NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Foods of New York
www.foodsofny.com; 212.209.3370; $ 40
These combo food-tasting and cultural tours include a bottle of water and a copy of the Foods of New York neighborhood guide. The Greenwich Village tour hits a world-famous pizzeria, old Italian bakeries, an authentic French restaurant, a cheese shop, and other cuisine like freshly-backed chocolate-chip cookies and street-vendor falafels before ending in a pub once frequented by Ernest Hemingway and an Italian restaurant rumored to be run by "very influential businessmen." Other tours include the Chelsea Market/Meatpacking District and Central Greenwich Village/SoHo. Vegetarian tasting options are available.
The Enthusiastic Gourmet
www.enthusiasticgourmet.com; 646.209.4724; $45
Take a big bite of the Big Apple's ethnic goodies on the "NY Nosh Tour" of the Jewish Lower East Side. You'll visit a knishery, an Old World-style Jewish "appetizing store" that specializes in smoked and pickled fish, a delicatessen, an old-fashioned candy store, a matzoh factory, a bread bakery, a pickle shop, and a pastry shop. The tour includes tastings, a bottle of water, and an itinerary.
Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour
www.readingterminalmarket.org/calendar.php; 215.545.8007; $14.95 adults, $8.95 children
On this tour of the indoor Reading Terminal Marketone of America's oldest and largest food marketsfood writer Carolyn Wyman spills the beans about Philly food favorites, including cheese steaks, hoagies, and those big soft pretzels (you'll see them being twisted into shape). You'll also find out where Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese really comes from, what food George Washington loved even more than cherries, and where onetime Philadelphia resident Milton Hershey got the idea for Hershey's Kisses. A snack's worth of tastings includes bites of Bassetts ice cream (America's oldest commercial brand), Goldenberg's Peanut Chews candy, and some scrapple.
Portland Walking Tours
www.portlandwalkingtours.com; 503.774.4522; $59
Walkers on the "Epicurean Excursion" through the Pearl District have sampled as many as 30 items, including local produce, teas, jams and jellies, beers, pizzas, coffees, sorbettos and gelatos, fresh chocolate truffles, and artisan breads and sweets fresh from bakery ovens.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Wok Wiz Walking Tours
www.wokwiz.com; 650.355.9657; $40 to $75
Led by chef/owner Shirley Fong-Torres and her staff, the basic "Chinatown Tour" involves no hills and takes participants behind the scenes and into the heart of this colorful and historic neighborhood. A dim sum lunch is optional. More theme tours are available, including the Saturday "I Can't Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown" tour that always is conducted by Shirley herself and begins with a Chinese breakfast and ends with lunch.
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
The Santa Fe School of Cooking
www.santafeschoolofcooking.com; 505.983.4511; $40 to $110
Though not a tour, this cooking school schedules classes in traditional New Mexico cuisine. Demonstrations conducted by local chefs primes students anxious to prepare local specialties such as heavenly spicy carne adovada and stuffed chiles rellenos in their own kitchens at home. And, perhaps best of all, the students get to lunch on what's being prepared.
www.celiabrooksbrown.com/gastrotours.php; $94 to $140
Join vegetarian cookbook author and TV cooking personality Celia Brooks Brown (she was also once personal chef to the late Stanley Kubrick) for an insider's view of London's vibrant culinary hot spots. "Portobello" visits vibrant Notting Hill, "Borough Market" provides an exclusive tour of London's most amazing foodie market and concludes with lunch at a riverside restaurant, and "Marylebone Village" includes chocolate and oyster tastingthough not together. All tours include lunch and wine tasting.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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