Food tours are an excellent way of experiencing a city for tourists and locals alike. Most food tours zero in on a specific neighborhood, so you get a taste of hyperlocal cuisine. Guides are usually very knowledgeable, and you can learn a bit of history while you engage in a food scene that is very much alive and present. Your summer travel plans would be incomplete without one. Here are nine fantastic food tours you can go on this season.
To gather the tours for this article, we tried to select options mostly in the United States, but included tours in cities in Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico for those who are looking to spend some time outside the country without going too far afield. We cross-referenced the food tours we found with their reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp to see how satisfied the customers were. Additionally, we took the creativity and thoughtfulness of the tour programs into consideration. For example, one of the offerings of Eat Mexico Food Tours is a "tacos of Mexico tour," during which you can learn about the regional variants of this iconic Mexican food by tasting examples at various establishments around Mexico City. This was more appealing to us than a generic “street food” tour — though we are certain there are plenty of good street food tours out there.
What makes a food tour special? In our opinion, a great food tour introduces tourists to local cuisine, but also unveils new aspects of a city’s food scene to local residents who think they have seen it all. Most of these tour companies offer private tours, but if you would like to meet people while traveling, public tours are a great way of getting to know fellow travelers and possibly making some lifelong friends. If you’re planning a trip to Europe soon, we highly recommend checking out Travelex’s Food Tour of Europe infographic.
So take a look at some of our favorite food tours, and add a few to your itinerary to make this season of travel one to remember.
Avital Tours (San Francisco)
The San Francisco food scene is world famous, so you want to make sure you’re in good hands when you decide to chomp your way through this city. Avital Food Tours offers walking tours of four different neighborhoods: North Beach, the Haight, the Mission, and Union Square. Here is some of what you’ll taste in each district: wood-fired pizza from the oldest pizza oven on the West Coast (North Beach), a Guinness beer and honey ice cream float (the Haight), and beer-and-a-shot braised chicken and cod taco duo (the Mission). Prices start at $68.
Bloody Mary Brunch Tour (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Milwaukeeans love their bloody marys, which are known to get very creative, as in the case with the bloody mary with a whole fried chicken and bacon-wrapped cheese balls in it at Sobelmans. Get a taste of the city’s bloody mary culture on the Bloody Mary Brunch Tour, which Milwaukee Food Tours presents every Sunday. Explore the historic Third Ward, once called the “Bloody Third Ward,” in this most suitable way. The tour costs $55.