#1 – Meetup with Others!
Food lovers in nearly every city across the U.S. flock to Meetup when they’re looking to dine, cook, can, potluck and party together.
How else are you going be able to experience a 20 course tasting menu, check out Chinatown, try the city’s newest fast-casual spot or enjoy a spectacular bratwurst n’ beer with no less than a dozen other food fanatics? Some Meetup foodie groups cook together, potluck in unusual places, pickle produce together and even take turns eating at one another’s houses. New in town? Then Meetup is probably the easiest way to find your BFFs (Best Foodie Friends).
#2 – Take an Eating “Daycation”
Back in college, I started doing daycations with a couple of my college chums. It was our way of getting a quick vacation from our intense, stress-inducing curriculum. To take your food daycation you don’t need to hop on a plane to some faraway place. All you have to do is venture to a good restaurant village area. Since I went to school in L.A. my daycations were spent in places like Old Town Pasadena, Los Feliz or Silverlake. Arrive to your destination around noon and vow to talk about nothing important. Have lunch at one place, drinks at another, then maybe do a little shopping and sightseeing, or take in a movie. Soon enough, it’ll be time for dinner. Have drinks and starters at one place, the main course at another, and dessert at another. You’ll end the day knowing yes you can eat your way to happiness.
#3 – Go with the Terroir and the Terrain
Do you know what foods are grown, cultivated or produced in your area? Do you live near the coast? If so, why not go clamming or fishing? Special tours will get you the gear and instruction you need to harvest your own clams. Most will even tell you how to cook ‘em up the right way. Is there a cheese-maker, noodle-maker, Kimchi maker in your town? Or you could go berry picking, apple picking or donate time at the local rooftop garden. Or maybe you’d like to do a wine or beer pairing menu featuring local libations and foods or cheeses? Do a little digging and you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with. Don’t be afraid to reach out to that local chef and ask them if they teach one-day classes. Many of them are more than happy to talk to you, maybe even tell you to come on in for a demonstration (I learned to make pizza this way). Otherwise, chances are the chefs you talk to will have lots of recommendations on how you can embark upon a fun food adventure right in your neck of the woods.
#4 – Visit a Food Museum
Yes, there is such a thing as a food museum. No, we’re not talking ancient pieces of unleavened bread and amphoras filled with thousand-year-old wine but places like the California Citrus Historic State Park that’ll take you on a free tour through the citrus groves, tell you about the history of citrus growing in California and will have you sampling upwards of twenty different varieties citrus fruit.
Then there’s MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink) in NYC. Their exhibits and programs emphasize sensory engagement. The tour you take will have you, see, touch, smell and taste the exhibits comprised of foods from around the world and you can even see a cereal puffing machine up close. See the Puritan Puffing Machine in action here.
Others: Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho; the Banana Museum in Auburn, Washington; Mount Horeb Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin; and yes, The Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.
#5 – Do a Themed Potluck Dinner
You know how those food trends come and go? Last year it was Nordic Food, this year it’s Korean and next year maybe it’ll be South East Islander for all we know. So how are you going to get the full experience all by yourself? Isn’t it better to invite six of your BFFs over, telling them all to make one dish. You can make the Gravlaks and they can bring the Fenalår, Gravet elg and don’t forget the Krumkake. Learn more about Norwegian Cuisine .
Having fun isn’t synonymous with having to spend lots of money or doing exactly what everyone else is doing (bor-ring!). Fun, for me at least, has to do with being open to adventure, being creative and looking around to see what’s there, sometimes right in front of our faces.
Have a fun foodie adventure or two you want to share? Sure you do! Comment and I’ll post the best of the bunch. Pics are welcome too!
As always, Happy Eating!
More ideas: Pizza and Craft Beer Party for Less than $50.