There is no better way to get to know a city than to find your way around it. But when you land in a new place, it can be difficult to know exactly where to go. Which Parisian bakery makes the baguettes that locals buy and where are the best pastéis de nata in Lisbon?
alas, a food tour is a handy way to get a culinary introduction. Choose wisely and you’ll be guided by an expert who will not only serve you tasty morsels as you meander down a city’s back streets, but tell you exactly where to eat for the rest of your trip. Here are some of the best in all of Europe to whet your appetite…
Venice can be a tricky city to eat in – trying to find the really good restaurants under the tourist traps can be a minefield. Enter intrepid. While the company has long offered themed group tours, it also offers shorter experiences under the Intrepid Urban Adventures umbrella, like this Cicchetti and Wine Tour of the City. Cicchetti are small Italian bites typically eaten with a glass of wine in the evening, like pintxos in San Sebastián or tapas in Barcelona. On this tour, you’ll be guided around Rialto (partly by gondola) and visit bacari bars for a glass of Italian wine and aperitifs and an authentic taste of the city.
Details: Tour from €99 per person; urbanadventures.com
2. Barcelona gobble up
Ask anyone who has done a food tour to recommend one and Devour Tours will likely turn up. With tours in cities across Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and the US, as well as London, Devour offers themed experiences led by passionate guides who know their cities inside out. For example, the Food Tour Tastes and Traditions of Barcelona gives you 13 tastings in the Born and Barceloneta neighborhoods. Along the way, visit traditional bakeries and markets where locals actually shop (in other words, not the touristy boqueria). The tour even ends with a proper lunch.
Details: Tour from €99 per person; devourtours.com
3. Kenmare Foodie Tours
On one of Ireland’s most original food tours, Karen Coakley (a well-known food blogger and TV chef) takes groups of hungry foodies through the pretty town of Kenmare, meeting local producers and stopping for nibbles of local cheese along the way. Sausage rolls, beer, pastries and chocolate. She also runs a Hikes and Bites tour, which includes a guided hike on parts of the Kerry and Beara Way, ending with a delicious lunch. Keep your eyes peeled because next year she has Killarney in her sights…
Details: Kenmare tours from €69 per person; kenmarefoodies.com
4. Groceries of Copenhagen
The Danish capital is a well-known foodie Mecca, but it pays to have someone with a little insider knowledge as a guide. This private, customizable tour takes you on a trip through the city center and out to Nørrebro, where you’ll meet the boutique food makers and learn about the latest culinary trends. If you decide to do the tour by bike (this is the city of bikes after all) you will see even more areas such as Refshaleøen and Vesterbro, recently named by Copenhagen as the coolest neighborhood in Copenhagen time out.
Details: Guided tours from €222 per person, based on a minimum of four people; foodofcopenhagen.com
5. With locals Paris
Withlocals, another company that offers tours across Europe, uses a team of experienced locals to guide people through a city’s lesser-known neighborhoods. The main difference? All tours are private, so you can munch your way around town without strangers in tow. You can also choose your guide in advance based on their online profile and reviews from past guests. The 10 Tastings of Paris tour takes you through neighborhoods like Saint-Antoine or Montmartre, with stops for authentic crepes, quiche lorraine, cheese and pastries – with some oysters and white wine for good measure.
Details: Tours from €100 per person for four people; withlocals.com
6. Seville Tapas Tour
Shawn Hennessey started organizing tapas tours in 2009 after her “unintentional food blog” describing the best places to eat and drink in Seville became a hit. Now her in-depth knowledge and insider tips make her an experienced and passionate guide who can take you to the best spots and tell you exactly what to eat there. As someone who has lived in Seville for 29 years, she knows exactly where to eat and why, and her tours are based on the places she takes her friends to when they visit
Details: Private tours from €100 per person; azahar-seville.com
7. Belfast Food Tour
You’d be hard pressed to find a guide as enthusiastic as Caroline Wilson of Taste and Tour, taking you around Belfast alongside a terrific team of fellow foodies for a fast-paced tasting extravaganza. The Belfast Food Tour begins at St George’s Market, where you’ll meet the producers and nibble on bites like goat’s bacon or fifties before driving around the city. They also offer themed tours like the Gin Jaunt, which takes you to the best gin spots in town, or the Crafty Beer and Street Eats Tour. Their new five-stop brunch tour hits the spot, even on a Sunday.
Details: The Belfast food tour costs €75 per person; tasteandtour.co.uk
8. Taste of Lisbon
Nothing beats exploring the markets of European cities, and Lisbon has some of the best around, with stalls stacked high with vegetables, cheese and, if you’re lucky, pastéis de nata. One of the tours offered by Taste of Lisboa, the Lisbon Markets, Food and Culture Walk, focuses on the markets of Campo de Ourique, allowing you to shop like locals do before heading to various meeting points, including where the there are rumors of baking the best chocolate cake in the world.
Details: Tours from €88; tasteoflisboa.com
9. Fork & Walk Berlin
Vegans have often lost out on food tours. Not so with Fork & Walk’s vegan tour of Berlin, which takes you to all the plant-based hotspots of this surprisingly vegan-friendly city. You can sample vegan pastries, beer, and even a hot dog while admiring the street art and cool neighborhood sights. Take the tour at the start of your trip because you’ll be left with a list of restaurant recommendations as long as your arm.
Details: Tours from €70; www.forkandwalktoursberlin.com
10. San Sebastián Pintxos and Wine Tour
With hundreds of pintxos bars lining the streets of San Sebastián, it can be difficult to know where to start. Step inside the folks at Mimo Food Tours, who know where to get the best line-caught baby squid or the best bites of charred steak. Each bite also comes with a drink, be it white, red or cider, and you can take the tour for either lunch or dinner. Just make sure you arrive hungry (and possibly wear an elastic waistband).
Details: Tour from €115 per person; mimo.eus
All prices subject to change/availability
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/10-of-the-best-foodie-tours-in-europe-two-of-our-picks-are-in-ireland-42010108.html 10 of the best foodie tours in Europe – two of our favorites are in Ireland