Mild Rover: Go your own way

Curated tours, cruises, resorts and reviews

50 tips for safe and happy travel

FOOD

THE EXPERT

Maeve O’Mara, an award-winning food author, journalist, TV producer and presenter of the SBS series Food Safari who now also runs food tourism business Gourmet Safaris

THE QUOTE

“These days, you can go almost anywhere in the world and still eat as if you were at home,” she says. “But be bold! Trying other nations’ food is one of the great parts of travel, and of life, and provide those real golden moments of travel that we can cherish forever.”

THE ADVICE

1. Learn from the locals. Be friendly and talk to them. Chat to the waiter or hotel concierge and ask where they like to eat great food. Talk to other customers in the café and ask for recommendations. Follow that well-dressed couple you see going for dinner and go where they’re going.

2. Get up early in the morning. Follow your nose to find the best bakeries. Check out the fantastic produce markets – the beating heart of so many cultures and cities – when it’s only the locals there. I remember getting up at 3am one morning in Bangkok to visit a market when there were no other tourists and the locals are so much more open and friendly!

3. Take a food tour. That gives you a great entrée into local food, whether it’s a street food tour in Vietnam or a Slow Food tour somewhere in Italy.

4. Do some research into the local food of the area you’re visiting before you go. It’s great to find out what will be in season, or what the region’s most famous specialist dish is. Food has its own language and energy, and once you start learning, it can give you so much more enjoyment.

5. Never be afraid of eating on the street. If you see food being cooked in front of you, you know it’s fresh, especially when there are plenty of locals lining up to eat there. They could well be the best meals you’ll ever eat.

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