Nowadays there are websites for people who want to swap homes as well as others for people who host travellers from all over the world. And it was during one of these swapping homes experiences in Slovenia that Vicki Edmunds, from Wales, thought about how cool would be to actually eat with their hosts. She searched on the internet for a website which connected people through food but she couldn’t find any, so she decided to start one up herself: www.eatwithalocal.com
The idea of the website is to connect people from all over the world through their local food. Members can offer travellers a home-made meal at their own house or, if you are unable to cook you can meet up with people and take them to your favourite local restaurant. In addition, when you are travelling abroad you can look for local people in the region offering their specialties to travellers around the world. This way you can for sure get a first hand taste of the culinary traditions of the place you are visiting, don’t you think?
Members can choose in their profile whether they will be hosting at home or taking their guests somewhere else, if they want to charge a sum for the meal or they offer it for free or if they will be offering vegetarian options (as a guest you can choose if you require a vegetarian meal); what would you like for drink or if you will offer to wash up after the meal or you prefer not to. After the meeting you can let everyone else know how the experience went by posting some photos or videos about your host or guest’s wall, so other members can know you better.
There isn’t a budget to promote the site; it’s either done by word of mouth or through commenting on other social sites. But after appearing on a BBC’s program some weeks ago, the website has welcomed hundreds of new members who are willing to share their local specialties with travellers all over the world. Some of the members are from the UK, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Brazil or even India.
I discovered this project reading one of those magazines they offer you on the plane. I thought it was a great idea, but I was just coming back home from my European trip, so I blamed myself for not having discovered this before. Several days after I visited the website I happily registered as a member of eatlikealocal.
I still haven’t received any requests, but I’m already excited about the idea of taking a foreigner traveller to eat a typical Catalan meal, or to eat a real paella, (not the fake ones they offer on the touristy places, please…), or to enjoy some tapas on a genuine Barcelona neighbourhood. The same way I hope to enjoy a real French meal the next time I go to Paris. No doubt this website has been a great discover for a foodie like me!
About the author
Marta Mir has a degree in Journalism. But tired of listening to the stories of politicians in power she decided to flee to distant lands to, like the ancient troubadours, come back and tell her own stories. Now she has less money but is much happier.
How about you? Did you think you would like to experience a meal with a local?