How to Find the Best Family Restaurants on Vacation
A fun part of traveling for kids and the parents who normally do the cooking is getting to eat out at restaurants. However, it can be tricky to figure out the best restaurants for your family when you’re on vacation. Here are some tips to help you choose restaurants while staying in an unfamiliar city.
Get Recommendations from Friends in the Area
The first and easiest step is to ask friends who live in the area you are visiting for restaurant recommendations. Getting ideas from someone who knows your family AND knows the area will result in quality recommendations. Be sure to remind them of the ages of your kids and any restrictions or favorite cuisines.
Ask the Concierge at Your Hotel
If you are staying at a hotel, your concierge is a great resource. During a recent stay at Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., our concierge provided a detailed restaurant list organized by cuisine that also included the distance from the hotel. We referred to the list as we made reservations in advance and also carried it with us for last minute ideas.
There is so much information online and you can get great ideas by reading reviews and looking at menus in advance. Here are some of the ways to use the Internet to make restaurant decisions.
1. Search for the “best restaurants” in an area. Often local magazines or authors will make annual lists of the best restaurants, and browsing through these will give you an idea of some of the highly regarded restaurants.
2. Take a look at travel sites or apps from TripAdvisor and Yelp where people offer reviews and ratings of restaurants and the sites rank the restaurants by category. Just remember that people usually only rate and comment for extremely positive or negative experiences.
3. When you are ready to book a table, head to opentable.com for an easy way to make reservations. You can browse available restaurants by location and time, or you can look for a specific restaurant and when there is availability.
Get Tips from Locals on Your Trip
While you’re traveling it’s also fun to get ideas from locals who live in the area. You can ask your tour guide, the doorman at your hotel, or someone working at a cute shop where they like to eat for lunch or dinner. Sometimes you get different answers than you would find online and will find a hidden treasure in a new city.
I like to have some restaurants chosen in advance and flexibility to change as we travel. How do you find the best family restaurants on vacation?
You may also enjoy:
- Using Social Media to Plan Family Travel
- Tips for Eating with Kids on Vacation
- Picky Eaters? Tips to Help Kids Eat Foreign Food
- Make the Hotel Concierge Your BFF
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Susan is an enthusiastic traveler and mom to a 11 year-old boy and eight year-old girl. Originally from North Carolina, Susan is a Southerner at heart, although…