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How Anthony Bourdain Knows He’s Eating At A Quality Restaurant Before He Even Sits Down

As the globe-trotting host of the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain has the kind of inside track you need when you’re looking for a recommendation on where to eat when you’re traveling.

He makes his living trying the unusual cuisines of interesting locales, so who better to ask for advice on where to get the best bang for your buck when you’re traveling and looking for some culture?

Here we’ve collected three of his top tips on how to find delicious, authentic food no matter where you are.

Be Flexible

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Bourdain’s first tip is to loosen up. The whole trip doesn’t necessarily have to be planned with a down-to-the minute itinerary.

Be open to new experiences and “happy accidents.” He recalls a time he was in the Caribbean riding scooters with his girlfriend when it started pouring. They pulled over to a restaurant and ordered the chicken. “Everything about it was unexpected, but it came together,” Bourdain said. “The beer was cold, the right song came on the radio. It was a happy accident, and it was the best jerk chicken I’ve ever had.”

Eat With The Locals

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“Don’t go anywhere the concierge suggests,” Bourdain says.

“They’re in the business of making tourists happy. Experience has taught me, that no matter how hard you maintain that you want a real and authentic local experience, they’re going to send you someplace where there are other Americans. You want the places that make locals happy. Seek out places crowded with locals. Avoid places with others of your kind present.”

Explore

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Get up early and go check out the local food market. It’s a fast way to learn about the local culture and often find locally prepared foods at stands or stalls serving market workers. “Chances are high that a guy selling fish in a fish market will know where you can eat great fish,” Bourdain says. “He might well know where you can get an amazing bowl of pasta, too.”