One of the best things about my job is getting to sample the local fare from whatever city I happen to be in. Being the disillusioned journalist that I am, I don't really trust the generic City Guides that the hotel provides for me. You know... the hardcover ones with pretty pictures and "reviews" *coughadvertisementscough* of conveniently located high end restaurants. I love the locals only spots, but when you're not a local, how do you find them?
- Do some homework: Puruse the internet or food/travel channel for a few leads. Does the city have a "world-famous" anything that you simply cannot miss?? Check out the reviews and make a list of what might appeal to you. Do you have friends that used to live in the city you're going to? Perfect! Ask them what they recommend. Only downside is if they haven't lived there for a while, they could be giving you obsolete information.
- Ask a local: Seems obvious and it is! They can tell you if that place you heard about is all it's cracked up to be, and in my experience, they can recommend someplace BETTER. Good people to chat up are taxi cab drivers - they know where everyting is! So do cops - and in their line of work, good food is a big deal. Hotel bartenders are another good source of info. Especially for those late night snacks.
So, my dear readers... in the spirit of sharing the wealth, what are some of the best restaurants you've been to while traveling?