Top tips for finding the most authentic eats

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This article was created for The Travel Project by Amanda Griffo, who has lived on three continents and travelled to over twenty countries.

To travel is to eat, that we all know. But sometimes our excitement to try food in a new place can leave us reeled into emptying our pockets at expensive restaurants, or trolling through online reviews to see whether it's 'tourist-approved'.

Want a real authentic eating experience? Here's how to eat like a local on your travels...

GO BEYOND THE CITY CENTRE

Passing through capital cities will leave you tempted to dine in the main city square. There you will likely find pricy restaurants, simply for the prime location. Just because the food is expensive, doesn’t mean the quality will be amazing. Being desperate to fill your belly often means you’ll whip out your credit card and pay six euros for a cappuccino at what seems like a very average café. Just don’t do it…

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GO "OFF - ROAD"

All you have to do is stroll a few blocks away from the city center and examine a few other restaurant menus. Getting out of the tourist zones when searching for grub can result in some hefty savings. Yes, you may have to walk additional street blocks to find an affordable place to eat, but it’s usually worth it. I’ve had great experiences at lesser known and lesser-populated local restaurants compared to the more commercialised eateries.

Pizza-eating-locally

LOOK IN UNLIKELY PLACES

After strolling around for ten minutes or so through the backstreets, I found this lovely pizzeria. It did not look like much from the outside, or the inside for that matter – with its very casual and lack of décor. Still, I had a good feeling about this place. I knew the food would be tasty. It worked out really well and my fellow travellers were also happy we got to explore the area.

RELATED: FACT: FOOD IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF TRAVELLING

ASK AROUND

Rather than spending hours checking online reviews, why not ask a local where they go for lunch? I have had success with this also when I was on the small island of Aegina, nearby Athens, Greece. I hopped on a ferry to get there and didn’t spend a moment considering what I might eat the half-day I was spending there.

As soon as I spotted a shop owner, I asked her where I could find tasty food and she pointed to a place that was totally out of my sight! This local spot was amazing and I probably ate the best calamari of my life. It’s a place I would have easily overlooked whilst I wandered the area.

Holding-up-snack-eating-locally

BE SAVVY WITH YOUR MONEY

Although, it can be very tempting to go straight to one of the heavily advertised restaurants on a commercial street, it is worth checking out more local places. Be that savvy tourist that digs a little deeper to find those great eateries outside the tourist zones. Not only will you save money, you will also find more unexplored parts of a city that most tourists would never otherwise find.

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