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Enjoy Your Favorite Foodie Cities With These 10 Food Tours

Get a true taste of the city with fun and expert guidance

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Little Italy in New York City is a popular destination for foodies and food tours.
Markus Kirchgessner/laif/Redux

Calling all foodies: Are you one of the growing numbers of travelers who plan their trips around culinary experiences? If so, consider taking a walking food tour with a knowledgeable guide. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the cuisine of a city.

Here are great culinary tours to consider across the U.S. Bon appétit!

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1. NYC Food Tour: Chinatown and Little Italy

Enjoy specialties such as pizza, dim sum and cannoli while you explore two of New York’s historic neighborhoods: Chinatown and Little Italy. Join a historian guide on Viator’s New York food tour (viator.com) as you stroll through the winding backstreets of these iconic areas. Listen to stories about the history, food customs and traditions as you sample representative dishes. The tour focuses on family-owned eateries for a genuine experience.

Length: 2 hours

Cost: from $79

More tours: New York Chinatown & Little Italy Food Tour (secretfoodtours.com; $79); Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest Walking Food Tour (ahoynewyorkfoodtours.com; $105)​

2. New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter

Enjoy some of the most famous and popular food venues in the storied French Quarter — from Cajun eateries to the gourmet food stalls of the French Market — on this tour with Destination Kitchen (destination-kitchen.com). The itinerary features six to seven tastings of iconic dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, muffaletta, pralines, alligator bites and char-grilled oysters. Learn about the history and culture of the Big Easy as you explore its colorful oldest neighborhood, dating to 1718.

Length: 3 hours

Cost: $76-$86

More tours: New Orleans Food and History Walking Tour (viator.com; $75); French Quarter Food Tour (sidewalkfoodtours.com; $89)

3. Chinatown Food Tour, San Francisco

What’s more representative of San Francisco’s food scene than its Chinatown, the oldest in the country? Sidewalk Food Tours of San Francisco (sidewalkfoodtours.com) helps you explore the unique culture and cuisine that define Hong Kong and mainland China, transplanted to the City by the Bay. On this walking tour, taste authentic Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan dishes from five restaurants and bakeries.

Tuck into buttery buns filled with barbecue-flavored cha siu pork, handmade noodles and dumplings, pillowy dim sum, Hong Kong–style egg tarts and other specialties as you discover the history of their respective eateries. The tour includes stops at the city’s oldest Buddhist temple, a Chinese market and the legendary Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

Length: 3 hours

Cost: $75

More tours: San Francisco Chinatown Food Walking Tour (sffoodtour.com; $74); “I Can’t Believe I Ate My Way through Chinatown” Tour (wokwiz.com; $95)

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Food lovers can enjoy Chicago-style hot dogs and other classic dishes on Windy City food tours.
FOOD / Alamy Stock Photo

4. Chicago Favorites Walking & Food Tour

Food and architecture go together like bacon and eggs on the Bobby’s Bike Hike–organized tour (bobbysbikehike.com) featuring Chicago’s most famous dishes and must-see landmarks. Learn about the Windy City’s architectural and culinary history while feasting on classics such as deep-dish pizza, Italian beef sandwich, Chicago-style hot dog (hold the ketchup) and brownie (invented at the storied Palmer House Hotel). During the tour you’ll get a street-level view of Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue, i.e., “the Magnificent Mile,” the Chicago Riverwalk and more.

Length: 2.5-3 hours

Cost: from $70

More tours: Taste of Chicago Food Tour (tastebudtours.com; $59.50); Iconic Foods of Chicago Food Tour (chicagofoodtours.com; $75)

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5. Food Tour of Downtown Houston

Head underground into the extensive downtown tunnel system to sample some of Houston’s favorite foods. This Astroville tour (astrovilletours.com) takes you to three restaurants both below and above ground to try the city’s diverse options, including Mexican, Asian and Italian American cuisine. Start at Market Square Park in the historic district, where you’ll learn about Houston’s history and noteworthy architecture. Then check out the tallest building in Texas, JP Morgan Chase Tower, and the state’s largest theater district as you munch your way along.

Length: 2.5-3 hours

Cost: $62

More tours: Houston Bites & Sites Food Tour (bestbiteshouston.com; $65); Downtown Houston Food Tour (viator.com, $76)

spinner image counter view of di nics sandwich shop in reading terminal market in philadelphia
Popular Philadelphia foodie stops include the Italian Market and, here, DiNic’s and other vendors at the Reading Terminal Market.
Andy Buchanan / Alamy Stock Photo

6. Beyond the Italian Market, Philadelphia

Who better to guide you on a culinary tour of Philadelphia than a local food writer? Maddy Sweitzer-Lammé, who founded Tiny Table Tours (tinytabletours.com), leads you on an eating adventure in South Philly, a neighborhood of immigrant communities whose diverse food cultures produce a tantalizing array of delicious dishes in a relatively small area. Inspired by the afternoons she spent introducing friends and visitors to her favorite neighborhood, the itinerary features bá​nh mi from a family-owned Vietnamese eatery, tacos at a Mexican restaurant, an exploration of the Italian Market, a stop at a Jewish food store and something sweet from a 100-year-old bakery.

