For Anthony Bourdain, No Food Photos Meant The Sign Of A Good Restaurant

Culinary icon Anthony Bourdain wasn't shy about posting pictures of the food he ate on his Instagram — and he wasn't shy about how he felt about other people doing it, either. His final post was actually an image of a meal he had in Alsace, France, and the one before that of a table of food he ate in Hong Kong, China. Traveling the world, discovering hidden restaurants, and connecting with locals over incredible food was his life. If he were still here, there's no doubt that Bourdain would have the most epic foodie account of all. 

Even so, Bourdain's spirit lives on through the many lives he touched and his work continues to influence the way people eat to this day. Many of the lessons he taught about traveling, eating, and life were very different from what's commonly practiced today. A surprising tip from the celebrity chef was that when you're looking for a place to eat, any restaurant with pictures of the food is a no-go. Considering social media influencers, as we know them now weren't yet a thing, it's safe to assume that when he's talking about pictures he means ones provided from the actual restaurant. Still, the notion offers much to ponder about.

Bourdain believed you should try restaurants where the locals eat

Today, get-togethers over meals out with friends are organized through the exchange of Instagram reels, and where people eat on vacation can be planned as easily as scrolling through TikTok. While we may never know Bourdain's thoughts on how social media has impacted the way people experience new cultures and cuisines today, his shows can offer everyone a very insightful lesson. After all, that was his life's passion and in his eyes food, people, and landscapes were inseparable. But if there's one thing that social media has removed from that is the inherent risk — something that the famous cook believed was what good eating was all about.

As Bourdain told Money, "You want to go to a place where there's locals only. No photos of the food, the menu is not in English, and there are people eating there that look like they go there a lot." That place is not one you're likely going to find on your Instagram. While this quote was in reference to people on holiday in foreign countries, it's just as applicable in your own city. By all means, eat at the trendy spots if that's what you want. But as the cookbook author once said, if you want a magical meal that's an extension of the people and the place that made it, you have to be willing to risk having a bad one too.