5 Ways to Detect Tourist Trap Restaurants

What’s the name of this restaurant?

Don’t sit down at a tourist trap unknowingly, there are signs. If you pay attention to these 5 items, you’ll have better meals:

  1. Non-local dishes
    Pizza isn’t a thing in northern Italy, it’s only served in tourist restaurants. Macaroni and cheese at a brasserie in Paris, beware. Restaurants with non-local dishes or large menus are to be avoided at all costs.
  2. Fake reviews
    This is a very big problem right now. Use your spidey-sense when a restaurant has a lot of generic 5-star reviews. They are often short, do not mention dishes by name and their authors have low review counts.
  3. The menu layout
    Are there gimmicks? Is there pandering? Is there menu more about luring you in with things unrelated to the food? Is the name of the restaurant prominent? If the menu looks like a tourist brochure, it’s a tourist trap.
  4. Other Tourists
    Take a peek inside. Is there a good mix of locals and tourists? Take note of what day of the week you’re visiting, this is not a good tip if visiting on a night where locals do not dine out (Tuesday, Wednesday).
  5. Waiter standing outside
    They stand outside to lure you in. Good restaurants don’t need to pull people off the street.

If you find yourself sat at a tourist trap, just get up and leave before ordering. Sometimes you don’t know it until you’ve sat down. It might feel awkward but you’ve earned your money and you’re surely not the first person to leave in this manner.

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