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What Is A Food Tour And 11 Reasons To Try It On Your Next Trip

While traveling abroad, the first thing most people do is visit the most famous tourist attractions in the city. Oftentimes, this is all people do when visiting a new country. This is what separates tourists from travelers; if you want to fully embrace the region in which you’re traveling in, you should act like a local and eat what they give you. With enough research, open-mindedness, and willingness to explore, you can do this by yourself.

However, most people don’t have enough time and resources to explore a lot while traveling. This is where food tours come in. In this article, we’ll show you what is a food tour and what are some of the best reasons to take food tours while traveling abroad.

But first things first…

What Is A Food Tour?

what is a food tour

We’re starting this guide with the obvious question- what is a food tour? Guided food tours are catered for tourists who want to learn about a city or a region through its local cuisine. As food tourism becomes more important, food tours are becoming more popular among all tourists. Most food tours guide visitors to the city’s most famous landmarks, restaurants, and street food joints. On average, most food tours include 7 – 8 stops where you can taste the best dishes that local cuisine has to offer. With that being said let’s see why taking a food tour while traveling is a good idea.

Support Small Local Businesses

thai street food

Going on a foodie tour means you’re avoiding the famous international fast-food chains and experiencing the finest local delicacies that are a crucial part of the local culture. Most of the restaurants and street food joints covered on these foodie tours are operated by families and individuals. These food tours are a great way for these small local businesses to bring more customers to their restaurants and give them the support they truly deserve. If you like supporting small local businesses while traveling, this is one of the main reasons to take food tours.

Taste The Culture

what is a food tour

You must be thinking “I can always find good places to eat on Google, so why should I even bother taking a food tour?” Well, even though you can always find good places to eat on Google, you probably won’t learn a lot about the cultural importance of certain foods and when and how it is eaten unless you take a guided food tour. The culinary aspect of a destination is always an important way to get introduced to a new destination; the best way to embrace a new culture is through your stomach.

Get Personalized Tips

cheese wine food tour

Even though you can visit all of the restaurants covered in a food tour independently, you won’t be able to learn as much as you could when you have a local guide who knows the best places to eat and has a lot of interesting stories that will enrich your experience.

Most of the guides leading these tours are foodies and they can even give you even more useful recommendations. For example, you can tell them what you’re looking for and what’s your budget and they can point you to the best local restaurants that fit your demands.

Finally, these guides live in the city and they are people who can give you the latest updates on the local restaurant and bar scene (which changes very rapidly, especially in big cities). Hence, you can get a lot of useful tips, not only about the best eating places but also about other activities that you probably won’t discover on your own.

Make The Most Out Of Your Time

Food walking tour

Oftentimes while traveling, we fall in love with a new destination, but unfortunately, most of the time we don’t get to stay there as long as we would want. The downside of this is not having enough time to do all the things we want to do during our trip. This is another good reason to take food tours. If you have only a few days (or in some cases even hours), going on a food tour will give you a complete overview of a city’s dining scene.

Additionally, you can also learn cool new things and stories about the most famous restaurants or iconic street food joints. And hearing these stories from locals is always better than reading about it online. This leads us to the next point…

Discover Places That You Probably Wouldn’t Independently

street food joint

Visiting a new city for the first time doesn’t always go smoothly. When traveling, most people tend to favor places with a familiar/reassuring appearance or places they find in their tourist guides. If you ever went on a food-tasting tour, you’ll know what I’m talking about; if you ever got off the beaten track while traveling, you know how much fun can you have if you throw away your tourist guide and try to experience the city like a local.

Well, most of the places food tours cover are not places that get featured in tourist guides. Instead, you’ll be visiting the small restaurants and street food joints that are favorite among locals and maybe even learning a thing or two about local cuisine through various cooking classes.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like this guide to Taiwanese street food.

Meet Other Foodies

food tour people

When discussing what is a food tour and why should you take it, another great reason to do this is to meet new like-minded travelers. This is one of the main reasons to take food tours; they are limited to small groups and you can easily engage in conversations with other like-minded travelers and locals. With food tours, meeting new people is super easy because you have the perfect conversation starter- food! You can share your experience and learn from others about the great places they discovered during their trip but also about the places where they had a bad experience.

