How To Find The Best Restaurants While Traveling (And At Home!)

best restaurants while traveling

It’s been about a week since Cam and I got back from our trip to Boston, and I’ve been reflecting a lot on all that the trip taught me.

Traveling always inspires me by introducing me to new food, new places, and new ways of life, and I think it’s great to break out of our routines every now and again. I’m walking more here in Houston – exploring my own neighborhood by foot, much like we did with our time spent in Cambridge/Boston. I’m recreating some of my favorite dishes (the everything-spiced tuna salad from Flour Bakery and nourishing bowls inspired by Dig Inn, to name a couple), and the post-vacation blues are keeping their distance as I bring some aspects of my vacation-life to real-life.

One thing I’m really proud of about my time spent away isn’t that my Type-A self woke without an alarm most days or that I successfully thrifted what was probably $50 worth of books for about $20. It’s that I (to toot my own horn) did a great job of finding the best restaurants for Cam and I to fuel up in between galavanting around the city. 

And I don’t think this is just specific to Boston – my talent (heehee) or the ability to find some great bites to eat while traveling. No, I think there’s really just an algorithm to it, and today I wanna share my tips with you! 

Cam, being the logistics side of the brain in our relationship, usually takes the reigns on booking the best flights, organizing Airbnb/hotel stays, and navigating us around whatever city we’re bopping around. (I hate numbers, have a terrible concept of time, and cannot read directions to save my life.)

*And just a note, Cam killed it on the Airbnb! We adored Cambridge, were walking distance from so many great local spots, had easy T access, and the couple who hosted us was so kind and provided great recommendations. Here’s the link to their place if you’re visiting soon.

That leaves me to be the creative piece. I find things for us to do, places for us to eat, and just kind of play tour guide Barbie when I need to.

best restaurants while traveling

For most trips, I like to seek out activities and food that are right up our alley. Basically an extension of the things we enjoy in our hometown, with room to branch out and try new things…because, it is a vacation after all. 😊

In another post, I can explain how to find things to do in your city or a city you’re visiting such as farmers markets, art galleries, free events, music, and more, but since we’re mainly talking about food today, I’ll cut to the chase and the tips. 

Back to basics: Google search restaurants near the area you are staying

We were staying in Cambridge, but knew we were about a 5 minute walk from a red-line T station, so we could pretty much get anywhere easily. North End, South End, Fenway – you name it! However, one of the first things I did was just Google search restaurants in Cambridge and then in Boston.

This is going to give you the broadest results. You’ll get every cuisine and price range under the sun, so be sure only to flag the ones that fit the budget you’re in and the type of food you’d want to be sampling.

Save everything in a Google Doc. (I would also recommend downloading the app for Google Docs, so you could access the list you create on your phone while on-the-go.) Next to the name of the restaurant, write down a $, $$, or $$$ for price indication, maybe a brief description of the type of vibe and food they have going on (ex. great tacos and happy hour menu!), and include a link to the website so you could find parking and contact info if needed. 

Consult the experts: Bloggers know best!

image via @juliettelaura on Instagram

Being a blogger myself, I’m always one to reach out to other bloggers and read blogs based in the city I’m going to be visiting to get their recommendations. More than likely, a Chicago-based blogger will have recommendations for date nights, girls nights, and a round-up post of her favorite coffee houses, so take use of this information. Research the places he/she mentions and if they seem like your jam, add them to the list! 

For Boston, I visited Twist of Lemons Blog and Balance With B to read their city guides. I also just typed “Boston” onto one of my favorite R.D.’s website’s search bars. She posts many “Weekly Eats” posts, and I found that she often mentioned coffee houses and restaurants that were going to be near me, so I got a lot of reccos from her! (Forever grateful, because the salad I kept getting at Flour was the BEST.)

Do it for the ‘gram: The 2018 way to plan a trip.

image via @eatgrainmaker on Instagram

Ok, folks. It’s 2018 and I’m a millennial Ad/PR major with a major scrolling complex. I totally planned most of our stops on this trip just off of Instagram! Maybe it seems silly or self-explanatory, but ima ‘splain it to you anyway.

So I would go on Instagram and location search Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, Massachusetts. A LOT would come up, but I was primarily interested in beautiful photos of FOOD. 9 times out of 10, the beautiful food photo was also tagged with the restaurant’s Instagram account, so boom – I knew where I could find that deliciousness.

I also found other bloggers, shop owners, and local creatives via location-tag searching on Instagram and then by going to their feeds, I’d find their favorite places to grab brunch, coffee, or a healthy salad for lunch in the city. My Google Doc list kept growing and everything was a total hit.

I even found new people to follow on Insta this way. I love anyone who shares a good meal, a good message, and just goodness to my feed. To name a few Bostonians, I love @juliettelaura, @forestbound, @lenamirisola, @nishatnguyen, @ohidesignblog, @domestikateblog, and @laurenwells.

best restaurants while traveling

When I got back from my trip, I was talking to my sister who just started college this year in Florida. She was mentioning how she needed to explore some new places off-campus, and I told her about how I planned my Boston trip and found places to sit, shop, and sip. So it truly goes to show that you can use these techniques anywhere and at anytime. Find places to go when you’re going to be on-the-go or discover new places right in the spot you call home. 


And in case you’re dying to know…😉

Where we ate in Cambridge:

B.Good – Harvard Square (healthy bowls, salads, and burgers…get the avocado dip + chips to share) 

1369 Coffeehouse – Central Square (Black coffee people – go with the French roast. Cinnamon buns were Cam’s breakfast of choice.) 

Andala Coffee – Central Square (best French press coffee I’ve had to date.) 

Flour Bakery and Cafe – Harvard Square (THE EVERYTHING-SPICED TUNA SALAD, PRAISE THE LORD. Everything’s good here.)


Where we ate in Boston:

Five Horses Tavern – South End (a modern version of a pub who’s delish food makes up for it being tiny and often crowded!) 

Dig Inn – several locations all over Boston (BEST PLACE EVER PLEASE COME TO HOUSTON. It’s a make-your-own-bowl place and it’s bomb.) 

Tatte Bakery and Cafe – several locations (Didn’t do brunch here, but will do when we visit again. Obsessed with their little almond cookies.) 

Sweetgreen – several locations (lived up to the hype…if you need a big, nourishing salad or grain bowl – go here and make yours!) 

Grainmaker – North End (another make your own bowl place, but this one has some Asian flair!) 


Going anywhere neat soon and planning to use these tips? Let me know where you’re headed!