Tour de Food
Tasty Bites With a Side of History
Forget sightseeing tours — when it comes to getting the lay of the land, food tours are the tours de jour. Whether you’re visiting a city for the first time or want to know your hometown better, a food tour is a great way to try popular restaurants and hidden gems with a little history served between bites.
Some tours follow a theme, while others focus on local breweries and wineries. In most major cities, there’s a tour for every craving. Try one of these three regional food tours to whet your palette and start you on the food tour bandwagon.
Jackson Hole Food Tours
Jackson Hole Food Tours combine two of owner Michael Moeri’s favorite things to do — eat food and talk about Jackson.
“A lot of people are surprised about the different options Jackson has for food,” says Moeri, who started his business in 2014. “People feel like you’re going to just get meat and potatoes, but it’s more diverse than that.”
Each three-hour tour includes stops at a handful of restaurants, such as Bin 22, The Kitchen, Gather, Persephone Bakery and Lotus. Between bites, Moeri shares highlights from Jackson’s history and insider info, like the fact that there used to be an underground gambling area called The Pit.
An adult ticket is $80 and covers all food samplings and one beverage (cocktail, beer, glass of wine). In the summer, most tours fill 48 hours in advance and ticket sales close at 6 p.m. the day prior. In the winter, Moeri offers mainly private tours.
Jackson Hole Food Tours
It’s a rut we all fall into — when it’s time to eat out, we go to one of the same three places. Angela Taylor started Indulge Boise in 2016 to tackle that problem head on.
“We really want to tell the story of Treasure Valley and help people explore new neighborhoods,” says Taylor, owner and chief indulge officer. “Sometimes you don’t appreciate what’s right under your nose. I want to help people discover what treasures we have.”
A typical tour alternates sweet and savory experiences, with four to eight restaurant stops, depending on the tour. Wild Root Café is a popular stop on the historic tour, as is Bacon and The Basque Market.
“We infuse history, architecture, public art and culture in between tasting locations,” Taylor says. “Our guests often get the VIP, behind-the-scenes look into the restaurant, where the chef or owner will show up tableside to talk about their culinary perspective on the dishes guests are eating.”
Tickets for the Historic Boise Tour are $64 for adults or $79 with alcohol pairing and should be reserved 24-48 hours in advance.
Gourmand Food Tours
Breaking bread with someone is a personal experience, and that’s why Gourmand Food Tours owner Chris McLaws feels her clients are like family by the end of the evening.
“Everyone really enjoys the camaraderie,” she says. “I’ve had people come from all over the world, and I feel like by the end of the tour, I could hang out with them in their city.”
Chris has a natural warmth that sets her guests instantly at ease. Each excursion starts at the hidden-in-plain-sight Park City Museum where Chris adds her own encyclopedic knowledge of the town to the interactive exhibits. Next, guests visit three restaurants, all on Chris’s lists of personal favorites.
On our visit, the first stop was the top-rated Yuki Yama Sushi, where we loved the Bruce Lee Roy special roll and were blown away by the flavors of the Lamb Lollipops. At Vinto we had the bright-tasting Verdua Chopped salad, authentic Patate pizza and gushed over the house-made gelato. We finished at Wahso, arguably the most unique restaurant on our tour and definitely the most extravagant — Asian antiques from around the world fill the interior and set the stage for artfully presented Pan-Asian cuisine. The exact restaurants vary from season to season, but Chris always brings dessert to hand out to clients at the end of the tour as the cherry (or cookie, as it were) on top.
The tour is $75 per person, which includes museum admission. Spots should be secured 48 hours in advance.