The Food Lover’s Guide to the Best Staycation This Year

There’s still a delicious world to discover without leaving your own town.

Photo by Vibhav Satam on Unsplash

Yes, your plans to eat (or drink) your way through the south of France were disrupted, but you can still have an amazing summer without crossing an ocean.

If there’s one thing certain today, it’s that restaurants, coffee shops, local markets, and small businesses need your support more than ever.

You’re staying home for the foreseeable future, so take this year to create an epic food tour of your own city. Discover the local gems in your hometown, play tourist, and reintroduce a little adventure to your days.

There’s always something new to explore, even if you’ve been living where you’re at for over 20 years.

You’ll find new reasons to appreciate your city and support your local food scene in a major way.

Old favorites can bring us comfort and stability in an uncertain world, but have you stayed too long in the same routines and fallen into a bit of a rut?

Here’s how you can start crafting your ultimate self-guided food tour in your own town.

  • What’s your city known for?
  • What does your budget look like?
  • What haven’t you had a chance to explore yet?
  • What kinds of food goals do you have?

Really think these over, because it’s going to help personalize your plans. Is your goal to try a new restaurant each week, each month? Find inspiration to cook new, delicious recipes? Increase your wine knowledge?

Some of the most helpful resources I’ve found are Yelp, Thrillist, Serious Eats, Zomato and Trip Advisor. Use these to help you get started.

Another thing I’ve found useful is opening up Google Maps and just browsing through the neighborhood.

Next, even though you’re not going anywhere, treat your food tour as you would a travel itinerary. Creating a plan gives your days some structure so you can fulfill your food tour goals.

Plot out your activities on an itinerary and commit to doing them. Physically writing down your plan will make you more likely to do it.

When you’re having a staycation it’s tempting to put things off because you can easily do them some other time. Have you ever told yourself you’d visit that incredibly popular restaurant one day… and then moved away and never did? Yup.

Having a variety of different activities will enrich the experience. Which is why I’ve crafted my week-long ultimate home food tour with a variety of experiences to make each day new and exciting. It gives you something new to look forward to each day.

My Ultimate Week-Long Food Tour

Sometimes a little structure can help put our plans into motion. If you need more guidance on creating your food tour experience, here’s my epic week-long food tour that I turn to whenever I’m feeling stuck in old habits. Take it. Modify it as it fits with your needs. But go do it. Your town has a ton of deliciousness to offer.

To really re-energize your days, this food staycation maximizes variety to kick monotony out the door.

Photo by Anne Preble on Unsplash

Hit up your local farmers market and stock up on the seasonal goodness. Supporting your farmers markets means supporting your local growers and artisan makers.

Talk to the people who grow your food — they’re the experts. Take time to get to know your farmers. Ask them what tastes best this time of year and how to cook it.

Develop a relationship with your farmer, and they’ll be sure to let you know when their prized raspberries are coming in so you can score them before the crowd.

Today you get to finally visit that restaurant you’ve been meaning to go to. The one that keeps popping up on top ten lists. The one you say you’ll visit but we both know if you don’t do it now, you will with 100% certainty move away one day and regret not trying the handmade dumplings for the rest of your life.

Whether you choose to dine in or takeout, this is the special occasion you’ve been waiting for. If ordering for pickup, set up your table so everything is ready when the food gets home. Bust out that good dishware. Why not? Meals at home don’t have to be uninspired. Make dining at home a joyful experience.

Do you really want to eat at your desk again? Use that dining table already. Or better yet — your patio table.

Photo by Sergio Arze on Unsplash

Start your day right by picking up a box of pastries from a local bakery and having a picnic at your favorite park. Pack a blanket, utensils, napkins, sanitizing wipes and head over to the shop with the best baked goods in town. Then find a quiet spot on a nearby lawn or underneath the trees and enjoy a leisurely morning waking up with the birds.

Visit a specialty market; find something you’ve never cooked with before and craft a meal around it. Getting out of our comfort zone will help you grow, in cooking and life in general. Think of it like a scavenger hunt at a local specialty goods store. What new treat can you find today?

The craft coffee scene is booming. Now’s a good chance to check out a roaster you’ve never been to before. Support your local shop and buy a bag of beans directly from them. Small roasters have insanely fresh coffee beans.

Fresh, whole coffee beans make a world of difference to your morning brew. And if you don’t have a coffee grinder at home, see if the shop can grind them for you.

For today, pick a cuisine you’ve never tried before. Type that into your favorite search resource and eat from the first place that comes up.

Yup, the first one that comes up. Why? We’re creatures of habit. Adding some spontaneity to your life can actually increase your happiness. And you won’t get bogged down by the abundance of options. Win and win.

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

On this last day of the epic food tour staycation, take a virtual day trip to a nearby winery. Tons of businesses have expanded their offerings to provide virtual events. That means you can get your own private guide at the comfort of your own home. Pretty sweet deal.

Go Forth and Eat

Well, there you have it. My tried and true week-long food tour guaranteed to inspire you to reconnect with your city in a delicious way, while supporting your local businesses.

You can even customize the ultimate food tour any way you want! Live in a large city like NYC or LA? Focus in on one neighborhood or one type of cuisine.

Keep the party going by checking out a new restaurant each month, or committing to trying a new recipe each week. The food tour is an incredibly fun way to spend a week trying new things, but it’s also meant to inspire you to continue to seek new experiences.

With delivery services and online shops, you can live your foodie dreams without even leaving your house.

Let me know about your ideal stay-at-home food tour!

A full-time writer and all-the-time promoter of cheese boards. milawrites.com

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