Why Locals Should Take A Food Tour
Food tourism is defined as people basing their travel decisions on food, at least partially. And it’s growing in popularity (especially in Richmond)! According to a University of Florida report titled “A Flash of Culinary Tourism,” nearly 40 million U.S. leisure travelers choose a destination based on culinary experiences, and another 35 million seek out culinary experiences once they’ve already chosen the destination.
But here’s the thing – these experiences don’t have to be just for travelers! There are plenty of ways these experiences provide value to locals. From cooking classes to chef exhibitions, culinary-based activities are practically tailor-made for area residents. And don’t be scared away by the word “tour” in food tours – they are a great starting point for locals who want to get to know their own city better through food. Here are a few reasons why!
You’ll Discover New Restaurants
Every food tour is different, but here’s a popular format: A knowledgable, enthusiastic guide leads a group through the neighborhood or town, providing some interesting historical context. Throughout the tour, the group stops in to a variety of different restaurants, cafes, and shops, where the guests are allowed to sample one or more dishes the vendor has to offer.
What does this mean for you, the local resident? It means that in a single 2-3 hour event (depending on the tour), you will get to test the waters at a handful of different restaurants. And you can bet both the food tour and the partner restaurants will be trying to impress you – they want to earn your repeat business and become your new favorite spot! Unless you’re the ultimate foodie of your hometown (and if that’s the case, you should be the one giving the tours!), it’s almost certain you’ll discover a new restaurant or five during the tour. Try accomplishing that on your own!
You’ll Try New Food, Even At Favorite Restaurants
So you think you’ve already been to every restaurant in your city? No problem – on a food tour, you’re likely to find a dish you’ve never considered before. A good food tour will incorporate a mix of dishes you already know you’ll love and dishes you might never have ordered on your own. For example, on our Arts District Food Tour, you might find yourself eating handmade pastas or southern soul food alongside unique Mediterranean fare. So give it a shot, and maybe you’ll discover your new favorite food!
You’ll Learn About Your City
Food is the main event on a food tour, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing going on. On most food tours, you’ll learn about some of the most intriguing history and points of interest your city has to offer. Who knows what you might discover – what makes your city what it is today? How did the food culture grow in your region? Who were the significant players in the city’s early days? It’ll be the most delicious learning experience you’ve ever had!
You Can Go On Fun Dates
Sometimes you just want something different to do on the weekend to break up your routine, or you need to plan a unique date. A food tour can be the perfect activity – between all the different food and history, you’ll have plenty to talk about with your companion. And if it’s a first date, the guide will be there to smooth over any awkward silences when you just don’t know what to say!
Isn’t this the real reason anyone takes a food tour, or even goes out to eat? All culinary experiences, and especially food tours, are the most delicious activities you’ll find! And a food tour is several delicious mini-experiences, one right after another. If that doesn’t sound like taste-bud-heaven, then we don’t know what does.
Don’t wait until you travel to become a culinary tourist! Explore your own hometown through food – we promise you’ll discover something you never knew was in your own backyard.
Richmond-area residents: want to uncover the secrets of Carytown? Come try up to 6 restaurants, cafes, and bakeries, all while learning about the ebbs and flows of Carytown through the last 300 years on our Carytown Food Tour! Or discover the resurgence of downtown Richmond on our Arts District Food Tour! And you absolutely have to check out Richmond’s oldest neighborhood on our Church Hill Food Tour!
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