So, what exactly is a food tour?
- A food tour is an opportunity to try several dishes from a handful of restaurants / cafes / food stalls / bakeries etc
- Usually based within a local area or a specific neighbourhood.
- Speciality tours may be more particular, focussing on a particular food or diet, such as pies or plant based.
- Often a fair amount of walking is involved between venues.
- A great food tour will also provide a variety of local information and insider tips.
- You can usually expect a food tour to replace at least one of your meals.
What is the difference between a food tour and a walking tour?
Apart from the inclusion of food, which could vary from local delicacies, a mixture of local and national dishes or maybe a pizza tour in Chicago or a vegan tour in Liverpool. A food tour is usually a smaller group. You would ordinarily expect between 4 and 8 guests on the tour, however a walking tour could be up to 30 or 40 people. The smaller group gives the tour a more personal feel as you will usually all sit at the same table. It also enables you to ask more questions of your guide. Your guide can get to know you a bit better, which may mean they can include tips or information that would be of particular interest to you.
You get all the good bits of a walking tour with the added bonus of great food!
What sort of food do you get and how many food stops do you make?
Every food tour is different, but you would usually expect between 4 and 8 stops. These can vary from sit down restaurants, street food, cafes, markets, bars – anywhere that food is sold! Usually the more stops, the smaller the portion in each stop. You wouldn’t want to feel full up after the first restaurant and know that you have another 7 to go!
A good food tour will give you a mix of styles and flavours and will usually include both savoury and sweet. You will likely be served either small plates or sharing portions. This gives you the perfect opportunity to try things you may not usually try.
The venues themselves will often be interesting, either from a historical point of view or the story of how or why the owner started the business.
The tour description should give you an indication of what to expect. If you have further questions after reading it, the tour operator or tour guide will be happy to answer them for you! This also applies to dietary preferences and allergies. A lot of tours can be adapted to your requirements as long as enough notice is given. Obviously though, don’t book a Chocolate tour if you don’t like chocolate!
You’ll get plenty of local insight.
I love going on holiday and travelling, who doesn’t, right? I equally love researching the places I want to go when I get there. However nothing compares to chatting to a local and finding out their thoughts and insider tips as to where’s hot and where’s not. Going on a food tour at the beginning of your holiday or city break will give you a foodie overview as well as an understanding of the area. Your guide will probably be able to make lots of other recommendations for you as well.
It’s hopefully not just about the food!
A food tour is exactly that, a tour that includes food. However a great food tour will seamlessly combine that with local knowledge. You may learn what it is like to live in a particular area, its culture and arts. You may be visiting an area with a rich history and discover its beautiful architecture or learn about local myths and legends.
How long is a food tour and how much do they cost?
Price and duration can vary considerably. Usually a food tour will last between 2-4 hours and will cost between £35 to £100 per person. The price and duration will very much depend on what is included; you may be treated to samples handed out at a market stall or deli or a selection of plates served to your table in a restaurant or cocktail bar. Both tours would be great to do, but personal preference and budget may be a factor on choosing which one is right for you. Many tour guides will also offer bespoke private tours, which will cost more but enable the tour to be personalised to your tastes (pun intended!).