One of the best things about exploring another culture is getting to sample its cuisine. Regardless of where you are, you’re bound to find a dish that you’ve never tried before.
My best advice for finding the perfect restaurant and avoiding the tourist trap? Ask around! Books, Google and tourist pamphlets will guide you to popular (and often delicious) restaurants, and they are definitely worth checking out. But sometimes the best meals can be found at the local, mom-and-pop restaurants (or stands, or shacks, or holes-in-the-wall, depending on where you are!). Your hostel manager or taxi driver might have a favorite spot that hasn’t been discovered by the masses.
Even if you’re not up to going all Anthony Bourdain on your trip, it’s still worth it to try the local cuisine. Check out ceviche in Peru, bratwurst in Germany, or that weird fishy-smelling dish in a faraway land you never thought you’d try. Regardless, just make sure you’re up to sampling new things, as that is what traveling is all about!
While I’m the subject of things to remember while you’re abroad, check out Lori Hein’s list of the 10 Commandments for travelers. If there were 11 allowed, I’d definitely add on “Thou shall try one dish that thou hast never consumed before.”