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Eating abroad while abroad - Why won't people do it?

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We've been traveling for the last year and half and could not help notice how many travelers stick to the "tourist fare" on the tourist only restaurants. Why is that?
6 years ago, July 22nd 2014 No: 1 Msg: #183632  
N Posts: 4
Hi,

We've been traveling for the last year and half and could not help notice how many travelers stick to the "tourist fare" on the "tourist" only restaurants - that does not apply only for the vacationers, but also to many folks on a many-month-long RTW.

As we think that eating the typical dishes of particular cuisine is a part of our trip - just as important as the sights and activities - we couldn't be creative enough for an explanation. Is it just us or people don't care?

What are the biggest challenges when eating abroad, specially if you are trying to eat the local food? Reply to this

6 years ago, July 23rd 2014 No: 2 Msg: #183668  
Hi
I never stick to 'tourist fare' and like yourselves believe that part of the experience is the new tastes discovered, I think quite a few bloggers would agree 😊

My biggest challenge is being a veggie, you would think that vegetables would be easy to come across but it's definitely not so, I've lost count of the number of people who have offered me chicken whilst telling me that it's not meat! Reply to this

6 years ago, July 26th 2014 No: 3 Msg: #183722  
B Posts: 54
In response to: Msg #183668
We love to eat where locals eat when we can, but being vegetarian, at most places our only choice is the "touristy" restaurants. Reply to this

6 years ago, August 11th 2014 No: 4 Msg: #184167  
B Posts: 2
Eating local is one of the best parts of exploring other places. The only place I've really had trouble with was in England, when I thought we were speaking the same language and ordered something, turns out I had no idea what it was. I still don't know what it was.

I've been to McDonald's in countries outside North America and while at first I thought it would be a terrible idea, it's actually an interesting thing to do and is something I would recommend. It's fun! Reply to this

6 years ago, August 12th 2014 No: 5 Msg: #184197  
Maybe it's a language issue? Or they think it will cost them more, which is never the case. I'd say that trying the food is a major part of travelling, but then I love food 😊 Reply to this

5 years ago, June 7th 2015 No: 6 Msg: #191248  
I also love trying local food, but usually like mixing up both local and tourist restaurants, cafes and street food. I find even if local food is not good (or maybe it's more appropriate to say, I'm not accustomed to it), I think it's worthwhile to try again at a different local joint to see if it changes the experience. One experience is definitely not a reflection of an entire city/country. ;-)

I confess, guiltily, that I never was able to like Durian. Reply to this

5 years ago, June 7th 2015 No: 7 Msg: #191250  
Eating the local food in each country you visit is an essential part of the experience. But that doesn't mean you have to eat food you are uncomfortable eating...like bugs. I grew up in Asia and as a small child only ate red ants off our fence. None of the markets sold fried bugs. I think this has just been introduced for the tourist market to see if someone could be so dumb as to eat a scorpion.

I do like to eat at McDonalds occasionally, especially after eating only local food for two weeks, to see what interesting twists they add to the menu...a McLobster in the Canadian Maritime provinces was especially good...and to see what a Big Mac costs (per the Economist's Big Mac Index of Purchasing Power Parity). Reply to this

5 years ago, June 9th 2015 No: 8 Msg: #191270  
B Posts: 287
I am a huge street food fan, and when I tell people that, they gasp. But I will try everything and I'm not afraid of it. Yes, I've gotten sick, yes I've been hospitalized, but it is usually because I've eaten that forced tourist crap or in restaurants in the tourist zones, and not the vendor food. My first and only rule is, eat where the locals eat. If you see a little dive shack on the side of a road with a dirt floor and stray dogs hanging around AND it is packed with locals, make a bee line for it! These will be, no doubt, the best places you will ever eat. Trust me. Reply to this

5 years ago, June 9th 2015 No: 9 Msg: #191271  
B Posts: 287
Lol. Gotta love the McLobster! I remember going to Australia and seeing McDonalds put avocado and beet root on their burgers. I couldn't believe it. Reply to this

5 years ago, June 11th 2015 No: 10 Msg: #191322  
The best part of travelling is eating the local, culural food. I like to order something off the menu that I have no idea what it is. I have never been disappointed. Luckily I am not a fussy eater and will try almost anything - at least once! When travelling in third world countries you must be careful to eat cooked foods, else you may end up with gastroeneritis. I travel with a group of women and they send me to the buffet first to try everything. I then tell each one what they might try or stay away from depending on whether they like spicy or nild. In response to: Msg #183632 Reply to this

5 years ago, June 11th 2015 No: 11 Msg: #191340  
I try anything whilst abroad and have ordered tripe sausages and enjoyed them in France , local stews in Croatia and will try anything as long as it looks interesting. Have found that there are foods that I now love and have only found out about by travelling abroad and being adventurous by ordering off the menu. I might have little idea what I am ordering but most of the time end up with something really good. Glenn on the other hand suffers with a bad stomach which just wont put up with anything spicy or odd so he tends to be a bit more conservative . Our diet at home has become more mediterranean due to travelling in the motorhome Reply to this

5 years ago, June 14th 2015 No: 12 Msg: #191404  
Durian? Yuck! Everyone says that it doesn't taste like it smells, but, unfortunately, it does. Foul!

