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How to find your native, indigenous food restaurant in a foreign country

Nice Local is a new online search tool that helps people to find local spots around them. Whether you’re looking for a local beauty parlor, juice bar, coffee shops, yoga and spa centers, etc., Nice Local has the resources to help you find them.

Every country of the world has foods that are native to them. Yours could be the traditional Soupe à l'oignon. Mine is iyan and egusi.

Anytime I walk into a new city, I often wonder whether there are restaurants where my native foods are served. Not because I don't do foreign foods, but mainly because there is a kind of satisfaction that comes with eating one's local food.

I’m sure you, too, have had similar cravings in the past – times when you hoped to find the best restaurant to get your native food.

Anyways, today is your lucky day. Below are some tips on how to find the best native food restaurants around you. 

1. Use the NiceLocal site
Nice Local is a new online search tool that helps people to find local spots around them. Whether you’re looking for a local beauty parlor, juice bar, coffee shops, yoga and spa centers, etc., Nice Local has the resources to help you find them.

Now, if native food restaurants are what you’re after, Nice Local can be of help. 

You simply type in the local food you’re after and the city you’re in, and Nice Local will connect you with a host of restaurants serving such cuisines around you.

What makes Nice Local’s suggestions even more impressive is the fact you’ll get to see the reviews and feedback of these restaurants. Thus, making your selection a lot easier.

2. Use TripAdvisor
Tripadvisor is a popular travel search engine that guides travelers on where to find anything they’re looking for. 

When you need to find the best restaurants serving your local dishes, Tripadvisor can be a great place to look. Currently, they have over 4.3 million restaurants listed on their site, which includes local and intercontinental ones.

To find your local food, simply go to the Traveladvisor website, enter the food you’re looking for in the search bar, then filter the result based on the country or city where you currently are.

For instance, let’s assume you’re looking for a French restaurant serving Coq au vin in London. You simply type the name on the Traveladvisor site and then filter the result as shown below.

As you can see, there are a couple of restaurant options where one can find Coq au vin in London, England.

3. Find local travel blogs
Chances are you're not the first from your town to visit that city you're heading to. If anything, it's possible some bloggers have visited the same place in the past. Many a time, many of these people even document their experience in blogs and publications. 

Find out about such blogs and publications and see if any has useful recommendations for you. You can find these types of blogs by simply searching on Google, using search keywords like “best {name of city} travel blogs}.”

From the displayed results, you can find blogs that provide you with the sort of information you need.

4. Ask for recommendations at your accommodation 
Whether you’re lodged in a hotel, Air BnB, or a hostel, asking the people who work at these places for recommendations can be a great way to find what you’re looking for.

Since they work around, they’re bound to know places or spots where your local cuisines are served. And even if they don’t, they might know someone who knows someone who knows where to find your cravings.

5. Use Google Maps
Google Maps is there to help you find anything you're looking for near you. Whether that be restaurants, hotels, hostels, spots, or what have you.

To use Google Maps to find your native food spots, go to Google and enter the food name, as well as the target location. For example, let's say you're looking for where to get Italian gelato in New York; you can simply search for "best gelato spots in New York." And Google will show you a list of places to try.

If you’re lucky, some of the restaurants on display might even have contact details you can call for enquiries.

The only downside with this approach is it depends on whether the native restaurants in your target location have active Google My Business accounts. If they don’t, then Google may not be able to locate them, let alone display them to you.

6. Read local travel guides
Some people have made it their life ambition to help travelers find useful information about spots and places in their target destination.

Reading this sort of local guides can be a really good idea when you're looking for places to eat your local food. 

For starters, many of these guides contain information such as price range for commodities, locations for special events, local and intercontinental cuisine spots, street food shops, etc.

You can find local travel guides for your target destination online, or you can ask people at your hotel, airport, or other public spaces you visit on your travel.

7. Use Social Media
Social media platforms are a goldmine for information. Whatever you’re looking for, I can bet you’ll find it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the likes.

You just need to ask.

To find your indigenous food spots in any city, simply search for a keyword relating to the food and then use the geotag feature to filter the results to just that location. This will display many results, comprising posts from people who have eaten that food at that particular location. In case the name of the restaurants isn't included in the posts, you can simply slide into the DM of the person who made the post to get more details.

Another wonderful alternative is to simply ask your friends and followers on social media. You will never know whether someone on your followers’ list has previously visited the country and eaten the kind of local food you’re looking for unless you ask.

So, ask your social media friends.

Main photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

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