It makes sense to learn as much as possible about a new place before you visit, but Anthony Bourdain says that if you'd like to find the best place to eat in a new town, the trick is simple: incite a kind of "nerd rage" among the local foodies, and get them fighting over which local eatery is the best in any given category.
Photo by Palindrome6996.
Speaking at an event sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board, and overheard by a writer over at Serious Eats, Bourdain mentioned that his method of choice to discover new places to eat in a foreign place before he goes is to stir up the locals. Find a message board or food site all about the place you're planning to visit, or visit any message board with an interactive travel community, and make a declarative statement.
Get online and write something along the lines of, "hey guys, I just had the absolute best chicken rice at [restaurant x] in Singapore, no questions asked, hands down, everything else pales in comparison," then sit back and enjoy the show as the internet foodie elite each jump into the fray to defend their own picks to the death. You'll get a much bigger response, more passionate praise, and it'll probably end up being a little fun to boot.
There's no better way to get passionate responses from people who are really vested in their local haunts and favourite communities than to make a declarative statement. While the article suggests you just outright lie to them, I would suggest taking a softer approach, do a little checking, and then lay your bait with a statement like "I heard [restaurant x] is the best place to get [dish y] in [city z.]" You'll likely get the same result. How do you research the best places to eat and drink when you travel to a new place? Read Yelp reviews and comment on their boards, ask your social networks, or do you reach out to local diners to learn more? Share your travel tips in the comments below.