We do a ton of pre-trip research, looking for a region’s typical foods and where we can find good representations of them. To generate ideas and create a list of foods and restaurants, we contact friends and family (and their friends) who live or hail from that region; we check out that area’s local food blogs and newspapers online; we ask local contacts on Twitter and Facebook; we skim through food forums like eGullet and Chowhound and sometimes regional guidebooks. However, we’re always willing to push the planning aside to pursue one really convincing recommendation from a perfect stranger in a local market, and inevitably we add to our list once we’ve arrived in a place and start noticing trends and talking to more people. It’s not a perfect science, and we’ll never claim to put forth an exhaustive list. In many cases, we hope to revisit regions and keep adding content in the future.
For us to identify a food as regional, it must meet one of the following criteria:
- It is native to that place, or concocted there.
- If not actually invented there, it is traditional to that place (i.e., historically eaten there, perhaps because the place was settled by immigrant group A two decades ago, or because a dish has long been served by a local institution so as to become a part of the area’s culinary landscape).
- It is locally grown, harvested, sourced, or crafted—what we call a locavore food/drink. For smaller cities, we will often feature one dish that highlights a bunch of locally sourced ingredients from a very locavore-centric restaurant. This allows us to showcase foods that are healthy, sustainable, and literally of that region’s earth. (For now we are not doing this for large cities in which the locavore options are too numerous to easily simplify this way.) This category also applies to area vineyards, breweries, and brewpubs.
A bit less scientifically put: When you think of City A, what foods/drinks do you (or should you) think of? And if you lived in City A, what would you tell visitors they had to eat while in town because it is so distinct to that area?
We look for places that are known to serve a good rendition of a particular dish. Note that we didn’t just say the “best” rendition! We’re not interested in objectifying something as inherently subjective as taste.
As mentioned earlier, however, we do also consider a restaurant by virtue of it being a local institution—one of those places that’s been around so long its food has become entwined with the city’s landscape. We think that makes its food distinct to that city, and onto our list it goes.
Please note that all of our research and selections are done independently. EYW never accepts payment of any kind from restaurants seeking to be highlighted on the site.
EYW never accepts money or free meals from restaurants in exchange for coverage. All content is based upon independent travel, research, and good old-fashioned hitting-the-pavement. We always pay our own way.
We do work with advertisers, but all ads are featured in obvious positions in right-hand columns throughout the site. Additionally, any paid/sponsored content elsewhere on the site will be clearly labeled as such. Interested parties should contact [email protected].
Finally, any contests that involve prizes for which we do not pay will feature the terms “sponsored by” or “courtesy of” in the promotional language.
No, we don’t. We shine the spotlight on certain foods and drinks, then tell you where you can find them.
Although it is impossible to guarantee the complete accuracy of every detail on this website at every moment—menus change, restaurants close, prices rise—we do take pains to fact-check regularly so that our information stays pretty up-to-date, and we constantly edit entries as needed to reflect any changes we become aware of. If you notice something that is inaccurate, please leave us a comment or contact us directly so that we may look into it.
Wherever you see the EYW snapshot symbol, we’re alerting you to brief—but still valuable—EYW information about that location. Usually we are highlighting two to five exceptional regional foods without going into full coverage, because we need to revisit the area to do that.
New York-based graphic designer Raluca Preda created the EYW logo.
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