Explore local spots you would not have found on your own
Food tours are a great way to experience the unique cuisine and culture of a new place. Food tours will bring you to local spots you may have never discovered had you been searching for places to eat yourself.
For example, in Rome, Italy (see Rome, Italy Quick Guide), we took a food tour where we went to 10 plus restaurants and shops that we would have never walked into on our own. These locations were tucked away from the main drag and not flashy nor well marked. Additionally, at most of the places, the staff communicated solely in Italian. With going to these local spots, we were able to experience more authentic Italian food from local, non-touristy, spots.
We encourage you to walk into places you may not instinctively be drawn to–there may be a really cool local restaurant or bar behind the doors you are missing out on. You can always turn around and walk out if not. You really have nothing to lose! We have had luck with this on our own even and how we discovered our favorite hole in the wall restaurants in both Essaouira, Morocco (see Morocco Trip Reflection) and Lisbon, Portugal (see Lisbon, Portugal Quick Guide).
Try cuisine outside of your comfort zone
Participating in a food tour will also force you outside your comfort zone. This cuisine may involve trying something new with a local guide’s suggestion which you may not have had before.
For example, on that same food tour in Italy, our guide encouraged Natalie to eat some cured pork (typically Natalie avoids cured meats) on some fresh Italian bread. Now Natalie raves on the reg about how that was the most delicious piece of pork she has ever tasted!
Dine like a local
Also, these tours afford you the opportunity to dine like a local. On a food tour in Barcelona, Spain, our guide took us to a market with only locals (besides us) and helped us pick out fresh fish that was then prepared for us by the kitchen staff at a separate small cafe within the market. Talk about a cool experience!
We have taken local pub hopping tours, such as a Brews and Bites tour in Prague, Czech Republic. The pubs we stopped at were not ones we would have instinctively gone into because they were really off the main drag. However, visiting these establishments really made us feel like locals and experience the culture. If you want to eat (or drink) like a local, take a food tour. The local guides help connect the food to the culture to enrich your traveling experience.
Links to some food tours we’ve taken:
Eating Italy Rome, Italy
Discover Walks Food Tour Barcelona, Spain
Eating Prague Brews & Bites Prague, Czech Republic
The Best of the French Quarter New Orleans, Louisiana
Have you gone on a Food Tour while traveling? Anything you’d add to our reasons why they are great? We’d love to hear your feedback. Please leave us a comment!
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