There’s no doubt about it: food tours are having a moment. But how do you know a food tour is right for you?
After all, isn’t it just going to be a big group of tourists, following around a dorky tour guide with an umbrella? Think again, friends! A food tour—when done right—has little to do with the free walking tours that plague most destinations. That doesn’t mean that they’re for everyone, though. Read on for our top reasons to take a food tour, and decide if it’s the right experience for you!
1. You LOVE food
Our number one reason to take a food tour is quite simple: you love food! After all, that’s why you’re here right? You’ve done your research and know that Spain is famous for jamón ibérico and tortilla española, and you won’t leave without trying the best of the best. If your Instagram is full of shots of your recent meals and your friends come to you for restaurant recommendations, then yes—a food tour is for you!
2. You want to step out of your comfort zone
Because what’s the point of travel if you don’t grow as a result of every trip? A true Devourer doesn’t come to Spain to eat at McDonald’s or only visit restaurants where everyone speaks English—you want to test your limits! Whether that means going to a place you wouldn’t normally have chosen, or trying the classic dish that scares you a little bit (hello, caracoles!), a food tour is a risk-free way to branch out.
3. You think that travel and food go hand in hand
Next on our list of reasons to take a food tour: if you’re the kind of person who gets to know a place through its food, then a food tour is going to be your dream come true. Picture it: three hours of not only enjoying the best bites in the city, but learning the story behind them. That slice of jamón means so much more when you know the historical and cultural context that surrounds it.
4. You value the people behind the food you eat
Anyone who’s ever cooked before knows: amazing food doesn’t just happen. There’s always someone behind it, putting love and generations of know-how into each bite. For us, the story behind the food can’t be separated from the dish itself. The story of how Carlos and María Ángeles met and married, and took over María Ángeles’s dad’s tapas bar, makes each bite of Carlos’s show-stopping tortilla even better.
And you know what kind of restaurants don’t have these amazing stories? The chains. That’s why you won’t find them on any food tour worth its salt! Valuing the people means supporting small businesses—just another one of the reasons to take a food tour.
5. You want to go off-the-beaten path
Anyone can read a guidebook and visit the top 10 restaurants in Madrid. For those who want to go deeper, a food tour will show you the magic to be found in bars and restaurants that you wouldn’t have entered on your own, those hole-in-the-wall spots that tourists normally pass right by. Just because it doesn’t look like much from the outside doesn’t mean that it won’t be the best bite of your whole trip.
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Ashley fell in love with the Spanish language, culture, and food while studying in Madrid—and basically never left! Besides a two year stint in southern Spain, the rest of her time has been spent exploring the bars and restaurants of Spain’s capital city, and the mountains and countryside that surround it.