Good food and drink plays a central role in any great trip. In fact, they can often be the center of it. But trying to find the best to eat and drink in a new city can be an overwhelming experience. In these cases, a food tour can be a great way to understand the culinary scene of a new city. Here we’ve listed the best cities for taking a great food tour.
Trying to find the best place to dine out in New York City can be a little bit like drinking out of a firehose. With over 20,000 different restaurants it can be daunting to know where to start. Looking for pizza? There are thousands of pizzerias to choose from. Want Chinese? There’s an entire neighborhood devoted to it.
Luckily a great food tour can really shrink the city and make your next dining experience feel much more accessible. The Foods of New York Tours are a great way to dive into the food scene of the Big Apple. Each tour selects different restaurants from different neighborhoods, giving you a great taste of the diversity and choice that NYC has to offer. One of the most popular is Williamsburg Bites, a tour that takes you through the best of Brooklyn.
If you already have a specific cuisine in mind, there’s a tour for that. The Flushing Chinatown Food Tour is a great example. It takes you through the best of Flushing’s Chinese restaurants for regional specialties as well as old favorites. Or if searching for the perfect slice of pizza is on your to-do list, Scott’s NYC Pizza Bus Tour is a great choice. This tour takes you through the city on a yellow school bus for the best pizza places in New York City.
Chicago might be called the Second City, but it’s culinary scene is second to none. As the center of the Midwest, Chicago has a delightful mix of the regional culinary cultures. Whether its brewing, or comfort foods such as donuts, kielbasa or more, Chicago can’t be beat.
Chicago used to be the meat packing center of the country, so it’s not surprising that beef still plays a major role in the city’s food scene. What better way to experience this than Chicago Steakhouse Tours. This three-hour marathon of fine dining takes you to four different steakhouses via a luxury bus. You’ll get a first hand look into the restaurant techniques necessary for creating the perfect steak.
For something a little more laid-back and comfortable, the Underground Donut Tour takes you through the most famous donut stops in the city. You’ll get a mix of the old-fashioned, the savory, and the trendy on this donut tasting tour.
As the original home of Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz and Miller, don’t be surprised to see brewery and distillery tours on your trip to the Cream City. But Milwaukee is more than beer and spirits. The city is also famous for its fried cheese curds, brats, burgers and other Midwestern comfort foods.
Start with the Milwaukee Brewing Company for a two-hour tour of the brewery, complete with unlimited samples. The tasting room is on the production floor, giving you a view into the brewing process as you taste the end product. Another great idea is the Great Lakes Distillery tour. You can try six samples of the distillery’s spirits, from honey vodka to absinthe. Then there’s the Miller Brewery tour, where you can watch the full production pipeline of the brewing giant. The best part, it’s completely free.
There’s plenty of eating to go with your drinking. Comet Cafe on the Lower East Side has a bacon themed menu with great brunches and beers. And if you’re looking for something a bit more gourmet, Morel on Walker’s Point offers farm-table dining with a rotating weekly menu.
As one of the nation’s gateways to the Pacific, Seattle has a diverse range of culinary influences. The best way to sample these all is through a local food tour.
The Seattle Bites Tour takes you through two or three-hour tours of Pike Place Market with ample stops for samples between sites. Prepare for tacos, hot dogs, smoked salmon and more. For a more alcoholic adventure, the Road Dog Seattle Brewery Tour takes you to three different breweries in the area. You’ll get plenty of beer samplers to go with your new Road Dog gear.
For a culinary taste outside of a guided food tour, the Emerald City won’t disappoint. Drop by Nasai Teriyaki in the University District for some of the best teriyaki in the city. And for the most unorthodox burger in the city, head over to Katsu Burger for a deep-fried burger and fries ranging from flavors as diverse as curry to wasabi mayo.
The city on the bay is one of the culinary capitals of the nation. Whether you need fresh seafood or the most authentic fare from Chinatown, you’ll find what you’re looking for in San Francisco.
Avital Food Tours takes you through the different culinary neighborhoods of the city. From the best Mexican food in the Mission, to Italian treats in North Beach. If you’re looking for more specialized tours, San Francisco Food Tours offers tours for Chinatown, Little Italy and other locations. Each of the tours offers explanations on local history and culture as well as plenty of samples.