Discovering the Best Local Restaurants
I’m sharing all my secrets for finding the best local restaurants and bars around, whether in your own town or on vacation!
Gone are the days of discovering new restaurants on Yelp! Gone are the days of trying to weed through bad TripAdvisor reviews! We live in a world where people love to document their food photos and reviews online, and we’re going to take advantage of that! It’s time to learn the new and improved way to find the best local restaurants and bars around you!
Search for foodie magazines
More and more cities are beginning to produce local magazines that feature local eats, attractions, and events. I love reading up on the new things happening in my city. Some of my favorites in St. Louis include Feast Magazine, Sauce Magazine, and St. Louis Magazine. These magazines talk about anything from best cocktails in the city, to restaurants that are opening/closing, to restaurant reviews. Sometimes I love getting a good ‘ole paper copy of the magazine, but many are putting PDF versions or online exclusive articles.
Use your resources, people!
You likely have a large network of people all around you who have unique tastes and a variety of restaurant recommendations. If you’re looking for new spots in your local city, the best resources are often right in front of you! Ask your friends, your family, or your co-workers. Already have a handful of restaurants you love and visit all the time? Ask the people who work in the restaurant business what places they love! If you’re traveling to a new city, try asking for recommendations from your friends or followers on social media.
Try ChefsFeed App
ChefsFeed is a foodie app that pulls together food and drink guides straight from the experts in the culinary world. Chefs, bartenders, and restaurant owners share their opinions on local eats. You have the option to search in various cities around the U.S. and Canada, as well as by the type of dish or drink you’re looking for. While the app is not as photo focused as other options, it gives reviews of the restaurant from people who truly know food. It’s a free app, so you have nothing to lose (download on the App Store or Google Play)!
Instagram is your best friend
If you’re anything like me, you eat with your eyes first. What better way to discover new food around you, or in a new city your visiting, than taking advantage of the millions of food photos on Instagram?! Searching hashtags is one way to find popular restaurants in a city. Instagram automatically sorts the posts by top liked, hopefully pushing the more popular, well known restaurants to the top of the screen.
Once you see food you like, click on the post and see if the Instagram poster added the location, or tagged to restaurant or bar in the photo. Here are some of the hashtags I like to use!
When all else fails, GOOGLE IT!
Try searching blogger’s guide to city name. Food writers in city name. New York Times 36 Hours in city name. Or, see if the city has it’s own website (like Explore St. Louis) and find their dining section.
So, now what?!
Alright, now that you know how to find amazing local restaurants, it’s time to document your food journey. Anytime you stumble upon a restaurant in your city you want to try, write it down! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just keep a list on the notes app on your phone. Once you’ve eaten at a restaurant and decide you like it, keep that list in a separate note. Then, when your out-of-town friends come to visit, you’ll know exactly where you want to take them!