Especially when traveling to larger cities, there tend to be an abundance of restaurants to choose from. Although we might select a nicer restaurant for a single night or a special occasion, we typically find more casual restaurants to grab a meal or quick bite. We go with casual restaurants for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is likely that we have been walking quite a bit and are usually dressed relaxed as we visit the various sights, so we don’t want to feel underdressed. We also find that some finer restaurants can be a little pretentious and we are all about simple food with great flavors that represent the region as opposed to a gourmet presentation. As we walk the streets of a city, we tend to look for a place that is warm and inviting, where the owners are typically visible, and where locals seem to be frequenting.
That isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with going to a fine dining restaurant, they certainly have a lot to offer as well, but we just tend to lean towards the more casual locations. We do, however, tend to go to an actual sit-down restaurant versus just grabbing something from a street vendor. We will get something from a street cart if we are in a rush and it looks like they have a clean cart and fresh looking food, but our preference is to be able to sit at a table, sip on a glass of wine or beer, and people watch. Sitting at a small café in a plaza or square and relaxing over some nibbles while watching all of the other tourists scurry around can be quite the interesting experience.