Ever wondered how jet-setting food bloggers know how to find the best local restaurants in a new city? We chatted with some top foodie travelers to find out how to uncover any destination’s most delicious eats, and to hear about some of their most memorable meals.
Let’s meet the crew one by one…
Rachelle Lucas of The Travel Bite
Photos courtesy of Rachelle Lucas
Rachelle Lucas is the foodie traveler behind TheTravelBite.com, where she publishes videos, articles and recipes that will make you want to circumvent the globe tasting new dishes along the way. She’s been to more than 44 countries, including an around-the-world trip as the official blogger for Four Seasons Jet — not a bad gig to have!
Travel tip: Rachelle says that Twitter (where she is known as @TravelBlggr) is her favorite social network for just throwing out a question like, “What’s the best restaurant in _____.” She’ll usually send out a couple of tweets asking for recommendations and research the most popular hashtags for the city, since socially connected locals will respond with their favorites.
Impressive hotel restaurant: “I have had so many memorable meals, and such a variety of different dining experiences,” says Rachelle. “From a barbecue at a wine estate in South Africa, to dining in the dark in Fort Lauderdale, and even having lunch at the number one restaurant in the world, Celler de Can Roca — It’s difficult to choose just one.” But she adds that Le Cinq at Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris created quite the memorable experience. “I was there for the weekend with my mom in celebration of her birthday, so we made reservations for dinner. They’re known for offering classic French cuisine with a modern and elegant twist. And since everything on their menu was so enticing, we chose their eight-course Epicurean Escape chef’s tasting to experience a bit of everything. As each course was presented, we were in awe. They were like contemporary pieces of art and tasted as delicious as they looked.”
Mark Wiens of Migrationology
Photos courtesy of Mark Wiens
Mark Wiens of both Migrationology.com and EatingThaiFood.com says that food is the reason why you should travel. Originally from Arizona, Mark has lived (not just traveled) all over the world in places like France, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and now Thailand, where he met and married Ying, the love of his life. Now they travel together tasting new and interesting dishes along the way.
Travel tip: Mark says that sometimes he does online research, but his favorite method is exploring a city on foot and finding local places that are busy with customers.
Impressive hotel restaurant: “Getting out and exploring, with little or no plans, is how I’ve had some of my most memorable travel eating experiences,” says Mark. “One of my most memorable hotel meals was at Rang Mahal, an Indian restaurant at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok. Every Sunday there is a brunch buffet, with a choice of a big variety of Indian dishes from the north to the south of the country. The flavors of the food were excellent and the elegant atmosphere, with a view ofBangkok from above, was fantastic.”
Jewel Figueras of Jewel’s Fab Life
Photos courtesy of Jewel Figueras
Jewel Figueras of JewelsFabLife.com really does live a fab life. While food blogging has been her passion for quite some time, she also dishes on fashion, entertainment and celebrities. Originally from Washington D.C., Jewel resides in South Florida where she knows about all the hottest places to grab a bite to eat.
Travel tip: Jewel says that the best eats are usually found off the beaten path and that she does quite a bit of reconnaissance before she makes any reservations. Her favorite resource is FoodNetwork.com where you can search by location on their site.
Impressive hotel restaurant: “Recently, I had Lamb Porchetta at BLT Steak at The Betsy Hotel on South Beach and it was amazing.” says Jewel. “The pomegranate relish along with tamarind yogurt completely set it off!”
Erin De Santiago of Our Tasty Travels
Erin De Santiago and Brett Domue are the creators of OurTastyTravels.com, where they’ve traveled to more than 60 countries in the search of tasty food, wine and beer. We chatted with Erin who is originally from California, but currently splits her time between Belize and The Netherlands.
Travel tip: Erin is a fine-dining style of foodie, so she’s searching for restaurants with a fair share of Michelin stars. She also likes to query other local food bloggers and the hotel concierge. Lately Instagram (you can find her as @OurTastyTravels & @ErinDeSantiago) has been a great resource for her, where she’s looked for specific hashtags to help guide the way.
Impressive hotel restaurant: “One of the dishes that sticks out in my mind is the suckling pig from Ming Court at the Langham Place Hotel in Hong Kong,” says Erin. “It’s the best suckling pig I’ve ever had! I love how they take the extra step in trimming some of the fat so you are left with a thin crispy skin on the pork. It’s one of my “must eat” dishes when I’m staying there, and it’s even on their room service menu! I may have been known to order it once or twice from room service during a stay — in addition to having it at dinner in Ming Court.”
Akila McConnell of The Road Forks
Photos courtesy of Akila McConnell and Mesa Grill
Akila McConnell is the creator of TheRoadForks.com and she has made discovering the most flavorful meals into an impressive career. When she’s not giving insider food tours in her hometown of Atlanta through her company Atlanta Food Walks, Akila is traveling the world with her chief eating partner in crime, Patrick.
Travel tip: For Akila, it’s all about talking to people to find out where to eat. She says her best restaurant tips have come from hotel concierges, guests at restaurants, waiters and even the guy sitting on the bus next to her.
Impressive hotel restaurant: “One of the best dishes we had at a hotel restaurant was the goat cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas,” says Akila. “The creamy cotija cheese and corn filling paired beautifully with the crispy and delicate zucchini blossom on top of a red pepper sauce. But, everything we had at Mesa Grill was amazing! Definitely some of the best food we had in Vegas, which is a city known for its hotel restaurants.”
Ayngelina Brogan of Bacon is Magic
Photos courtesy ofAyngelina Brogan
Do you love bacon? So does Ayngelina Brogan, the voice behind her blog, Bacon is Magic. Originally from Toronto, Ayngelina began her travels solo. One day she walked into a restaurant and asked to meet the chef, who ended up being the love of her life. Now she and Dave cook and taste amazing dishes together.
Travel tip: Ayngelina says she usually has an idea of one place she’d like to visit. Then she’ll go there and ask the server for more suggestions. She’s also a huge fan of Eater and Chowhound’s recommendations.
Impressive hotel restaurant: “I don’t usually eat at hotel restaurants but we did stop in at Daniel Boulud’s dbar at the Four Seasons Toronto at Yorkville for charcuterie and Boudin Blanc,” says Ayngelina. “And it was delicious.”
Now that you have a few tips from the pros, where are you off to next?