I’ll admit, I joined the food tour bandwagon rather late. But now, six food tours later across four states and even in another country, I’m hooked. So if you’ve never taken one before and are not sure they’re right for you, here are five reasons that will hopefully convince you to go on one on your next trip.
1) You get to try food from places that locals would recommend
I’ve found that on food tours, some of the places you’re taken to are definitely off the “tourist beaten path,” which is a wonderful thing. I know that with the advent of the Internet, it’s infinitely easier to locate more obscure eateries, spots that locals like to keep secret, and yet unless you spend every waking moment trying to unearth these hidden culinary treasures, you might still end up at a decent but average establishment that scores of other tourists go to as well. On my last food tour in the Bahamas, our very first stop was somewhere I probably never would have gone to had it not been for the tour. It offered authentic Bahamian cooking without an ounce of pretension (as some restaurants that cater to tourists tend to have). The food was delicious and I didn’t feel like just another cruise day tripper in port. Locals anywhere in the world will always avoid those tourist trap food establishments, so wouldn’t you like to eat someplace that they enjoy eating at too? One where you know you’re going to get stellar quality in return?
2) If you’re short on time, you get to see and sample a lot
Unless you’re staying someplace for a week, a couple days in a city isn’t nearly enough to see and do everything, and more importantly, eat at every place you want. Food tours generally will have you sample things from an average of six restaurants/food stores. On my food tour in Miami Beach (which is still my favorite to this day), we stopped at a variety of restaurants and stores and had such a wonderful array of things to try ranging from ceviche to empanadas to sliders to churros and much more. Sure, it would obviously be quite nice to have full on meals at all these places but often that’s not possible, so isn’t a sampling from each of them just as good?
3) Both young and old can appreciate and enjoy them
Okay, excluding those food tours that are obviously more for serious foodies (by this I mean trying some exotic and perhaps even questionable items) and ridiculously picky child eaters, many kids love to eat, period. So yes, a tour that combines mild sightseeing with eating, who wouldn’t like such an experience? And for any whining child (or adult) who is getting tired and irritable, just remind them that another stop to eat is literally moments away.
4) It’s not just all about the food
All of the food tours I’ve been on have included tidbits about the area that the tour is in. I think my favorite tour in terms of the historical background and context of the area would be the one I went on with Pittsburgh Tours and More on their Rustbelt Culinary Adventure. So if you’re someone that doesn’t necessarily want to go on a three hour solely history learning-based tour, I think a food tour is a good compromise since you get food but history too. In Boston, I really enjoyed learning about the changing demographics of the city’s North End neighborhood. What was once an area that dates back to American colonial times would go on to become home to Jewish immigrants and eventually Italian immigrants, which is how it became known as the city’s Little Italy.
5) It’s something that never gets old or boring
Anytime I travel now, I check to see if there are food tours to take and there almost always are. No two food tours are going to ever be the same; this is even true for food tours in the same city. I didn’t go on my first food tour until 2013 so in the future I really look forward to going on more abroad. Places that I’ve visited like Buenos Aires, Seoul, Lisbon-I can only imagine how awesome an experience like a food tour would be and when I return to these cities (and more), I will definitely go on one. Food is truly a universal everything-experience, necessity, souvenir-so yes, a food tour will always interest me.
I hope I’ve now convinced you to take one in the future!