Food for Thought … and for Travel!

According to a recent survey, 81% of travelers indicated that they try to avoid fast food chains while on vacation (photo courtesy of

I don’t know about you but I like to eat!  And when I am traveling, I don’t want to have just any meal.  I want to experience the flavor of a city or at the very least, something that I can’t get at home. recently conducted a survey to find out more about the dining habits of travelers and it seems that I am not alone. In fact, 62% of respondents said that they make a point to try the local cuisine when visiting a destination. 

I know for myself, that I enjoy sampling the regional delights of a new place, and when I am traveling with my children I like to find out about it before I get there so we can learn about the various foods we will be eating during our trip.

The survey also showed that 72% of respondents indicated that they wouldn’t choose a destination solely because of its cuisine but 27.9% said that they would. Actually, food-oriented travel is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry with more than 27 million people choosing each year to experience the authentic tastes and traditions of places such as Italy, France and other regions of the world.

Additionally, an impressive 81% of those surveyed indicated that they try to avoid fast food chains while on vacation and opt to sample the local wares. I have to agree with this one. Although I won’t lie to you that on a long bus trip this past summer in Panama we actually stopped at the local McDonalds to grab some food to eat on the bus.  40% of respondents noted that they like it when breakfast is included with their hotel stays. Not only does it help you to save money but it is convenient, as well.

In fact, some of the best culinary experiences can be found within some of our nation’s hotels.  Here are a few favorite hotel restaurants according to

New York City

The eclectic Asia de Cuba located in The Morgans Hotel on Madison Avenue is one of my favorite restaurants. Opt to sit at the community table in the center of the restaurant. It’s a great way to meet locals and visitors alike.


Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa in Dallas is a great spot to see and be seen, not to mention the food is artfully and deliciously prepared.

Las Vegas

In a city that knows entertainment and gastronomy, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas takes the cake. The French cuisine is très magnifique and the U-shaped bar is a great spot to take it all in!


Restaurant Kevin Taylor in the Hotel Teatro (which was also named recently in Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Hotels issue) offers an innovative menu coupled with impeccable service.

Now that I have you salivating, don’t forget these helpful tips for healthy eating while traveling.



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