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some market research...

question for y'all:

would you buy a food guidebook for a specific city, like berlin or bangkok or singapore, that had a variety of recommendations for all budgets and palates, or would you rather stick to the internet and word of mouth recommendations?

thanks in advance

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  1. I stick to internet and word of mouth. I don't buy any guidebooks anymore, food or otherwise.There's just so much free and to-the-moment information out there now.

    1. interent. books get outdated to fast.

      1. Internet- by the time the guidebook is printed the info is old and there is no additional feedback or comments to read.

        1. "Buy"? a "guidebook"?

          Not in this day and age, sunflower.

            1. Not a chance, are people even still writing books like this?

              1. Someone gave us such a book for a trip to Italy. None of the recommended restaurants a) seemed to exist, b) if they did exist, the price range was totally off or c) didn't serve the type of food the book said. But mostly they just didn't exist.

                Internet please.

                1. I would not. The information just becomes dated way too frequently to be meaningful.

                  Not only that, but whose to say this author and I share tastes in food? Much better to ask friends whose opinions about restaurants you trust, or find like-minded chowhounds and see what they recommend in their city.

                  1. I would not buy a book.

                    1. I'd rather a book of good large maps. One that breaks the city into neighborhoods or regions into towns. So when I'm on the Internet to get suggestions on what to see, where to eat and where to stay I can plot them out.

                      1. The problem with guidebooks is they're outdated very soon after they're printed... a website is preferable because it's easier to keep up to date, and you can access it from virtually anywhere nowadays.

                        1. I'd stick to my feet, local language internet resources (if I knew the lingo) and suggestions from spontaneous conversations.

                          Then, I also think about colonial/expat communities, and try to ask around for advice. For example, in Marseilles I read that there was a small Comoran population. I asked at the tourism board for an address for a restaurant (because NO one else knew what the Comoros were). Although the restaurant was closed, I like to do a bit of wiki-research too for this type of esoteric (but potentially delicious) trivia.


                          1. You're better off developing and selling an app, that's updated on a regular (monthly?) basis.

                            Oh, wait, they already have those.


                            1. Glad to hear from all of you. I see I am in the vast, vast minority - I always prefer a book. Restaurants being outdated is a valid concern but whenever I have traveled I have always wished for a physical book rather than fishing around on the Internet. I suppose that age has passed.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: china_cat

                                Most of the traditional travel books are now in eformat, so you can load them into your phone or tablet (as books or apps). Even those get outdated quickly but they offer added advantages like linking to your GPS to show where a particular restaurant is relative to your current position. We still buy books for European cities, but primarily for landmarks, not restaurants.

                                Here's a good example:


                              2. I haven't bought a food guide book, but I have/do buy regional guide books for when I'm traveling internationally, because we have minimal internet connectivity. When we travel we go "off the grid" so to speak, so I like to have a hard copy with me, so I can pre-scribble notes in it with my home internet before I leave.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: autumm

                                  yes, but only for places to see that have been around for centuries, not restaurants.

                                  food recs=ungood

                                2. Varies

                                  I can't think of major cities I've visited that have specific food guidebooks, but I do start with a general guidebook. I'll have bought that to plan the touristing and they always include food stuff. I'd then see what the internet throws up to confirm (or otherwise) the guidebook and come up with other possibles.

                                  Smaller towns and cities less popular with tourists tend not to be well covered in guidebooks, so the internet becomes much more helpful. It's now possible to find the "great little place where the locals go", rather than the place you passed near the hotel. Of course, the "locals" may not have such a great taste in food and you still end up with a shit dinner. But you're lessening the odds. From time to time, I have even had to rely on TripAdvisor for a dinner recc.

                                  1. An "in between" answer -- I like to find the publications like TimeOut or CityWeekend that are monthly (occasionally weekly).
                                    1) I like to have something to carry around.
                                    2) Internet is expensive and can be rare
                                    3) I love maps and like to have something to show to folks on the street.

                                    Of course, I still like all those site seeing advertisement brochures at US rest stops and in motel lobbies and by-the-interstate-exit restaurants.
                                    "See Rock City" : )

                                    1. I buy guidebooks but not for food. That's what Chowhound is for!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Hobbert

                                        I wish that it were. Even in the country of its founding information about many places can be very sparse, if it exists at all.

                                        And when it comes to other countries, it can be extremely sparse - just for one example, look at the Spain board and you'll see that almost every post is about Barcelona, so almost no information about so many parts of the country. And this is a country which sees nearly 60 million tourists every year.

                                      2. Because my travels are so enjoyable when researched, a guide book is part of my planning process. Plus I love to read. Then I buy a map and start putting my finds on it. Then I put both in a safe place, and forget to bring them on the actual trip. Which results in some fascinating discoveries.

                                        The internet is great for off the beaten track and weird, spur of the moment festivals. But the garbage level is much higher than the research put into a mode of info that expects to make a profit.

                                        1. Internet and word of mouth.

                                          Restaurants/cafes/eateries open and close, change hands, change cooks/chefs/owners too frequently for a printed publication to ever be up to date.