What is a food tour and how to choose the best one

trying local mussels in a food tour in Valencia Spain

If something really distinguishes a trip, it is getting a taste of local life. The feeling of knowing places that only the locals frequent and delicious restaurants that are usually off the tourist route and therefore go unnoticed by the eyes of outsiders.

These discoveries make any trip an authentic journey into the local culture. It is pure excitement and undoubtedly one of the best ways to learn about a destination.

The thing is that we don’t always know someone to be our local guide. Even when we have friends at the destination, we should not expect that they know all the stories, traditions, and the best places to eat and drink in the region. That is why we love to go on food tours!

Taking a food tour is having an expert by your side to help you explore the city in the most tasteful and informative way possible. A complete experience with taste, scents, knowledge, and memories!

This article explains what a food tour is and how to choose the best one for your itinerary.

What is a Food Tour 

A Food Tour, also known as Culinary Tour, is a guided tour designed to introduce you to the history and traditions of a people through their food culture.

A Food and Drink Tour includes food and beverage tastings related to a theme. It can be about the local culture or a specific region of the city, for example, street foods or typical items from the Municipal Market.

Of course, enjoying the food and drinks included in the tour is the central point of a food tour, but there is more than that. A food tour involves a mix of history, context, and flavors. The culinary experience becomes a means to explore the destination. Between bites, the guide shares information about local traditions, sightseeing spots, etc.

trying crepe with soft eggs in Aveiro during a food tour

Most common examples of Food Tours:

The tours can be private or in groups. In general, it takes 2 to 4 hours with stops for tasting in various gastronomic establishments (restaurants, stores, markets, cafes, etc.). Food tours are usually done on foot, but you can also find tours by bicycle, tuk-tuk, scooters, and other means of transportation.

The most common types of food tours can involve:

  • Typical Dishes
  • Street Food
  • Drinks and Cocktails (e.g., beers, wines, whiskies, coffees and teas)
  • Traditional Sweets
  • Indigenous Food
  • Regional Markets or Street Fairs
  • Historical Centers
  • Immigrants Quarter
  • Food Foraging

Also read: Learn about the main food tourism activities

Who are the Food Tours for 

Food Tours are eclectic tours that satisfy the hunger and curiosity of a wide variety of travelers. For those traveling alone, taking a shared group tour is a great way to meet people during a trip. However, if you are traveling with friends, hiring a private tour is guaranteed fun. Families with children also love food tours, but in this case, it is important to find out in advance if the tour is suitable.

If you are a foodie and have never been on a food tour, you should add this type of activity to the top of your itinerary. Now, even if food is not your primary motivation, but you love to get to know the culture and history of destinations, taking a food tour is an enriching experience. That is because the cuisine and food traditions are based on historical influences and reflect the uniqueness of the environment.

And of course, for those who are professionals in gastronomy, culinary tours are an excellent opportunity to improve techniques and knowledge about typical dishes and foods.

trying street food in Malaysia during a food tour

Why take a Food Tour

Besides learning about the history and culture of the place, there are many reasons why you should take a food tour on your next trip:

  • It is a good introduction to the destination;
  • It gives you a safe way to explore the region’s gastronomy;
  • You have the opportunity to interact with local people and establishments genuinely;
  • Get to know places frequented only by locals;
  • Contribute to the appreciation of the regional cuisine; 
  • Get extra tips from the guide for your trip and other meals.

Read more: The positive impacts you create by doing local gastronomy tourism

local food in a tour in Indonesia

How to find a Food Tour

With the boom in food tourism, you can find food tours in many cities worldwide. That is very good, but it also poses a challenge when choosing which is best for your itinerary.

To make your travel planning easier, we’ve been carefully curating amazing culinary experiences to offer in our Food Tourism Marketplace, including food tours.

You will find a selection of the best food tours in many different countries, and the list will just keep on growing. There, you can search for the experiences by destinations, see if it meets your needs, and make a reservation.

Check out the main tips for choosing a food tour:

  • Pay attention to what is included in the price of the tour and how long the tour lasts;
  • Check the departure and arrival location;
  • Accessibility – if it is a walking tour and you have some mobility restrictions, verify if the route is accessible according to your conditions;
  • Special diets and dietary restrictions – not all tours can adapt to special diets. If this is your case, check with the organizer in advance;
  • Don’t plan large meals before the tour – it is better to guarantee space to enjoy the gastronomic experience.
  • Minimum age to participate in the tour – not all experiences accept children;
  • Minimum number of participants – some tours require a minimum number of participants to take place; 
  • Maximum number of participants – we only select tours in small or private groups, but it is always good to inquire about the maximum number of participants; 
  • Languages available in the tour;
  • Cancellation policy – refund or rescheduling option.

More tips: Learn how to plan a food trip