Lonely Planet Writer

Fancy eating authentic meals with locals while abroad? This app will hook you up!

Tasting new food is one of the great pleasures of travelling, although the globalisation of the food industry means that we’re often faced with the same old choices of dishes and restaurant chains while on holidays. An immersive food experience platform called VizEat from France aims to address this by helping travellers to seek out an authentic eating experience while abroad.

VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Jessy Zeitoun
VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Jessy Zeitoun

It has 22,000 hosts in 110 countries who welcome people to their homes via its app. Travellers can use it to discover and share meals with local hosts, as well as enjoy experiences like cooking classes, food tours, afternoon tea and wine-tasting all over the world.

VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Ludivine Nakedcat - Myphotoagency.com
VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Ludivine Nakedcat – Myphotoagency.com

Anyone can sign up to become either a host or a guest. It’s a unique way to exchange with people in other countries and to discover new cultures around food.

VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Joel Schillio
VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Joel Schillio

How it works is that you choose your preferred experience,whether that’s a market tour in Barcelona, a cooking class in Rome, or a dinner in Paris. Once you’ve made your choice, you simply book online and then you’ll be able to chat with your local host directly.

VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: VizEat
VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: VizEat

The concept was conceived by Jean-Michel Petit and Camille Rumani, who are based in Paris. Jean-Michel was inspired in Peru while sharing an Indian meal with locals on Lake Titicaca. For Camille, inspiration struck during her time in Beijing where she was invited to spend Chinese New Year with a friendly family.

VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: VizEat
VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: VizEat

“We both felt really lucky to have had such authentic and memorable travelling experiences,” says Camille. “VizEat was born from a discussion about how to build a like-minded online community – allowing us and others to replicate similar experiences all over the world.”

VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Edu Gorostiza
VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Edu Gorostiza

The co-founders believe that while we can easily travel to cities inhabited by millions of people these days, we don’t necessarily meet any of the locals. “Our aim is to encourage these types of encounters and to make them accessible to everyone,” says Jean-Michel. “For us, the table is the oldest and most original social network.”

VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Thibaud Robic
VizEat connects travellers to locals for an authentic eating experience. Image: Thibaud Robic

VizEat can be accessed through its website or on-the-go with a free iOS and Android app.

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