How to find people that are local that one might cook with, or dine with, or explore new food [fill in the blank] experiences with? Especially when one’s current local group of folks are all “eat to live” people, or vegetarian, or gluten free, or not food adventurous, or have way too many obligations to ever get together, etc.
Are there any tried and true methods for finding your food people in real life? Asking for a friend
*I don’t believe there are any local facebook dining groups.
**I feel like I’m writing a personals ad for the paper.
*There are if you create one, which is exactly what I did.
A Facebook group for the local restaurant scene in my town was started by the parent of a student here. Before it ballooned to now 13K members (12,985 of which are lurkers), I and other members would occasionally post home-cooked foods or foods from places outside of the area… which naturally pissed some members off. I say naturally bc the default mood of about 50% of the people posting online seems to be anger
And so, my home chef edition of that group split off, and we’ve had 4 successful potlucks since last October that I organize at a friend’s clubhouse on a bi-monthly basis.
It’s been great meeting new people & sharing lovely food. I’ve also organized a few smaller restaurant outings & will start that up once I’m healthy again
Another place would be here. I know some of the NYC contingent at least (but likely other cities as well) do regular HO meetups at restaurants.
I’ve never started a page on fb other than my personal page. That’s a good thought! I thought I’d have to find an existing page but you are 100 that I could start it.
There aren’t enough PNW folks on HO sadly, and we are spread rather far apart. But maybe as we recruit.
I would recommend starting a group, not a page - easier to manage. Add friends you know IRL first (well, those who’d be interested in such activities) & tell them to invite theirs.
You might also try MeetUp to see if there is an existing food group near you. I joined a book club, a hiking group, and two cycling groups that I found on MeetUp.
Wait, we are not your friends?
And this, um, isn’t real life.
I need a moment alone to digest all of this.
Make that digestion at a restaurant where the food people can all join you, and then @Sasha will be your friend IRL.
Ok, in all seriousness, not sure where you live @Sasha but at least around me, I would look at the following.
- Local wine tastings
- Look for local pop ups or private food events at this site below:
We’re all pulling for you to find friends (that are not us) in real life, even though I still need to come to grips with that idea.
I am happy for those that have successfully used online resources, though they would be my last choice, except maybe for here. Have you made a post here defining where you are and what you’re looking for?
My pref would be engaging locals I can actually meet with. Pay attention when you’re shopping at local markets. If you see something interesting in someone’s cart, engage them about it. If they’re a foodie they’ll engage you back.
We also have a number of wine tasting tours in the area… an excellent way to engage locals (although not all are local) about food.
I play golf (or any small group activity), and occasionally folks I have been paired up with have clicked on food.
@ScottinPollock and @ipsedixit thanks for the add’l tips. I have lovely friends locally. Most of whom I’ve met actually through school and my kids and their activities. However, they really do fall in the camps of I don’t like food, I don’t care about food, I have too many eating restrictions to make eating with you fun, and I’m so incredibly busy that I can pencil you in 6 months from now. So I’m looking. Bc much as I really do enjoy and appreciate this forum, I want to actually get together in a room with people and break bread, or go on food expeditions with them. I do have some foodie friends that were irl at some point, but they are currently just scattered everywhere and none close to me.
Yes. I’m in the PNW and made an endeavor a few months ago on that forum to gather up. But the closest HO folks to me are 60-100 miles away.
Are there food tours in your area? That might be another way to meet like-minded people in your area.
Not that I’m aware sadly. The town is not very large. 90-100K. And we are equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver BC so most of the food hoopla is in those areas. Not too far to drive to an event, but probably difficult as far as meeting nearby neighbors that are easy to get together with semi-regularly. But maybe I shouldn’t totally assume. I will look around for food classes or similar.
Are there any interesting restaurants in your area with communal tables? I used to travel some for business and got over my aversion to dining alone at such places. I even recall visiting an Asian-centric market\food court and having some great conversations that led me to try new (to me) foods. Even here in Philly, you’d be hard-pressed to not strike up a conversation at the Reading Terminal Market tables.
Are there any food festivals or food fairs in your area?? Although this was a few years ago (before the pandemic) I do remember going to a “Greek Food Festival” and a month later going to a “Tamale Festival” (in my area).
I imagine there would be plenty of “foodies” at these festivals, that enjoyed good tasting meals and trying new or different cuisines.
Gah - I’m such an introvert! I’ll look around though. That is an interesting idea.
Excellent thought. I will look for the more specific of any of these, rather than just carnival style. Those tend to attract people who just want fries and a beer, not really people who are into food as art and entertainment.
I’ve always been an introvert too . . . but solo travelling for business cured me of that. I guess I just like to talk when I eat
Farmers markets or food halls?
BBQ or chili cookoffs? (no wait…that’s Texas)
Not for credit classes at the local community college?
A few thoughts here - before the pandemic, there were a couple of restaurants and kitchen stores in the south sound area that offered cooking classes/ explorations on various topics, or say cooking out of a current cookbook. I was gifted a class through Sur la Table on cooking out of Pok Pok, which I did with my daughter. It was fun, and might be a way to find like minded people. I realize kitchen stores are becoming rare, and you probably don’t have a Sur la Table in Bellingham, but maybe there’s a restaurant that does? These thoughts led to community colleges that offer cuisine specific courses just for fun, that may be something to explore as well. Once you meet engaged, interested people, you could probably pull social events together. It may start small, but grow from there. As others have suggested, FB may be the most direct way to get something going. I don’t think it’s particularly easy in the current environment to connect with fellow food lovers, so good luck!