My Disappointment with Tourist Food Abroad



I might be alone in my view on this, but why do tourist hot spots in European destinations cater to the Brits rather than serving delicious local cuisine? If I only wanted to eat English breakfasts and steak and chips, then I might as well stay at home.

When I go abroad, part of the travel experience for me is eating the traditional food of the country I am visiting. That is not something that has happened on my last two holidays. In fairness, these two trips were both last-minute short-breaks in British tourist hotspots. I might have had better luck had I travelled to somewhere less ‘touristy’. 

In 2015, I spent five days in Fuerte Ventura with a friend. Every single day I hunted for somewhere that served local cuisine. Every single day I ate an English breakfast and steak and chips. 

Last year, I went to Alcudia, Mallorca, with my sister for a long weekend. I was absolutely determined to eat Spanish food while we were there. Unfortunately, most of the bars and restaurants catered to the tastes of the British market and the menus could have been picked up in Fuerte Ventura and directly transplanted onto the tables in Alcudia. 

On our penultimate night, we walked along the promenade and into the posher part of the town and found a decent Spanish restaurant. We had to pay a high price for the luxury of eating traditional Spanish cuisine, though, as it was significantly more expensive than any of the other restaurants that we passed. 

We enjoyed some tapas, that included fried green peppers and chicken wings. We then shared a mixed meat and seafood paella, which was delicious. Once I had eaten that, I was finally satisfied that I had enjoyed some traditional Spanish cuisine and was happy to return to a British bar for my evening meal the following day.

Am I alone in wanting to try the local cuisine when travelling abroad or are other people happy to stick to the food they know from home?

5 thoughts on “My Disappointment with Tourist Food Abroad

  1. I couldn’t agree more! One of the best meals I ever had abroad was in Greece. Having seen the tourist area (McD, Pizza Hut, etc), I asked the hotel receptionist where he’d take _his_ family for dinner. He looked really uncomfortable, warning me they spoke no English there. We went anyway. The waiter ended up taking us into the kitchen to show us the food, since we couldn’t understand each other. You seriously could have eaten off the floor, it was so clean. We pointed, they served, a good time was had by all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had good experiences of food abroad when we went on family holidays when I was a child. As an adult, things seem to have changed. The restaurant my sister and I visited came at the recommendation of a local shopkeeper and took a lot of finding.

      Liked by 2 people

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