian restaurants… in a word, details you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Explore the City
Do not spend the whole time in the five-star resort you have booked, no matter how amazing it is. Get out and explore.
While you are touring the most popular landmarks in the city, take a few moments to look for lines in front of restaurants and mark the crowded places (you might need to peep through a few windows). There’s no better recommendation than a crowded restaurant filled with pleased faces.
However, make sure the crowd is not comprised of tourists. You will easily recognize them by the backpacks, cameras, and maps they’re carrying around. Instead, pick a food place that is filled with locals (those dressed casually or in work outfits). Make a reservation to come back the following morning to avoid waiting in line.
Another alternative is to take chances. Walk around the city and enter the first breakfast place you come across when you get hungry. Who knows, the best pancakes of your life may be just there!
Avoid Breakfast Places Near Popular Tourist Attractions
Restaurants near popular tourist attractions or those located on the main streets don’t need to go through the trouble of attracting customers. They’re always packed simply because of their fortunate choice of location.
As a rule, these so-called ‘tourist traps’ serve poor (borderline disgusting, rubbery, and stale) food. Moreover, considering that tourists are hungry and won’t waste their time looking for a better solution, there places grossly overcharge the tasteless food they sell. Not to mention that the staff is usually less than friendly.
The truth is that amazing diners and breakfast restaurants are usually just around the corner. All you need to do is look for them.
Discover Local Varieties
It doesn’t make much sense to be in India and look for an Italian restaurant; order a ‘Dosa’ pancake for breakfast instead. Also, stop relying on hotel restaurants, they have nothing to offer in terms of authentic dishes.
Eating delicious local food is an important part of the traveling experience, maybe just as important as visiting all landmarks and museums.
When it comes to regional specialties you can be sure that local chefs know all the tips and tricks to make them perfectly tasty. In addition, local food tends to be less expensive and more widely available. So, why not avoid the food you can have at home and try something new and interesting?
Booking a culinary tour in advance will give you an opportunity to taste a larger number of local dishes, with information on what they’re made of, where to find them, and how much they cost. Or, think out of the box and try the street vendors. This will allow you to experience local foods in their most genuine form. If you are not much of an adventurist when it comes to food, at least try fusion cuisines that combine your favorite food with local options.
Use the Internet
Of course, the Internet gives you countless of possibilities to find the best breakfast places when traveling, especially if you happen to be in a place where no one seems to understand English (or any language you use). It is important to do your research in advance and store all the valuable info on your smartphone. Here are some methods to use:
- Post your traveling plans on social media like Twitter and Facebook and ask your friends to share their recommendations and experiences. Also, use popular hashtags for the city you are visiting in order to connect with locals and get recommendations from them.
- Turn to the good old, omniscient Google. Look for best-of food lists, reach out to local food bloggers, and read regional online magazines and city guides.
- Download crowd-sourced apps like Yelp, Foursquare or pancakesnearme. Simply type your location and the app will come up with the breakfast places near you, accompanied by addresses, as well as comments on prices, service, ambiance, special offers, delivery options, discounts, coupons, available parking lots and other useful advice.
Knowing where eat great breakfast will not only prevent you from starvation but it will also leave more time to explore and enjoy the city, minimize the stress, and contribute to a great overall traveling experience!