So I am reading The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford. I thought this passage was pretty interesting:
“Inside information also means that it is hard to get a decent meal in a tourist trap like London’s Leicester Square, Times Square in Manhattan or the Plaka in Athens. With few exceptions, the hungry visitor will pay a lot for mediocre cuisine. Tourists are willing to pay high prices because they have no sense of where better alternatives, even just a few streets away, might be found.
But the tourist-trap phenomenon is not just about high prices. If it was, we would see a wide range of restaurants, charming little bistros, and downmarket pasta or burger joints, all kinds of food from superb to disastrous, all charging a premium. Instead, we see a truncated market–high quality places, whether the good food is fried chicken or fine dining, are simply not to be found.
I think the reason is simple enough; tourists will only be making a single visit and will find it hard to pick out the great food from the bad. Good restaurants all locate where they are more likely to be appreciated by more informed locals. The bad ones remain…the “lemons” of the restaurant trade.”
So as a service to tourists everywhere, I’d like to start a list….The Best Restaurants in and Around Leicester Square List. But I need your help.
If some tourists stopped you in the middle of Leicester Square and asked you where they should have lunch within a five minute walk, where would you send them?