One of my favorite joys of traveling is experiencing a new culture and all it has to offer. And my most beloved travel memories are my times spent interacting with locals and enjoying their homemade food. But often the visits are too short, making it hard to fully immerse myself in the culture, and easy to fall into tourist traps. And there is nothing worse than realizing you’ve wasted precious travel time on inauthentic experiences.

Well nowadays, companies like Airbnb, Advlo, and now Eat With are making sure your vacation, however short it may be, will be authentic, by pairing you with locals to give you a one-of-a-kind experience.

Eat With

Eat With Menu

Eat With, which began in Tel Aviv Israel in 2012, is essentially Airbnb for the restaurant industry, as Time described it. A global industry, Eat With invites you to dine in homes around the world, connect with other travelers, while enjoying a homemade meal. And besides eating good food, it’s also a chance to get to know people and make connections around the world with others who share a love of food and traveling. (At my first Eat With dinner I made friends from Switzerland, Canada, and China!)

It’s also a unique way for locals to socialize with strangers and experience their hometowns from another persons perspective. Such was my first Eat With experience, as I stayed right here in New York City. My friend and I headed downtown to our first Eat With and were greeted by the host/chef Shuchi at her beautiful apartment and introduced to the 6 other guests. Before our first course we mingled a bit and Shuchi gave us an introduction to her cooking style. She explained how she re-creates traditional Indian cuisine into contemporary small plates and tapas. Her hope is to show the world that Indian cuisine can be just as exotic, presentable and sophisticated as the best fine-dining plates out there. After our first course, which was a 5-bite tasting platter, we made our way to her dining table. It was beautifully decorated and each table setting came with a menu, detailing the five courses. We sat around for the next few hours, getting to know each other, while Shuchi brought us course after course every 10-15 minutes or so. She gave a brief introduction with each course, explaining the thought and creativity behind each recipe. After three plus hours of incredible food and great conversation, I was fully satisfied by the meal and ecstatic about the new friends I had made.

Eat With Tasting Platter

5 Bite Tasting Platter

Now, you may thinking of the many reasons to be skeptical about this concept. Is it safe letting strangers into your home? Hypothetically, couldn’t anyone be a host? But Eat With is hopeful they have figured out how to avoid these situations with two solutions. First, the host must approve the guest themselves, ensuring that they feel comfortable allowing the guest in their home. Second, EatWith issues “EatWith Verified” badges, meaning an Eat With employee has approved the food quality, venue, and the host’s interpersonal skills and cleanliness. Both should make you feel confident that your experience will be anything, but sketchy. And if yours is anything like mine, you will be blown away as well.

Eat With

Tofu Cake with Cashew Curry and Bhujia

Eat With

Yogurt Risotto & Chicken Keema with Crisps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So whether you’re traveling far from home, or just looking for a new way to experience your own city, look no further than Eat With for an authentic time. Honestly, what better way to discover a city and its people than through food?
For more information on Eat With, follow this link.
And to sign up for one of Shuchi’s phenomenal dinners, click here.

 Everything was beautifully Presented – Eat With

Eat With

Roasted Chick Peas + Flatbread + Chutney Trio

Eat With Dessert

Cardamon Caramel Budino + Coffee Cake Crumble

New Call-to-action

About The Author

Profile photo of Julie
Healthy Eater

Southern girl at heart, minus the fried food. Fresh on the NY food scene, hungry for a healthy way to live in this food capital.