Nothing makes traveling to a new country better than fully immersing yourself in the culture and, of course, at least to us here at The Daily Meal, eating the way the locals do. Luckily, the dinning equivalent to Airbnb, EatWith.com, allows just for that. Now that it's extending its reach to New York City this August, hosts all over Manhattan willing to open their homes (or rather, their kitchens) to foreign and domestic travelers, will be paid for it. The company’s goal is to give people the opportunity to try foods they may not find in in a country or city’s big restaurants — all while having a unique experience in someone else's home.
The website, which has been wildly successful since its launch last year in Israel, is popular among travelers in Europe who are hungry for specialty foods. Through the website, hosts may post a dinner plan (or a cooking class), along with a date, time, and price per guest. Interested guests can sign up, pay the fee, and simply arrive at the host’s abode. Meals can range from $25 for something made by amateur cooks to $100 for dinners made by professional chefs, with EatWith taking about 15 percent of the fee.
Currently, the issue of whether or not the business is legal in the five boroughs is one the Department of Health is iffy, explains DNAinfo, as "people who offer meals to the public for money are considered food-service establishments — and need all the proper permits and inspections," according to a Department of Health representative. However, caterers with valid Health Department permits can bring meals to someone’s home from their permitted establishments. With regards to these safety concerns, the site includes a rating system, insurance, and EatWith staff visit hosts' homes to try out meals in order to verify that what hosts are serving is exactly what they advertise on the site.
If you’re a New Yorker interested in connecting with other hosts and guests while sharing stories, unforgettable experiences, and delicious homemade cuisine, consider getting yourself verified as a dinner host here!