Picky American Eaters Hate Local Cuisines

Americans are picky eaters on vacation. David Goehring photo
Americans are picky eaters on vacation. David Goehring photo

Three-Fifths Of Americans Don’t Try The Local Cuisine When On Vacation 

New research has found that a staggering 61% of Americans don’t try the local cuisine whilst on vacation, with a further 12% stating that they actively avoid restaurants with local cuisines.

While three-fifths of Americans admit to not trying the local cuisine on their vacation, more than seven in ten also admitted to splurging on takeaways whilst away, with McDonald’s and KFC found to be the most popular choices. What’s more, a further 20% stated that they look for an American diner or bar when abroad, while actively trying to avoid the local cuisine available.

The study was conducted by flight-comparison site www.us.jetcost.com, where over 4,200 people over the age of 18 were quizzed on their vacation habits as part of an ongoing study. All respondents had been on at least one vacation outside of mainland USA in the past two years.

Of those surveyed, three-fifths of Americans (61%) say they don’t try the local cuisine when abroad, with just 17% stating that they had tried the local food on more than one occasion. A further one in eight (12%) also revealed that they actively avoid local restaurants when on vacation that offer the local cuisine and not food they’re used to.

When asked why they did not try the local cuisine, the top five reasons why were found to be:

  1. Don’t like the look or smell of it – 29%
  2. Prefer to stick to what I know – 22%
  3. Previously had a bad experience – 18%
  4. Fear of getting ill – 15%
  5. I’m a fussy eater – 8%

Furthermore, nearly one in three Americans (32%) said that specific local cuisines have put them off going on vacation to that country, with China (17%), India (15%) and Vietnam (14%) the most common destinations avoided.

In addition to not trying the local cuisine, a further 71% of Americans revealed that they spend money on takeaways whilst on holiday, with the most popular options found to be McDonald’s (27%), KFC (21%) and Subway (19%). One in five Americans (20%) even admitted that they seek out American diners or bars when on vacation, with the top reasons why emerging as ‘to meet other countrymen’ (26%), ‘to watch sports’ (22%) and because they ‘feel more comfortable there’ (17%).

Asked more generally about a tendency to engage in local cultures, almost three fifths (59%) said that they make an active effort to go sightseeing and partake in local activities when on vacation. However, of this number, just 21% said that they do this more than once when away.

A spokesperson for www.us.jetcost.com commented:

“While home comforts are an easy fall back option when on holiday, it’s not worth missing out on what local restaurants have to offer as it could become the highlight of your trip away. This being said, it is important to be cautious trying new foods in different countries; for example, only opt for unpeeled fruit in countries where the tap water is safe to drink. That being said, you might discover a love for a whole new food range.”