Get a Guide
As soon as you know what city you are visiting, start researching restaurants. The most obvious place to turn to is the Internet, but with millions of reviews and Web sites dedicated to food, it can get a little overwhelming. Head to the library or a local bookstore instead and check out the travel section there. Travel guides like Fodor's and Lonely Planet offer a good overview of must-try locales, but they do tend to highlight popular tourist spots over local flavor. In addition to large travel books, many cities publish their own "best of" guides that will tell you which restaurants are considered the crème de la crème in their town. Search online to see if your destination offers a guide or if the local paper has a restaurant section.