Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Wed March 09 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | March 9, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    5 Ways to Eat and Drink Like a Local in Europe

    5 Ways to Eat and Drink Like a Local in Europe

    Photos by Worldwide Scott

    Eating and drinking like a local in Europe is all the rage nowadays, and it is a trend I can wholeheartedly support. The tourist traps that line the historic quarters of Europe, shamelessly taking advantage of those who just want a halfway decent local meal and a drink, have always annoyed the stuffing out of me. 

    Often, it's not that we really want to eat or drink at these type of places — most people can sniff out a ripoff — it's just that after an exhausting search, sometimes we just want to simply sit and eat.

    To prevent you from getting to that exhausted point at all, here are five tips to help you find the best local food and drinks in Europe.

    1. Scour the Sites

    Obviously, the Internet is going to be your number one resource in searching for the best local food and drink in Europe. My first bit of advice though is to make sure you mix up the sites you use. There's no doubt that you will come across the ubiquitous Tripadvisor on your quest, but if you blend in sites like Spotted By Locals — written by locals — or Eat Your World  — made by food fans the world over — you are guaranteed to get a more well-rounded view of things. Never forget your foodie friends over on the forums at Chowhound either, for while they can take things a bit too seriously at times, I've never been led astray by their advice. 

    READ MORE: 5 Easy Tips For Memorable Encounters With Locals On Your Travels

    2. Be Neighborly

    PHOTO: Turkish Pide.

    While I am still not totally sold on the unfettered positivity of travelers lodging in local neighborhoods, I definitely think that local neighborhoods are the best places to go for food and drink options. The restaurants and bars in these areas will be cheaper, friendlier and undoubtedly offer true local specialties. Unlike establishments in the tourist center, which will always have an eye to an international clientele’s taste buds.

    3. Have a Local Cook For You

    Taking the sharing economy to its inevitable and delicious end, you can now actually have a real live local cook a meal for you. Yes, on sites like EatWith and With Locals (among others) you simply enter the city you are going to, and you’ll quickly see a whole list of fun activities for those who love their food. Make sure to read the reviews and the ratings of hosts to ensure the tastiest results. 

    4. Search for Spirits

    While food, beer and wine may be the first things that come to mind when we think of Europe, don't forget that the continent is also a cradle of spirit-making. Almost everywhere is home to a local liquor that must pass your lips before you leave town. From jenever in the Lowlands of Netherlands and Belgium to absinthe in the Alps and rakija in the Balkans, any bartender worth his salt (preferably at a local bar, remember tip number 2) will be able to steer you to a spirit you should try and let you know how to sip it.

    READ MORE: The Underrated Beer Countries of Europe

    5. If All Else Fails, Just Ask Someone, But Not Just Anyone

    If you've exhausted the first four options, and you still can't settle on a place to eat or drink, just grab someone on the street and ask. In fact, I would recommend a random person on the street over staff at your hotel or hostel. Why? Well, let's just say that a little birdie has told me that these very helpful folks can sometimes be slightly swayed by local establishments to send clients their way. Innocent? Perhaps. Helpful in finding you the best local meal? Perhaps not. 

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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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