Good company deserves great food! This is one of the taglines I want to promote for this site. Whether you are dining out with a loved one, or with friends and guests or new acquaintances – it is always best to share these few minutes with the joy of delicious food. Delicious food is not always one that is expensive but worth your money. The best tip I can give is to know where to find great food that’s not going to hurt your budget. Here are some few tips based on experience.
What are the factors to finding good food at a good price?
- Know the place. It is important for you to understand what are the ingredients that are cheap in the community. Although this may not really be true for all, but generally, ingredients that are abundant in the place is cheap and so a dish using these ingredients are reasonably priced. For example, a coastal area would actually have cheaper seafood dishes than an urbanized locale where seafood is not easily accessible. The bonus is the freshness.
- Know what locals love to eat. In going to a place the best nose for food belongs to locals – the residents in the area who go out of their way to patronize a food establishment for usually its good price and good taste. When you see food places teeming with not only tourists but residents, there is a good chance the food is good and the cost is reasonable. The best thing in fact is to eat with a local who knows his or her place well.
- Know what you want. The key is to understand what you are craving for. There are food that you can easily get back home so do not crave for them. Craving is when you have not had enough of something which you yearn to taste again. At least for a second time. By knowing what you want, you cut short the time in going through many options. And because it is something you want to eat, even when you end up not being satisfied by your new found place, you’d feel happy to have at least satisfied your cravings. Having no decision what to eat is not a good thing.
- Understand the culture of sharing food. When looking for a place to eat in a new place, always bear in mind the kind of culture the place has – in terms of food sharing. There are food places where food sharing is not acceptable or encouraged, and there are places where big servings for sharing is a tradition. If the set up allows food sharing, then you are lucky to get a taste of several dishes. If not, then order the best one which you think you will not find in other places.
- Always ask about the serving size or portion and other details. We usually avoid asking the size of serving so as not to create the impression that we are low on budget. But asking about this matter also prevents wastage or shortage of food in the course of the meal. The skill of ordering is an art. If you master it, you’d certainly be an accomplished foodie.
- And of course, the final tip is READ REVIEWS. The Internet is a vast source of great tips to help you navigate the local food terrain of your destination. The idea is not to be completely influenced by the reviews because everyone always has a different way of looking at things. But reading reviews, will lessen the surprises, especially the bad ones. There are also things that reviews raise as negative points but will appear as a plus for you. For example, when a food review says food is “not so spicy as they expected”, it’s a good thing for those who do not like spicy food.
There’s always the factor of good service, ambiance of the place and other things – but to me taste and price are the primary ones. I hope these simple tips helped you track your next food destination. To follow real time updates from me – I have an FB site called My Food Treasure Map. https://web.facebook.com/foodtreasuremap/