Some of my most memorable travel experiences have involved food, and often when it’s cooked in a local’s house. But how do you find a local who’s willing to cook for you without looking like a lunatic? There are a number of websites that can help, and one of the newest and best is Traveling Spoon.
Using Traveling Spoon is, in its own words, like having a friend’s mom cook you a home-cooked meal in every country you visit. It connects travelers with local, vetted hosts interested in sharing the joy of a homemade meal in their homes and the cultural and culinary traditions passed down through their generations. The company is backed by the former CEO of Expedia.com.
There’s no better way to experience local cuisine than via an in-home meal, and Traveling Spoon makes that experience available to more people in more places. Here’s how it works:
- You enter your destination and explore the hosts. You select your host and begin the booking process by entering your travel dates and filling out the online reservation from a computer.
- The Traveling Spoon sends you a reservation that includes details about your experience.
- You accept your reservation from within your reservation email to review and confirm your payment method. Upon payment, the site will send you your host’s contact information and all the fun details you need.
There aren’t any in the U.S. or Canada, but you can find local homemade meals in most of the major cities in these countries: Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. Prices vary by country, the number of guests and the type of meal, but I saw options for as low as $14 in Ho Chi Minh City.
FYI: In-home meals usually take about an hour-and-a-half to two hours. In addition, there are also in-home cooking experiences (3-4 hours) as well as market visits (5+ hours) available as add-ons to many of the meal experiences.
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