From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, all over the world are restaurants that tickle the taste buds and delight the senses. Of all these restaurants, there are some that are incredibly hard to get into. Maybe they only serve thirty a night. Maybe the lines are ridiculously long. You go in with the best of intentions and tell yourself that surely, today is the day you’ll be able to taste these marvelous culinary delights. Sometimes you’re lucky and manage to snag a table, but more often than not you’ll come away disappointed. Here are some tips so you can land a coveted seat at one of these exclusive dining spots.
GET TO THE RESTAURANT EARLY
Early doesn’t mean half an hour of forty-five minutes, though. Depending on the restaurant early could be upwards of three hours before the restaurant even opens, like at Bangkok’s Raan Jay Fai! This is especially true for restaurants with limited seating or servings available because once those slots are gone they’re gone for good. So bring a good book, maybe a foldable seat, and get comfortable. You could be there a while.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RESERVATIONS
It maybe months in advance and you may have to plan a trip solely around table availability, but if you don’t want to wait in line a table reservation might make your life easier. Restaurants like Jiro in Tokyo, or the elusive Tickets in Barcelona allow you to book a slot either online or by phone call, saving you a lot of time.
BRING SNACKS AND WATER
This might sound like a joke, but this ties back into that three-hour wait mentioned earlier for restaurants like Bao in London. Unfortunately, waiting in line means that you might miss your intended mealtime and go hungry until you’re allowed into the restaurant. Then there’s the issue of potentially getting dehydrated, which could make you feel dizzy or faint. Making sure you’re well-hydrated and fed will make even the longest of waits feel a lot more comfortable.
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES
Speaking of comfortable, if you’re lining up absolutely make sure to wear something you’ll be comfy standing in! Places like Bali’s Warung Biah Biah will have lines teeming around the corner in the sweltering heat, so making sure your wait is a comfortable one should be your top priority.
GO WITH AT LEAST ONE BUDDY
Not only is dining more enjoyable when you bring at least one friend along, it means that at the very least you guys can take turns staying in line. If one of you needs to sit down, take a water break, or even head to the restroom, the other person can make sure. Plus, it gives you guys some additional time to chitchat and bond while you’re waiting on the next available table.
CHECK FOR “SLOW” DAYS AND TIMES
Although not applicable to every restaurant, sometimes with careful research and meticulous planning you can find days and times when a restaurant is less busy. Oftentimes these could be weekdays just after a busy holiday when locals are working or learning, or the strange period just after lunch and before dinner. It means planning your day around an irregular eating schedule, but for the most exclusive restaurants, it’s worth it.
HAVE A BACKUP MEAL PLAN
Finally, if all else fails and you still don’t get into the restaurant you wanted to, make sure you know what else is nearby. It may not be the same cuisine and probably won’t have the same “exclusive” quality to it, but you’ll have a good time eating out all the same. Happy dining!