Being a solo traveler has its many perks: independence, freedom, spontaneity. What it lacks though, is companionship. One of the things that bums me out the most when I solo travel is entering a restaurant to dine alone. Sure, I befriend lots of interesting people throughout my adventures abroad, but there are more instances than I’d like where I find myself dining with a good book instead of with a good conversation partner. Enter EatWith, a brand new way for travelers to dine with locals and other travelers, that may just banish my reading sessions to hammocks on the beach and rainy afternoons.
EatWith users register online and search for a variety of dining events in their city of choice. Once you find an event to your liking, you send the host a message to confirm your attendance, pay your fees, and you’re all set! Those concerned about the quality of the food, rest assure. All hosts and chefs have been carefully screened and taste-tested by the EatWith city ambassadors and past diners can leave reviews so you’re practically guaranteed a positive dining experience.
I was lucky enough to be invited to try a EatWith dining event in New York City and I was pretty excited to sample the North Indian-inspired tapas that Shuchi, the home-trained chef behind 29calories, had prepared. Shuchi proved to be a gracious and fun host, divulging secrets throughout the night of her delicious recipes in between serving up some of the best Indian food I’ve enjoyed this side of the Pacific.
Conversing over bottles of wine with the other seven dinner guests made for a fun and casual dining experience while we sampled Shuchi’s mouth-watering Indian tapas such as chickpea fritters with Sriracha aioli sauce, chicken chaat served over toasted flatbread topped with a kale slaw, a spicy South African mint curry biryani, and a fragrant cardamom pot de creme for dessert.
The greatest appeal with EatWith and a strong factor why I’d try EatWith again when I travel abroad is the inside look into local living. Although this review was done in my city of residence, it certainly offered me a glimpse into a side of living in New York City that I am not often privy to: mainly that of a luxury high-rise apartment with breath-taking views of the Woolworth Building (one of my favorite skycrapers) and the Hudson River. I can only imagine what other peeks into local living can be had with EatWith around the world.
The world is truly a smaller and smaller place. Now with EatWith, I’m glad to know that even when I solo travel, I don’t have to dine alone anymore (if I don’t want to) and that there’s going to be great conversation to be had with locals and fellow travelers. It’s also a special treat to break bread with locals who are passionate about food as much as I am. Travel and dining for me may never be the same again, thanks to EatWith.
*Disclaimer: My participation with EatWith was sponsored by the company, but all opinions are an accurate and honest view on my experience there.