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In English "go-to" is an informal adjective with a meaning close to "the reliable choice that comes as first option". To illustrate the concept better, here are some definitions and examples for "go-to":

  • being a person who can be turned to for expert knowledge, advice, or reliable performance, especially in a crucial situation: He's our go-to guy in a budget crisis.
  • noting something that can always be relied on to bring satisfaction, success, or good results: my go-to recipe for cheesecake.

Dictionary.Com

  • used to describe the best person to deal with a particular problem or do a particular thing, or the best place to get a particular thing or service: For 20 years, Wild Mountain was the go-to store for outdoor enthusiasts.

Cambridge dictionary

  • relied on and regularly turned to for expert knowledge, skill, or performance: Brown became the go-to researcher for genetic conundrums.

  • regularly or repeatedly chosen or employed for reliably good results: A waitress came by and Reacher ordered his go-to breakfast, which was coffee plus a short stack of pancakes with eggs, bacon, and maple syrup.

merriam-websterdictionary

The two neurons in my head have been thinking for a while and could not come with anything that would carry the same meaning in Spanish. One thought of "por defecto", but the other discarded it since "by default" has a different meaning than "go-to".

While a "go-to" option can easily become a default option due to its merit, they are not the same thing.

"By default" or "default option" carries the connotation of a preselected option when no alternative has been specified.

A "go-to" option denotes a person or thing that may be relied on or is regularly sought out in a particular situation (probably over many other well known options), while a "default" option denotes that it's been just preselected for convenience.

What would be the best way of translating or conveying "go-to" in Spanish?

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    Referente or de referencia maybe? – pablodf76 Sep 13 '19 at 16:28
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I would like to propose infalible:

1. adj. Que no puede errar. 2. adj. Seguro, cierto, indefectible.

Maybe it does not fit perfectly with every example, but consider these sentences:

Fulano es infalible en situaciones de crisis.
Tengo una receta de tarta de queso que es infalible.
Richard pidió su desayuno infalible.

Nonetheless for the rest of examples another word may be needed. As proposed before, de referencia may suit here:

Wild Mountain era la tienda de referencia entonces.
Brown se convirtió en el investigador de referencia.

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  • Respondida desde un hotel vacacional de Punta Umbría mientras veo con la familia una adaptación infantil teatral de Mamma mía! :-D – Charlie Sep 13 '19 at 21:10
  • Charlie - ¡Mamma mía! – aparente001 Sep 14 '19 at 1:39
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    "De referencia" es la mejor respuesta al menos en español de Europa. – 23419 Sep 18 '19 at 22:06
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I like several of the terms proposed. I agree with some of the answers that a different expression might be required according to the context. Here are some other words or phrases that could work:

Some major recast may be required for the sentences to work with the expressions above:

  • He's our go-to guy in a budget crisis: es la persona a la que siempre recurrimos ante un problema presupuestario

  • my go-to recipe for cheesecake: esta receta es mi caballito de batalla cuando de cheesecake se trata

  • For 20 years, Wild Mountain was the go-to store for outdoor enthusiasts: [...] fue/era la tienda de paso obligado para los adictos al/fanáticos del aire libre

  • Brown became the go-to researcher for genetic conundrums: [...] el investigador de consulta obligada [...]

  • A waitress came by and Reacher ordered his go-to breakfast, which was coffee plus a short stack of pancakes with eggs, bacon, and maple syrup: [...] su desayuno habitual [...]

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  • 1
    Las traducciones son una buena aportación. Quizá en español el término usado para "go-to" depende un poco más del contexto. El uso de "al que siempre recurro" me parece muy buena propuesta, aunque no sea de por sí un único adjetivo. – Diego Sep 16 '19 at 17:32
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I suggest the adjective recomendado or the verb recomendar, modifying the expression accordingly to spanish gammatical usage, because the definition of the equivalent english word recommend fits perfectly with the 'go-to' sense of endorse or present as worthy of acceptance (Merriam-Webster). Using Gustavson's examples:

  • Fulano es el analista recomendado cuando hay crisis con el presupuesto.
  • Es la receta que recomiendo para este tipo de pastel.
  • Durante 20 años, Wild Mountain fue la tienda más recomendada para conseguir equipo de excursión.
  • Brown ha sido el científico que recomendamos para entender problemas de genética.
  • Llegó una mesera y Reacher pidió el desayuno que siempre recomendaba: panqués, tocino y huevo revuelto.
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Maybe "mejor" could work, it's something like "the best", so you can say:

  • My go-to recipe for cheesecake.

  • He's our go-to guy in a budget crisis

  • Wild Mountain was the go-to store for outdoor enthusiasts.

as:

  • Mi mejor receta para la tarta de queso.
  • El es nuestro mejor tipo para una crisis financiera
  • Wild Mountain era la mejor tienda para los entusiastas del aire libre
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0

Lo más sencillo es favorito. Si quieres algo más preciso, pero bastante universal, propongo

en el que más confío

Tus ejemplos:

  • Fulano es el analista en el que más confiamos cuando hay crisis con el presupuesto.

  • Es la receta en la que más confío para este tipo de pastel.

  • Durante 20 años, Wild Mountain fue la tienda más confiable para conseguir equipo de excursión.

  • Brown ha sido nuestro científico en el que más confiamos para entender problemas de genética.

  • Llegó una mesera y Reacher pidió el desayuno en el que más confiaba, panqués, tocino y huevo revuelto.

El origen de esta propuesta: estaba pensando en la recomendación que muchas veces se da para manejar problemas como la angustia o la rabia en la escuela:

  • Student will be given a laminated pass to visit his Go To Person on a self-determined basis.

Esta persona la escoge el estudiante mismo, por ser la persona en la que más confía.

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  • I would say Brown ha sido el científico en el que más confiamos para entender problemas de genética rather than ...nuestro científico... which sounds redundant. – Vladimir Nul Sep 14 '19 at 14:44
  • I didn't find the word panqué in the dictionary. I guess you are referring to panqueque (dle.rae.es/?id=Ri6m9md). Where is the word panqué used? – Vladimir Nul Sep 14 '19 at 14:47
  • I also believe that huevos revueltos sounds better than huevo revuelto, but that's just my opinion. – Vladimir Nul Sep 14 '19 at 14:48
  • @VladimirNul - In this answer I put the focus on how to express the idea of a "go to" person, place, etc., rather than a perfect translation of each word in the example sentences. Please feel free to edit the answer. – aparente001 Sep 14 '19 at 17:55
  • Could you please confirm if the word panqué has a regional use somewhere? At least it's not in my domain but I don't know all regional differences. – Vladimir Nul Sep 14 '19 at 19:16

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