Originally Published: March 24, 2015

Sometimes arriving in a new city can be quite challenging. There’s so much to see and you don’t know where to go first without getting lost. At other times, you’re visiting a place you’ve been to many times already and wonder if it still holds something new for you.

I’ve found the answer to both problems: food tours.

“Food tours?” Yes, let me explain.

1. They provide inspiration for the rest of your trip

Because food tours take you all around a city, you’ll get to see a lot in between tastings but you probably won’t have the time to stop, so just make a mental note of all of those places and you’ve already got your next day planned.

eating london food tour curry
Eating London’s East End Food Tour – get a taste for curry!

2. They let you try out new foods risk-free

You know how you always want to try the local food but don’t want to waste €20 as the chance always exists that you won’t like it? That risk isn’t there with food tours as you get small tastings from various foods so that afterwards, when you’re out on your own, you can order whatever you thought was delicious during the tour. You’re going for those Czech desserts, right?

Chocolatey Czech dessert on our Eating Prague Food Tour

3. They teach you things you won’t find in a guide book

During a food tour, your guide will be able to tell you a lot about the place you’re visiting, but what’s even more interesting are the things you’ll learn from the local vendors and restaurant owners. They always have good stories to tell and can give you a very specific, food-filled, perspective on the culture and history of your destination, whether that’s Rome or Amsterdam.

Learn all about canal culture on Eating Amsterdam’s Jordaan Food & Canals Tour

4. They help you meet other travelers

Unless you’re traveling in a large group and fill up an entire tour, you’ll always take a food tour with people you haven’t met yet. These are all people who love travel and food, so the chances of meeting someone fun are pretty high. You might even be able to meet with them again later during your trip.

Meeting other travelers in Rome with Eating Italy

5. They take you off the beaten path

Food tours don’t necessarily stay in the tourist center or take you to place you’d try out for dinner yourself. They’re more likely to guide you to restaurants and shops in small, local neighborhoods that the local people go to. Interesting, but also more authentic! Even if you’ve visited somewhere many times before, the tour might be able to show you some spots you didn’t know yet, like that place near a Roman burial ground in London.