When traveling, one of the most memorable parts of your vacation should be the food! Think back to your recent trips. If the food you ate was similar to something you could get at home, like a meal from a big chain restaurant, you could be missing out!

There are so many reasons to eat at local restaurants. From classic diners to authentic hole-in-the-wall eateries, your taste buds and your budget will appreciate you mixing it up a bit!

Try Something New

The great thing about national chain restaurants is that you can find them almost anywhere. But we recommend you branch out on your next vacation. There are so many wonderful restaurants to choose from that you shouldn’t spend your vacation eating at the same places you do back home. If you like the convenience of a chain restaurant, why not choose a regionally based chain that you can’t find where you live? That way you can still try something new! For example, visitors to California and the Southwest shouldn’t miss an opportunity to try In-N-Out Burger.

Save Money

You might be surprised to learn that many of the local restaurants are less expensive to eat at than most chains. You’ll pay less per person for food that is fresh and unique to the area. Our friends at HotelCoupons.com have compiled their favorite cheap eats in some top destinations in the U.S.!

Feel Like a Local

It’s great to be a tourist, but it’s even better to be mistaken for a local! We love to ask around (the hotel staff, a store clerk, the taxi driver) for the best places to eat in town and then try to fit them all into our trip. Often, you’ll experience different parts of town than you would have otherwise. Plus, you may stumble upon great hidden gems in the city you’re visiting.

Taste the Local Flavor

Food is such an important part of the travel experience. We can’t imagine visiting New Orleans without beignets and po boys, New England without fresh seafood, Texas without barbecue… the list goes on. You’ll get a better sense of the town you’re visiting when you try the food the region is known for.

Whats your favorite way to eat local? Tell us in the comments below!