Having recently eaten our way through Catalonia’s capital with Devour Barcelona we talked with some friends who had never considered joining a food tour. It was at that stage that we realised just how accustomed we’ve become to scoping out a new city (and it’s local culinary delights) by exploring its food! If you’ve never been on a food tour, join us as we share the reasons we now seek them out in major cities around the world.
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach then food may just be the way to win a traveller over too.
In the last few years Nathan and I have started hunting down the best food tours in each of the major cities we visit and every time, we leave full – both with food and new-found knowledge. We relish the opportunity to meet
We relish the opportunity to meet travellers from all walks of life, to learn more about the history of the region we’re visiting and to enjoy delicious food. What’s not to love?
If you’ve never been on a food tour before, you’ll start by meeting your guide and the others in your group at a predesignated point – always in public and at an easily recognisable spot. With introductions behind you, you’ll head off on your way towards gastronomic delight (via the first food stop of course).
From there, you’ll visit a range of restaurants, stalls, stands and markets, all on the hunt to find the best local produce.
If there’s one thing that food tours tend to do really well, it’s to connect tourists with authentic, local vendors. Time and time again, we’ve been introduced to men and women manning stands that have been in families for generations, serving the same high-quality food to their own neighbourhood. These are the kind of places that would be close to impossible to track down as a newly-arrived tourist into a city but with the help of a food tour, they suddenly become a lot more accessible.
As you trip around each mini-destination, you’ll be offered a selection of bite-sized portions (and sometimes full ones too!), allowing you to try the best food the city has to offer. It’s amazing how little tasters can add up over the course of an afternoon as the treats and conversation starts to flow.
Every time we come off a food tour, we’re surprised by just how full we are and the number of new dishes we’ve managed to try that we’d never have thought to hunt out.
I’m also a fairly fussy eater whilst Nathan loves good cuisine – food tours work well for us in this sense as he’s served up a variety of exciting dishes (that I’d normally hold us back from ordering) whilst small portions mean that if one option doesn’t float my boat, there’s always another on the horizon.
If you’re keen to give a food tour a go, we whole heartedly recommend joining your tour when you first arrive in a new city if possible. Doing so will alert you to the best restaurants and foodie stops (because who doesn’t want to return to a new favourite?) and give you a taste of local flavours whilst helping you find your way around.
What’s your favourite way to get to know a new city? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below…