1. Ask a Local
If you can, ask where is good to eat. Couch Surfing hosts, hotel staff, police, randoms on the street… whoever. We have found amazing restaurants in towns we knew nothing about just by asking somebody.
2. Truck Drivers Know Best
We met a guy named Ali in Turkey who advised us that the Turkish truck drivers will NOT settle for anything by the tastiest, freshest food. We ate in restaurants with hoards of truck drivers and we can confirm that they know best! A word of warning though, bus drivers often have deals with restaurants, so if you see multiple buses sitting outside, it's probably because the bus drivers get a cut of the revenue – not that the food is good!
We still look out for roadside restaurants with lots of cars or trucks parked out front, no matter what country, and it works well!
3. Busy Restaurants
An obvious one. Busy restaurants are most often busy for a reason. They are cheap and awesome, or expensive and incredibly awesome!
4. The Quick Snoop
Look in the window or at the plates sitting in front of the outdoor diners. Does the food look decent?
5. Going to a Place You Already Know
There is NO shame in going to the same amazing restaurant more than one time. Alleykat often finds a 'local' and have even been known to go three times in a day to our favourite places!
6. Use your nose
If we smell something amazing, we have to stop. Your nose… nose… best, and it hardly results in any… no-nose!
7. Specialty Shops
We often stop at places that specialise in one variety of food. For example bread shops that sell just one type of bread do this because they have nailed the recipe. We always have time for this… mmm, fresh bread! Conversely, if a restaurant sells EVERY type of food, this can be bad, bad, bad.
Slightly more time consuming…
8. Food Apps
For mobile devices, food apps can be the best way to find a place to eat, although they are often limited to big cities. UrbanSpoon is a great resource with the ability to rank restaurants and find places close to where you are located.
9. Travel Websites
Websites such as TripAdvisor have lots of reviews written about restaurants in all cities, as well as many towns worldwide. They are written by unbiased people like us, so you can expect your food to be as described in the reviews.
10. Guide Books
If you have access to a Lonely Planet or a Frommers, read it. The reviews, although probably outdated, are often pretty accurate to our experience.
Have you got any other food finding tips?