You Get To Sightsee Along The Way

food tour sightseeing

Did you ever have a foreign friend visiting your hometown? If you did, don’t deny it; you tried to show them the best of your city. The things that make you proud of living there. Well, don’t forget that food tour guides are also locals. And they too, want to show you the best of their city. If a food tour is done properly (and most of the food tours I took were), you will visit not only amazing local eateries but also see some interesting shops, high-end spots, and hidden gems along the way. And it doesn’t get much better than learning about a new city with a full belly!

Take A Look Behind The Scenes

meet other foodies

If you devote enough time to research, maybe you can visit most of the places featured in food tours. However, you won’t be able to take a look behind the scenes. Many food tours get visitors to go to the “employee-only area”, and see how the food is prepared, and what the average workday in one of the local restaurants looks like. During one of these visits, you might even get a few new cooking tips and learn how to prepare a local delicacy.

Try New Foods Without Wasting Money

reasons to take a food tour

No matter how open-minded you might be when trying new food, you surely have your regrets about spending on a local delicacy that you didn’t like at all. With food tours, you can eliminate that risk. Food tours usually cover between 7-10 eateries and multiple local dishes. After this, you’ll be able to choose where you want to come back and which places you’ll skip. In other words, you’ll get…

A Week’s Worth Of Restaurants In A Day

Food tour stands

Food tours will take you on restaurant hopping and make you try so many restaurants that you’ll probably need a week to cover all of them on your own. You can expect to try the best samples of local cuisine, from snacks at farmers’ markets and street food joints to dining in the most famous local restaurants.

Try New Foods Without Getting Sick

bad stomach

Last but not least, we complete this guide to what is a food tour and why should you take it with perhaps the most important reason of all; not getting sick. There’s nothing worse than trying some street food in a new destination and getting sick and not being able to leave your hotel room for a few days (precious time wasted). Taking a food tour means you have a knowledgeable guide with you that will take you to all the best (and safest) places where you can eat freely knowing that the probability of getting a bad belly is as low as possible.

Did you ever take a food tour? What do you think are the best reasons to take food tours? How did you like this guide to what is a food tour? Did it give you some good reasons to try a food tour next time you travel? Let us know in the comments!

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reasons to take food tours
reasons to take food tours


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

I completely understand and share your sentiment. In the past, I also leaned towards independent exploration when it came to discovering new places and experiencing different cuisines. However, I have come to appreciate the immense value that local guides bring to the table, particularly when it comes to food tours. Their knowledge and expertise can truly make a difference in enhancing the overall experience.

Passport Symphony

Tuesday 27th of June 2023

Absolutely agree, James, especially when traveling to a country/city whose cuisine/local street food scene you're not familiar with.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Food tours offer a unique opportunity to delve into the local culinary scene and explore hidden gems that may not be easily accessible or well-known to outsiders. These tours often take you off the beaten path and allow you to discover authentic dishes, traditional recipes, and local flavors that you might have otherwise missed.

Passport Symphony

Tuesday 27th of June 2023

For sure :)

Nia Nal

Monday 27th of April 2020

Local food has always been unique and I think it is time we start putting time into it as a government. It will help a lot in saving costs and as such will probably increase the value of our money. I really do hope this comment is approved so readers can know my opinion. Again, I really love your article. It is indeed interesting and fun to read. Definitely I would bookmark your blog.

Passport Symphony

Friday 1st of May 2020

Thank you, Nia, I'm glad you enjoyed this post.

Lyla Peterson

Monday 18th of November 2019

I like that food tours can help you to support local businesses in the area you're visiting. My sister and I have been talking about traveling to Europe next spring. I think food tours are something we should definitely take advantage of to see as many sights as possible and support the local economy.

Passport Symphony

Monday 18th of November 2019

Great thoughts Lyla.

blair villanueva

Monday 29th of July 2019

They said that you can only understand the local people and its lifestyle through experiencing their food. This is true. You got to mingle with the locals, and see that smile as they take pride on what they have.

Passport Symphony

Monday 29th of July 2019

Indeed, Blair- couldn't agree more :)