Length: 3 hours

Cost: $95

More tours: Flavors of Philly (phillysfoodtour.com; $49); Chef-Led Taste of the Italian Market Food Tasting Tour (streatsofphillyfoodtours.com; $85)

7. Las Vegas Food Tour

Las Vegas may be known for gambling and shows, but the entertainment capital of the world is also a temple to gastronomic excess and a wealth of restaurants from celebrity chefs — from José Andrés to Jean-Georges Vongerichten. On this Secret Food Tours–led itinerary (secretfoodtours.com) along the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll try signature dishes served at some big-name eateries. Start at one of Gordon Ramsay’s six outlets for his elevated take on traditional pub fare. Indulge in a scoop of Giada De Laurentiis’ handmade gelato or boozy sorbet. Savor gourmet pizza crafted by celebrity wellness doctor Andrew Weil. End with a delish secret dish at a hidden gem. You’ll take away insights into the culture and history of this extravagant city.

Length: 3-3.5 hours

Cost: $129 

More tours: Savors of the Strip (lipsmackingfoodietours.com; $199); Secrets of the Strip Foodie Tour (tastebuzzvegas.com; $149)

spinner image low country seafood boil with corn on the cob crab legs shrimp and potatoes
Lowcountry boils are a staple in South Carolina.
Getty Images

8. Undiscovered Charleston: Walking and Tasting Tour, Charleston, South Carolina

Don your apron for this interactive experience with the only certified chef-tour guide in the city, Forrest Parker, organized by Undiscovered Charleston (undiscoveredcharleston.com). Learn about the culinary influences that shaped Charleston into a food destination during a walking tour of its historic district. You’ll visit well-known landmarks as well as lesser-known sites. The tour concludes at a cozy bistro where Parker demonstrates how to prepare three Lowcountry classics. Then feast on those dishes at lunch with wine (or Charleston sweet tea). As a lasting memento of this foodie foray, you'll receive copies of Parker’s original recipes.

Length: 4 hours

Cost: $200

More tours: Downtown Charleston Culinary Tour (charlestonculinarytours.com; $95); Savor the Flavors of Charleston Tour (bulldogtours.com; $95)

9. Downtown L.A. Food Tour, Los Angeles

Who says nobody walks in downtown L.A.? Lace up your walking shoes for this guided tour with Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles (sidewalkfoodtours.com) as you hear stories of early settlers, Hollywood’s heyday and the transformation of the city’s evolving food scene. Savor the flavors from six bakeries, eateries and specialty food stores favored by locals. They may include the following: Pitchoun Bakery, an authentic French boulangerie; DTLA Cheese Superette for artisanal cheeses; Shiku, a mom-and-pop Korean restaurant; Guisados, a straightforward taco spot; Maccheroni Republic, an Italian trattoria with handmade pastas; and Donut Friend for artisan donuts. You’ll also stroll through the historic Grand Central Market, sampling from its best-known vendors. With your newfound knowledge, you’ll leave feeling like a true Angeleno.

Length: 3 hours

Cost: $89

More tours: Downtown LA Food Tour (sixtaste.com; $85); Secret Food Tour: Los Angeles (secretfoodtours.com; $79)

10. Little Havana Food and Walking Tour, Miami

What could be more emblematic of Miami’s cornucopia of cuisines than Little Havana, the capital of Cuban food culture? Experience the sights, sounds and tastes on this Viator tour (viator.com) of family-owned Cuban restaurants, whose recipes have been handed down through the generations. Sample a full lunch worth of specialties such as guava pastries, empanadas, croquetas, guava pastelitos, chicken-stuffed plantain cups, guarapo juice and flan ice cream, accompanied by a mojito cocktail. Learn about the neighborhood’s history and culture, too, by meeting Cuban artists in their studios, watching skilled cigar rollers at Havana Classic Cigars and listening to traditional Cuban music. You’ll leave full — and with a spring in your step.

Length: 2.5 hours

Cost: from $69

More tours: Little Havana Food & Cultural Tour (miamiculinarytours.com; $69); Miami Little Havana Food & Culture Walking Tour (bobbysbikehike.com; $65)

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