Do You Prefer Casual or Fine Dining when Traveling?

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.

Prague, Czech Republic
Strasbourg, France
Café in Rome, Italy

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.

Bistro in Paris, France
Courtyard Restaurant in Granada, Spain
People Watching in Quito, Ecuador

5 Replies to “Do You Prefer Casual or Fine Dining when Traveling?”

  • Always casual for us as we seldom plan when we’re going to stop or where so they have to take us as they find us. Sitting out watching the world go by is one of our favourite occupations too, love a bit of people-watching.

  • Well, Q-lifers, I’m going to buck the trend. We enjoy fine cooking at home but rarely eat out. When we travel, we do very little shopping, except for grandchildren, and then only modestly. However, we do spend a scandalous amount on wining and dining, to enjoy the best of what is prepared in countries far from Australia. We’re not averse to eating something authentic-but-cheap, but eating out is one of our priorities when we travel, along with the core purposes of history, culture and scenery.

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