Food in Japan

Finding good food

Food is a major part of life and therefore automatically of travelling. Eating delicious and new things helps to create unique and unforgettable memories. But can also just be a basic necessity to keep you going from A to B.

Chinese food
Steamed Chinese Food

1. Eat local food

Food is a great way to get to know a place and its people. Don’t be scared to eat things you have never heard of. Try them. You can use translate apps to get some idea of what you’re eating. But you can also be more adventurous and let the staff surprise you with their recommendations.

2. Smaller menu, better food

First heard this tip while watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmare, when Gordon was complaining about the ridiculous amount of choices in failing restaurants. Since then I’ve paid attention to this when eating out and can confirm that it’s a good rough indicator of the quality of the food. More than 15-20 options per course is a warning sign for bad food. Extra care should be taken when the many options are also from different cuisines, I’ve never eaten in a good restaurant that does pizza’s, hamburgers and sushi at the same time.

A small menu is not always better 😉

3. The longer the line, the better the food & the experience

This almost always holds true, since nobody likes to wait in line, so the reward must be good. Find your way to the town’s restaurant area and follow the people.

4. Try to eat healthy

When you’re eating out every day, it will be hard to eat healthy. An average restaurant meal is as unhealthy as a fast food meal. Cooks use a lot of salt, give small portions of vegetables and relative big portions of meat. So, change it up by ordering a vegetarian meal occasionally, get extra vegetables instead of fries or eat two lighter entrees instead of a main course. Read this article about eating healthy while travelling for more health tips.

5. Visit local markets

Local markets are a great place to visit to get to know the local produce. Go here to get fresh fruit, your breakfast and/or lunch. While you’re there use the opportunity to take some nice photos of all the colourful wares on display.

Turkish vegetable market in Izmir

6. Self-catering for one meal a day

This tip helps to save money and at the same time provides you with the option to eat healthier.

7. Go for lunch instead of dinner

If you want to get the luxurious dining experience on a budget, go for lunch instead of dinner. Many high-end restaurants offer lunch menus at a fraction of the price of dinner. An added bonus is that the waiting lists for lunch are usually also a lot shorter or even none existing.