Incorporating a food tour into a travel itinerary is now commonplace. In fact, these days many vacationers and Trippy users are seeking more immersive and authentic tours. They are asking for food tour recommendations like Terri Brown from Georgia. She asked:
Can anyone recommend a guided gourmet food tour in Amsterdam?
Barcelona bound Trippy user Amanda Morris inquired about Barcelona food tours:
What are the best food tours in Barcelona?
Do you have a suggestion for a great food tour in Barcelona? There are so many options, and I’d like to hear anyone’s personal experience with a food tour. A tapas tour would be great since this will be our first trip to Spain; but, if you have had a great experience on a non-tapas tour, I’d like to hear that, too.
The question is what makes an excellent food tour?
From my experiences, a food tour must include the following:
- A guide who is approachable, enthusiastic and has an expert knowledge of the history and food culture of the destination.
- At least one hands-on experience or demonstration in the kitchen.
- Enough food so that you won’t walk away hungry. After all, it is a food tour.
- Have at least one local specialty drink – alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
- Several non-touristy stops that only locals go to or old mom and pop specialty food stops.
- A stop at a food market or a historic landmark that is related to food.
Over the last decade, food tours have become increasingly popular throughout Europe. Food tours provide a unique way for travelers to learn about the local foods, immerse in the culture and forge a deeper connection with the people of a destination.
We’ve rounded up seven best food tours in Europe that have at least five of the above components:
1. Downtown-Mouraria Food & Cultural Walk in Lisbon by Taste or Lisboa
From the moment we met up with the tour guide in downtown Lisbon to the end of the tour, this four-hour tour was packed with stories after stories of Fado music, street art, food, drinks and the people preparing the food we ate.
There are seven stops with 10 tastings including Portuguese wine and the famous ginjinha (cherry liqueur). In this food tour, Taste of Lisboa had five stops in Mouraria, a multicultural neighborhood just outside Alfama and two stops in downtown Baixa. It is an off-the-beaten-track type of food tour that gives you a glimpse into history, culture, architecture and local hangout spots.
2. Prague Foodie Tour in Prague by Taste of Prague
Trippy user Lauren Folkmann from Chicago wrote:
Last year my husband and I visited Prague and went on the most amazing food tour with Jan and Zuzi from Taste of Prague. They took us to try some of the best food Prague has to offer, and we had a walking tour with a bunch of history thrown in along the way. They are so passionate about food and Prague, and it absolutely shows.
This four-hour tour takes you to the Old Town, New Town and a residential district in Prague where you’ll hit five spots. You won’t walk away hungry. Taste of Prague offers a broad spectrum of Czech food from the traditional to the modern.
3. Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour in Madrid by Devour Madrid
The Ultimate Spanish Cuisine four-hour tour included tasting the best hot chocolate in the world at a 162-year-old establishment, sampling 200 Euro per kilo Iberico ham, eating mushrooms and drinking sangria at a local tapas bar where we were encouraged to throw the toothpicks on the floor!
The best part was meeting a cook in one of Madrid’s oldest kitchens and seeing how she prepared cocido madrileno, a Madrid’s signature dish.
Devour also runs food tours in Barcelona, Seville, Malaga, Granada, San Sebastian, Valencia and Galicia.
4. Savouring Aix Tour in Aix-en-Provence by Tastes of Provence
In Aix-en-Provence, Southern France, you’ll get the freshest ingredients and eat seasonal produce and local delicacies. Aix-en-Provence is the birthplace of post-impressionist artist Paul Cezanne and is the place to relax and enjoy French countryside and nature. You may even meet a farmer who produces the cheese you eat on the Savouring Aix Tour.
Your four-hour tour with a local guide will take you to a farmer’s market, enjoy coffee or hot chocolate, cheese, ham, wine, seasonal fruits, and dessert.
5. London Bridge Secret Food Tour in London by Secret Food Tours
No tour to London is complete without a visit to London Bridge area notably Borough Market, the many back streets and the River Thames. A food tour with Secret Food Tours will cover all these places in less than four hours plus you get to savor British food, beer, and tea.
The London Bridge Secret Food Tour covers eight stops where you’ll sample British cheeses, sticky toffee puddings, chutneys, sausages and fish and chips. Of course, there are plenty of tales about Borough Market, London Bridge and the food you eat as well.
6. Food Walks in Ljublijana by Ljublijananjam
A food walk in Ljubljana offers a taste of a variety of homemade Slovenian bread, enjoy a bowl of warm soup, try Slovenian cheeses at the market, savor a fish dish, sausages, local wine, and dessert.
Ljublijananjam’s four-hour tour will take you to a range of eateries, from trendy restaurants and old established family-owned restaurants to hipster coffee shops. Guests will also learn about Slovenia’s food culture and history. Slovenia was one of the six republics of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
7. Jordaan Food and Canals Tour in Amsterdam by Eating Amsterdam Food Tours
Trippy user Melissa Adams recommended Jordaan Food and Canals Tour to Terri Brown from Georgia. The four-hour tour takes place in Jordaan, the most historic neighborhood in Amsterdam and includes a one-hour private non-touristy boat ride on the canals.
You’ll experience eight stops and a vast selection of Dutch food and drinks. You may get to taste tulip vodka, cheese, pancakes, fish, sausages, bittenballen, satay, and beer.
Photos and article by Claudia Looi