Going on a trip can be challenging, especially if you are heading somewhere for the first time. Many factors need to be considered if the journey is to be successful, from the logistics of plane tickets and hotel rooms, to deciding on the best way to get to know a new destination. Luckily for us, most travelers are agreed that one of the best ways to get to know a city is through its food.
Food is a great catalyst for learning about regional customs, and establishing a bond with locals while experiencing new flavors and experiences together.
Food tours are the hot new trend in most major tourist cities around the world. However, while deciding to take a food tour is easy, picking the right one for you is not; it requires a deep dive into each company’s services and background, and determining whether or not it matches what you’re looking for. In this article, we’ll look at some of the factors that go into picking the right food tour for you.
Tips for Choosing a Culinary Tour
When it comes to tourism, food always plays an important role, but the extent of this influence depends on the type of trip you want to take.
Some travelers plan their itinerary around the kind of food they want to experience. In these cases, the itinerary is entirely conditioned by food.
You may choose to travel to North America and take a Food tour in Chicago simply because you want to learn about its gastronomy, and received a recommendation from a trusted figure.
It may be that you are a huge fan of Asian food, so you decide to take a trip to China or Japan.
Some prefer to choose their destination based on other factors like architecture, culture, history, or climate. Here, food is just one part of the equation.
Perhaps you are interested in the history and art of Rome, and have decided to plan a trip to Italy. As an added bonus, you will get to eat what is widely acknowledged as the best pasta in the world.
So, depending on the trip you want to take, you will have an associated culinary experience.
How is this pertinent to assessing the quality of a food Tour? The most effective way to do so is to consult the traveling community.
Travel fans tend to spend a lot of time reviewing various services and experiences, and food tours receive more comments than most on a wide range of forums and web platforms.
The best way to know what to expect from an experience is to ask the people who experienced it to describe how it turned out for them.
User ratings will provide you with an initial evaluation of the service, and a means to compare the many different experiences on offer.
Types of Food Tours
First and foremost, culinary tourists need to consider what type of food they want to taste. This will depend not only on preference but also on the time and budget available to each traveler.
One highly fashionable option is the gourmet tour, in which dishes of a superior gastronomic echelon are sampled in several upscale restaurants.
Those who take part in this type of tour typically recognize and admire the chefs and members of the food production team involved in each establishment on the tour itinerary.
The bad news is that a large budget is required for this kind of tour, as the dishes on the menu are usually pricey.
On the other hand, it may be that you enjoy gastronomy that is relatively simpler, but typical of the place you visit nonetheless. This type of tour is cultural, and will allow you to learn a little more about the region and the people who live there.
The tour involves visiting historical sites in which food goes hand in hand with tradition. In this case, you should follow the recommendations of those who know the region’s culture best of all: the locals.
Then there’s street food tourism – a favored option among young travelers since it allows them to experience typical local foods on a reasonable budget.
It also represents a more relaxed way of relating to a city’s culture and inhabitants. Plus, who doesn’t love street food?
In order to identify the best street food tours, you should do a little research on forums or the web. Most producers of this type of food do not have a fixed address, but rather a series of food trucks or stalls that change places on a regular basis.
So make sure to find out in advance what kind of street food you want to sample the most, and the places where you can find it.
Top Cities for Food Tours
Finally, don’t overlook the classics. Some cities around the world are well-known for providing a unique gastronomic experience.
According to recommendations from veteran travelers, these include Rome, Venice, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, New Orleans, New York, Kansas, Tokyo, and Bangkok.
These cities do a great job representing their respective countries with an array of typical foods, providing quality and art with each mouthful.
And no discussion of food tours would be complete without a mention of Italy’s Mediterranean menus, France’s baked goods and cheeses, and Spain’s seafood and tapas. Foodies should also be aware of the wide range of meats and street food which North America has to offer.
Wherever you go and whatever you try, food usually tastes better when it’s accompanied with the right drink. Hence another significant recent trend in the food tour world, in which travelers learn about local wines and beverages.
If you decide to take a trip to Kansas City, for example, you will notice that there are many specialized wineries in the region. Taking a wine course is another exciting way to get to know a new city and add some more knowledge to your culinary portfolio.
There’s no shortage of options, so get to work! With all this information at hand, you can now start to choose the places in the world that you would most like to know, and research the best food tour in town.
Have a good trip!