Travel is a wonderful eye-opening experience; it allows us to gain an insight into the culture and traditions of a country as we wander its streets, we can see the history of a city through its buildings and art, and we can meet friendly locals who share their customs and stories with us. We can learn a lot from travel and we can discover a lot about a city through experience.

The way to a city’s heart is through its stomach, or in our case, through our stomachs! However, the problem with major cities that get a lot of tourist attention, is that the quality of food is being effected. So how do we not get caught out?

Many people often choose where to eat based on who is eating there, such as a place that is packed with locals, so the best way to ensure you’re enjoying the most authentic food is to eat where the locals eat… or with the actual locals themselves! To help you live the authentic experience in five major cities, here are the best recommendations from locals.

Where the locals eat; discover the best of the best

London, UK

British food can be found in any of the traditional pubs that are dotted around London, all of which provide you with quick quality food and drinks that will satisfy the tummy rumbles. However, with the city being incredibly diverse, where the locals eat tends to be where there is international cuisine!

Best for breakfast/brunch: The Attendant

Housed in an underground, converted Victorian Toilet, The Attendant is a well kept secret by the locals. A cozy little café with great company and even better food, this place is the definition of quirky.

Best restaurant: Mestizo

Packed full of hungry locals every single day, this Mexican restaurant provides Londoners and travellers alike with an extensive menu of authentic and delicious dishes! This place, from the atmosphere to the food, really speaks for itself.

Best local food experience in London? Why not start with a ‘best of British’  dinner with our host Rebecca!

Paris, France

France is known for its indulging cuisine, from fine wine and cheese to its melt-in-mouth meat dishes. However, Paris offers an exciting blend of international and fusion restaurants.

Best for breakfast/brunch: Du Pains et des Idées

We all know that the French love their breads and pastries, so naturally, a Parisian bakery is high on the local recommendations list! Try the pain des amis and the croissants which are among the local favorites.

Best restaurant: Café des Musées

If you’re searching for classic French cuisine, Café des Musées is where the locals eat. From the house-made pâtés to the entrecôte steak, you won’t be disappointed with any course you have.

Best local food experience in France? Why not start with a classic French & organic food in Paris with our host Loly!

Rome, Italy

What do you dream of when you think of Italian cuisine? Creamy pasta? Thin, crispy and flavorful pizza? Whatever your go to dish, there is even more to discover in Italy itself, especially in the bustling capital of Rome!

Best for breakfast/brunch: Le Garden de Russie

This tasty spot is where the locals eat, especially on a Sunday morning. Serving a delicious brunch on the garden terrace, it literally couldn’t get any better than this.

Best restaurant: Est Est Est!

Family run? Check. Small and intimate? Check. Amazing food (especially pizza!)? Check. This lovely Italian restaurant is exactly what you want from eating in Rome, authentic dishes at a very reasonable price.

Best local food experience in Italy? Why not start with a cooking class to discover fettuccine secrets with our host Gabri & Simo!

Barcelona, Spain

In Barcelona, eating comes first, and when you taste the food you’ll discover why! Full of tasty Catalan classics from flavorful paella to the sweet crema catalana, you’ll never be short of delicious eateries when wandering around this city.

Best for breakfast/brunch: Federal Café

A perfect place for breakfast or brunch, Federal Café is a local favorite for its fresh food and aromatic coffee. A cozy space with a simply stunning interior, it’s no surprise that this is where the locals eat.

Best restaurant: Redrum

Although Mexican cuisine, Redrum has the same charming atmosphere typical of any local restaurant in Barcelona. A small, intimate place with loud and bustling locals socialising over amazing food, what more could you want?

Best local food experience in Barcelona? Why not start with a magical night of tapas and wine with our host Marina!

Lisbon, Portugal

With Portuguese cuisine being heavily fish-based, you can be sure that Lisbon is full of countless restaurants where you can try a variety of delicious seafood. Just remember to try the classics such as bacalhau a bras (shredded cod) and cozido a Portuguesa (stew)!

Best for breakfast/brunch: Fabrica Lisboa

If you need to recharge the batteries after exploring the city, Fabrica Lisboa is the place to be. With low key and relaxing surroundings, friendly staff and fresh grub, locals say this is the best place for croissants and eggs in the city.

Best restaurant: Solar dos Presuntos

If food means more to you than filling your stomach, then don’t miss out on Solar dos Presuntos. Truly a restaurant for the foodie, this is a top place where the locals eat purely for the seafood!

Best local food experience in Portugal? Why not start with a fresh taste of the sea with our host André!

Moral of the story? If you want to live the authentic experience, eat where the locals eat. Not only will you discover more about a city and its cuisine, but you will also have some truly amazing meals out too!

If you want to share an authentic meal with actual locals, find a food experience near you now with Eatwith!