Dining With Locals Around the World: 4 Websites That Connect You

Muscadet Luncheon

Muscadet Luncheon

If you’re like me, you’re always searching out ways to connect more authentically with an area, when you travel. I don’t relish the types of vacations where I hole up in a fancy hotel on a strip next to other fancy hotels, and eat at touristy, low-quality, over-priced restaurants, while checking off a ‘top 10 ‘ must see sights list. Sure, a fancy hotel is nice once and a while, but I’d rather have a fancy beach-side villa, for the same price, with a kitchen, a yard, and extra bedrooms… ! And with today’s booming peer-to-peer (or sharing) business economy, I can have it!

Thanks to the advent of businesses like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, etc. we have so many options these days to connect directly with locals and to save money on things like transportation, ride-sharing, and accommodation.

The same is now true for finding unique dining experiences, with locals, around the world.

Like the idea of eating Spanish tapas on a secret rooftop in Barcelona or Madrid?

Cooking (and eating) paella and enjoying a three course (with a variety of Spanish wines) meal with a local chef in her home in Seville?

Enjoying Traditional Boullabaise and Provence Rose with your  hosts in Marseille? Oysters and Muscadet in the Loire?

Reveling in the exotic spices of a four course Moroccan feast with your host and her family in Marrakesh?

Head over to one of these still-growing (and therefore limited in many areas, but getting better by the month) websites to check out the selection in whatever city or region you’re visiting this summer. The options will make your mouth water.

Vizeat From the most current information I can gather, Vizeat is the site that boasts the most hosts and is in the most countries. It’s not a surprise then, that they have teamed up with giants like Airbnb for global events.

Bookalokal Is represented in a good number of countries, but mostly in major cities (like most of these other sites right now) and with fewer hosts. Has a wide variety of food based activities (not limited to dinners or in-home experiences) from casual and quirky to fine dining.

EatWith Seems to have the highest standards as far for hosts and chefs. Applicants are vetted and not only required to send photos of their food and their home, but to interview and to provide a demo meal in order to be accepted.

Withlocals unlike the above sites, Withlocals isn’t focused solely on dining/food but it has a lot of cool dining with local’s options so I have included it in this list, as I personally like it and I hope it will stick around

 

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29 Comments

  • This is some great information with sites I had not previously known about – this is a must keep and also worth trying out for my next holiday. I would like to see what my city offers for tourists coming over here.

    • Sheri-thanks! What city are you in?

      I agree, these are very cool ways to eat in a city,but also a cool way to make some extra income and play the ultimate hostess in your own city, if you like entertaining (which I do! I hope to be able to do this when I go back to California)

  • Great post! Sometimes I really want to find a good place to eat when I travel, and I always reach out for Lonely Planet :/ Good to know about this websites, I’ll surely use them next time I’ll do a foodie-tour around a new city 🙂

    • glad to hear Rea! Let me know how your experiences are, and if you come across a super good host or meal.. do share the details! 🙂

    • thank you Liana! Let me know if you try one of the other sites! I’m planning on using bookalokal.com in Southern Spain this summer!

  • I also love eating at home or from locals coz it is more enjoyable, tasty, and I could eat more without worrying how much would I spend. I’m a big eater! Plus it is more fun to share with locals.

    • ahhahah I agree! I love food! And I would prefer to spend my budget, putting money in local’s pockets than big restaurants who might not need the $ as much! Plus a lot of restaurants cater to tourists, even if they are small, in big cities, because they know a lot of tourists visit and it’s cheaper to provide lower quality food and the type of food a tourist might recognize. I want to go straight to someone’s house and eat what THEY would eat for dinner! 🙂

  • We completely love the idea of travelling and exploring like locals and your post has some great tips. We had never heard of these sites before we would definitely check them out.

  • Very Informative blog on local food. Thanks ! A great way to connect with locals and a reason to travel ! Another passionate food travel blogger is Marc Wiens at migrationology.com

  • Thanks for sharing this! I will definitely save this and use it in the future! I didn’t know there were websites for that!

  • A place is deeply connected with its history and culture through its local cuisinge This post is a valuable resource for looking out for a authentic culinary experience while travelling.

    • Stella-cool! let me know how your experience is in Paris! I’m such a foodie, I wish I could do these things more often, but have to make the $ to spend it! 🙂

  • What a cool idea! This sounds right up my alley – I LOVE trying new and authentic food everywhere I visit. I had no idea this was even a thing. I’ll have to check it out soon!

    • Danielle- great 🙂 let me know if you try one of these and how your experience is! I’m looking forward to noshing on some good stuff this summer in Spain….:)

  • How interesting! I knew some of the apps and sites you mention, but not all of them, and as a travelling foodie, this is a really informative post for me, thanks so much for sharing! Karen

    • thanks Karen! glad you liked it. I love any experience that gives me another unique way to experience a place, and these days there are more and more of these opportunities popping up every day!

  • We’re really similar style travelers – I also like the authentic experiences over touristy (and usually overpriced ones). I’ve yet to try one of these companies, but I’d be keen to give EatWith and WithLocals a go sometime soon 🙂

    • Lauren- you’re most welcome! I get that feeling too, when I stumble across new and awesome ways to connect with locals or have new experiences. Happy travels!

  • I recently wrote that it is okay for us to be a tourist at times. But more often than not, I prefer going around on my own and enjoy everything. And yeah,it is awesome to listen to the local’s perspectives on their own surrounding. And yes, eating local food is one of the ways of knowing a place. 🙂

    • Jona-agreed! And it doesn’t hurt to make some new friends and eat well for less than a restaurant 🙂 Where are you traveling this summer?

  • This is so cool! I’ve never heard of these websites and of this trend before. It will surely change the whole experience of the trip on a higher level. Thanks Brooke!

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