If you’re seeking an experience that is authentic to a given place, sampling the local dishes is one of your best options. Food isn’t just about refueling after a day of sightseeing; at its best (or even worst), eating regional fare oftentimes provides a memorable experience in and of itself.
These companies do the research and navigation for you. Next time you’re in Toronto, sign up with these folks to have a guaranteed taste of the city:
1. The Culinary Adventure Company
Recipients of the 2012 Ontario Tourism Award for Best Culinary Tourism Experience, The Culinary Adventure Company helps guests discover Toronto’s rich culinary scene with neighborhood tours, culinary adventures (including an urban spring mushroom forage), and classes. Looking for a personalized experience? They also offer custom experiences that are best adapted for your tastes.
2. Tasty Tours
Specializing in sweets, Tasty Tours highlights "the sweeter side" of Toronto with walking tours dedicated to chocolates, cupcakes, pastries, and more. Guests can take either the Kensington Market Sweets tour or the Trinity Bellwoods Chocolate Tour, both of which are about two-and-a-half hours long and include samples from each location. They also plan private itineraries according to a client’s desires.
3. Bruce Bell’s St. Lawrence Market Tour
Bruce Bell is considered to be one of Toronto’s most respected and engaging historians. He is a wealth of knowledge about the city’s history and organizes tours of the city’s famous 200-year-old St. Lawrence Market. The 90-minute tour highlights the market’s legendary vendors as well as Old Town Toronto landmarks including St. Lawrence Hall, King Edward Hotel (when available), and St. James Cathedral.
4. Chowbella Chocolate and Cheese Crawl
Chowbella offers food-centered city walking tours, day drips to regional culinary destinations, and "international gourmet getaways." Their most popular tour (which is currently available for booking) highlights two great delicacies: chocolate and cheese. The tour gives you a "behind-the-scenes" look at several specialty shops, as well as a visit to a local poutinerie. They update their schedule regularly, so check the website for the latest local food tour options.