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The Guardian says, if you want to experience a place more fully, “eat somewhere dubious.”

I love cities. I also love food.

What happenstance!? My love of cities and food collide to afford me magnificent opportunities to experience places in a different light. Specifically, on the hunt for vegan food, I often venture into the less-traveled neighborhoods of a city, or accept the more—shall we say, “unusual”—dining experiences.

Until vegan eateries become more abundant, I’m given less autonomy over some aspects of the decision-making process simply because I have fewer options for food. But I’m perfectly content. From hunting for vegan eats, I’ve come to relate to food critics with a so-called “appetite for oddball out-of-the-way places in obscure neighbourhoods,” as author Rob Walker describes it.

Jonathan Gold, for instance, set out to eat at every establishment on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. This challenged Gold “to walk into and experience an endless variety of places he would not have been drawn to otherwise.” What better way to travel and explore than guided by food, I say! Through my travels and food expeditions, I’ve experienced communities more fully than I otherwise might have if I were to follow the path of a typical traveler.

And in doing so, I understand more deeply the culture. I connect more vividly to the community. And I enjoy more thoroughly the experience.

Read the full story on how to experience places differently over at The Guardian.

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