There are all kinds of benefits in finding great little “dive” restaurants in your neck of the woods…
You can “take a trip around the food world” without going far from home. You’ll meet diverse people and sample new and unusual tastes. And, of course, you can save a fortune on your dining out bill!
Last week, I wrote about some marketing lessons you can learn from the way restaurants like these operate. But you might be even more interested in the food!
So how can you find cheap but fabulous restaurants where you live? How do you discover these little treasures?
- Check out your local “alternative paper.” Look under “Cheap Eats” or “Meals Under $XX.”
- Visit online sites – ChowHound, for example – and look for topics like “best cheap food” or even “roadside dives.” Gourmets love discussing their latest local off-the-radar discoveries.
- Check out restaurants near colleges and universities. These places are almost always cheap. The trick is to find the ones that are cheap and good.
- And, of course, ask local ethnics for recommendations, and look for restaurants packed with local ethnics.
Now keep in mind, I’m talking about being a little bit adventurous here. Almost by definition, most “dives” are in low-rent areas. That can mean venturing into higher-crime neighborhoods where you may feel more comfortable during the day. But, hey… these places serve lunch too! And the culinary rewards can be well worth stepping out of your comfort zone.
And I’m not saying you should never go to a “regular” restaurant again. They pay rent, pay taxes, keep downtown areas alive, and provide safe and steady places to dine out.
But if you want some fantastic meals for a song, start “Thinking Global and Dining Local” – at your local “dive” restaurants, that is.