Best Food Tours for Exploring All of San Francisco’s Most Delicious Locales
Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column about the SF dining scene, subscribe for free at www.tablehopper.com. Out now is her first book, The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion, a groundbreaking new style of guidebook. And check out her new app, Tablehopper’s Top Late-Night Eats, which highlights 95 SF spots serving food past 11pm! One fabulous way to get out and about in San Francisco is to try a food tour. You can sample a wide variety of treats, plus go behind the scenes to learn a bit more about the folks making that perfect doughnut or incredible sandwich. What’s not to love? Here are some of the best tours in town.
Edible Excursions was company started by Lisa Rogovin and specializes in tours in unique neighborhoods, like Japantown, 24th Street in the Mission, and 18th Street in the Mission (that’s right, two different parts of the Mission to explore). They even offer tours in the East Bay, if you’re wanting to check out that Oakland food scene you’ve heard so much about. The tour guides are well-informed, and the locations excellent. Her Ferry Building tour is a great way for visitors to try out all the building’s best flavors, and the Craft Cocktail tour is a very fun way to explore the city’s tastiest bars. $65–$119.
The vivacious Avital Ungar of Avital Tours has some excellent connections within the food industry, which give her tours an insider quality. She and her guides lead food and wine tours through the Mission (you actually get to skip the line at Bi-Rite Creamery!), Haight Street, and North Beach, and she even has a cocktail tour through Union Square. Cheers to that! You can also book private tours if you want something personalized or for a large group. $68–$88.
The Gourmet Walks group offers a variety of tours, including Hayes Valley and NoPa or even Napa if you’re in Wine Country. But if you’re really looking to indulge, check out their chocolate tours, which cover the whole city. They’ve even got an “ultra” version that includes wine pairings and a chocolate cocktail. $53–$75.
Both North Beach and Chinatown are wonderful places to visit, but the number of culinary choices can be overwhelming for out-of-towners. That’s where Foodie Adventures comes in, with tours of Chinatown or a Chinatown-North Beach combo tour. Some of the highlights include tea at Red Blossom in Chinatown, and a stop at local favorite slice shop, Golden Boy Pizza. If you book online, tickets are $69.
Local Tastes of the City tours also focuses on the North Beach/Chinatown neighborhoods, with walking tours of both neighborhoods. You can opt for a Chinatown-only tour, a North Beach-only tour, or a combination of the best of both. These tours are kid- and family-friendly, too! Tickets are $59 for adults, $39 for kids 12–16, $15 for kids 8–11, and free for kids under 8.
More foodie tour options.
Photo by Avital Tours.