We eat lots of local food everywhere we go, but also like to make a beeline for Burger King once in a while!

Last night we had sushi. In Ukraine. However, in Ukrainian style, it was cheese sushi. Reply to this

5 years ago, June 14th 2015 No: 13 Msg: #191405  
Durian? Yuck! Everyone says that it doesn't taste like it smells, but, unfortunately, it does. Foul!

We eat lots of local food everywhere we go, but also like to make a beeline for Burger King once in a while!

Last night we had sushi. In Ukraine. However, in Ukrainian style, it was cheese sushi. Reply to this

5 years ago, June 15th 2015 No: 14 Msg: #191431  
We love to dine where the locals go.

I remember one time we were in Acapulco and told our cab driver to take us to his favorite restaurant in town. He laughed and said we would not want to go there. We assured him we did. We ended up having the best mexican food we've ever had.

Since that time we've done the same in all of the countries we've traveled to .... so many amazing foods in Morocco, France, Italy.
We've been fortunate enough to be invited to eat in home of people we've gotten to know along the way. Denmark, Bhutan, Iceland, Burma

I'm sure there are many others.
We always places with a lot of Americans

Not fond of the guinea pig in Peru but the sauce it was in was good. ( yes I know it was all in my head). Reply to this

5 years ago, June 19th 2015 No: 15 Msg: #191504  
I remember when we were in Greece we were on a bus with some young people who were on their honeymoon from the States. They had been given the trip as a gift. Remember they were in their early twenties.... they had not traveled much__We overheard them saying they could not wait to get off the bus and go to McDonald's for dinner. Dave and I just looked at each other with great sadness.
They only had been in Greece a few days of a ten day trip and in our opinion that is not long enough to get tired of Greek food or long enough to miss American food. Oh well, to each his own.
They were nice kids. We enjoyed hearing about their wedding.

As long as they enjoyed their trip that is all that is important in the long run. Reply to this

5 years ago, June 20th 2015 No: 16 Msg: #191519  
We love eating local food wherever we go, we even gave the chicken feet and necks a go in China. The most tricky was eating a chicken and peanuts dish with chopsticks! We do occasionally eat 'western' because we are based out in SE Asia and sometimes get that craving, but not very often. We aren't that fussy about what we eat now and will given most things a go. Durian, as mentioned by Kris and Kate, well that doesn't smell to us now and when we've tasted it, to us, it didn't really taste of much so we won't be having it again!

We once witnessed a couple in Thailand asking for spring rolls, buttered bread and ketchup...they proceeded to make spring roll sandwiches with ketchup. Now that was a mix of eating local and western, it looked disgusting but they seemed to be happy with it!
Reply to this

5 years ago, June 22nd 2015 No: 17 Msg: #191544  
Rabbit spaghetti in Malta, fish with the heads on straight from the fish market in Singapore or on a beach in Spain, platters of seafood ( God knows what) in Galicia , kangaroo and crocodile and bush tucker ??? in Oz , green mussels in NZ , I even tried fermented herring inSweden YUK ... and how about toad in the hole in England. Food is part of the culture and the adventure .. What's there not to enjoy! Reply to this

5 years ago, July 3rd 2015 No: 18 Msg: #191753  
Most of tourists prefer local food. Reply to this

5 years ago, July 7th 2015 No: 19 Msg: #191826  
Lynne,

Love to see some photos of those foods you listed. Reply to this

5 years ago, July 21st 2015 No: 20 Msg: #192087  
In response to: Msg #183632 trying the street food is a big part of any trip for me - and although I do like treating myself to a meal in a fancy restaurant once in a while, I do really enjoy finding places full of local people and getting involved - these have been some of my best food experiences.

Also love food markets as well - great places to soak up the atmosphere whilst trying lots of different things.

I have to draw the line at bugs though - I have eaten ants, once, and it wasn't for me. I did have friends who tried much more of the insect-based options when in Asia and in all fairness they did seem to enjoy most of it! Reply to this

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