“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture” – Mark Kurlansky 

I strongly believe that food is a great way to get a feel for a place. A lot can be portrayed about a destination through its food. The flavours, spices, ingredients and cooking techniques used can reveal lots about a place or country.

food tours when travelling

The most amazing macrons found on our Paris food tour

I’ve gone on food tours in several different places during my travels. The most memorable ones being in Venice and in Paris. Infact, the food tour in Paris ended up being one of the absolute highlights of our entire trip. And that’s saying something when you’re talking about somewhere as magical as Paris.

Try new foods and dishes

food tours when travelling
Food tours allow you to try out foods that you might otherwise avoid. For example, in Venice, I tried traditional squid ink pasta which is jet black in colour due to the ink. I would never have thought of ordering this dish, even though I’ve found myself intrigued by it after seeing many locals eating it throughout the region. I’d have been too

I would never have thought of ordering this dish, even though I’ve found myself intrigued by it after seeing many locals eating it throughout the region. I’d have been too worried about ordering it in a restaurant and then not enjoying it and subsequently going hungry.

But the food tour gave me the opportunity to try it. Although I didn’t love it (I found it to be fairly tasteless), I was really happy to have given it a shot.

This has been true of many other things I’ve tried during various different food tours too. Sure, I don’t always like everything, but it’s always great to try.

Learn new things

food tours when travelling

One of my favourite things about food tours is all the things you learn. If you’ve got a good guide you’ll learn about food traditions, local dishes, the most-popular ingredients of the region and more.

You’ll also learn about eating traditions – foods you should eat in a certain way, dining traditions, local customs etc. A food tour can be a perfect way to learn these things, especially in countries where things are so different to what you’re used to at home.

During our food tour in Paris, we learned so many new and interesting things. We found out about what signs to look for when buying food and wine in France and how eclairs cannot legally be called eclairs unless the filling matches the topping! Random, but fun facts!

Discover new places 

food tours when travelling
No matter how many times you’ve visited a place, you’ll always discover something new through the eyes of someone else. A food guide might just show you a hidden restaurant that becomes a new favourite, the best cocktail bar in the city or the most wonderful place to grab breakfast in the morning.

The people who run food tours usually know the place they’re giving a tour of incredibly well and their knowledge is invaluable. They’ll know all the best cafes, restaurants, bars and more. They’re also usually more than happy to share their favourite places with you, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Knock down the language barrier 

food tours when travelling
As adventurous a traveller as you may be, it can be difficult to get to know a place through its food if you don’t speak the language. If you’re travelling somewhere where not many speak English and you don’t have a grasp of the local language you may feel a bit lost when it comes to food.

A local food tour guide who speaks English will allow you to learn everything you want to about the food and flavours of a place.

See where food comes from 

food tours when travelling

Often on a food tour, you’ll get the opportunity to see where food is purchased from. During various food tours I’ve been taken to both fish and fruit and vegetable markets to see first hand where locals and restaurants purchase their goods.

Meet new people 

food tours when travelling

If you’re travelling solo a food tour can be a really fun and easy way to meet new people. After spending a few hours together learning about food and eating it, you’ll found you chat away to the people you’re with. It’s a great way to break the ice and get to know other people from a shared thing in common.

Have you ever taken food tours when travelling before? Would you like to?