The name “tourist trap” has a bad rep I think. It can be a welcome rest bite in a place you don’t know and a language you don’t speak. While I HIGHLY recommend doing as the locals od a much as possible to really get the benefit of travelling, sometimes it can feel good to not worry about what you’re eating.
The worst part is THINKING it is authentic. If you want to go out of your way to a country, you don’t want to be stuck with food that isn’t even what the locals eat.
But if you want to go fully authentic then here are some ways to identify tourist places
1. Is the menu mostly in English?
This is a big sign. It doesn’t mean necessarily that the place isn’t authentic, but if you go to a foreign speaking place, yet the menu is in English, then it shows who it is trying to attract
2. Who is eating there?
If the only people you see eating are clearly tourists, then you know the locals wouldn’t give it a chance.
3. Where is it located? If it is on a main busy tourist place, it says it all who it caters to
Main busy streets are expensive to rent, so they need to get as many people in as possible. Tourists don’t usually venture out of these main areas, so it makes sense for them to congregate there.
4. Is someone standing outside?
That guy standing outside tell you how good the food is? Yeah, he’s trying to lure you in.
5. What food is it serving?
Just because you may not thin its authentic, it doesn’t mean it isn’t! a good example of this is Indian food in Japan. Whist Japanese food is dominant, many people love Indian. Buddhist people are vegetarian, which is hard to work with in a place that had meat and fish in everything, so this subsection of food Is very common in certain circles. Something to note is the word “Vegetarian” isnt well know, but “SHHHHH” is, and people will know exactly what you mean.
So what if you want an authentic experience? There are ways