Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blogs

So You Want to Join a Food Tour…

What is a Food Tour?

Food tours, or culinary tours, distinguish tourists from travelers. They are a fun and dynamic way to immerse yourself in a new city (or rediscover your own!)

Regardless of where your travels take you–no matter the customs, language, or climate–food is what connects us all. It is not only the way we share our culture, but often a source of national pride. The majority of countries have one unique national dish symbolizing generations of tradition.

Food tours allow you to dive into the depths of a new place, of a new culture. As chef Emeril Lagasse once said, “In order to really get to know a place and the people, you’ve got to eat the food.” Food tours can have a theme. They may focus on one historic neighborhood, just snacks, just desserts, or a specific regional or local cuisine. Make sure you come hungry! Tours make multiple stops, which means multiple tastings or bites to try.

Food tours do the research for you. They curate a city’s most historic and most representative restaurants and dishes so you don’t have to spend hours on social media and sifting through top 10 lists. Food tours often combine tastings with historic walking tours. This gives patrons a context of the cuisine and a greater appreciation of the city they are visiting. Guests are usually offered a sample of top-selling or trademark foods when visiting a restaurant along with a historic context provided by the guide. Consider a culinary tour as a way to stretch out your meal among many eateries.

Why Join a Tour?

They Are Unique Activities

Food tours are ideal for travelers who want to try new things and appreciate a different culture. You’ll be able to sample local dishes made with just the freshest ingredients, and often be able to personally chat with a chef, restaurant owner or regulars enjoying their meal.

This activity is not just for the curious traveler or family outing, however. They can also be popular for the local adventurer, a date, a networking events, or corporate outing. They are also a great way to “spice” up a bachelor/bachelorette party. Food tours give variety and a feeling of excitement to a typical meal by transporting customers across numerous cuisines and local flavors.

Get Ideas and Tips for the Rest of your Trip

Culinary excursions often take you all around a city. You’ll get to see a lot of the sights and orient yourself if the city is brand new to you. While you won’t have time to go shopping or participate in an attraction, you may make a mental note (or scribble it down on your phone!) of all the sites that piqued your interest and their locations. You’ve already scheduled your next activity.

Support Local Small Businesses

On a food tour, you’ll forego fast food chains in favor of sampling the best local dishes that are an integral part of the city. The bulk of the cafes and food spots visited on these excursions are managed by local individuals or families. You will often visit establishments that have been around for decades. These tours are a fantastic way for small local companies to attract new consumers and receive the support they deserve. You often get the opportunity to directly interact with an owner, manager, a regular, or a family member and learn their story.

Go Off the Beaten Path

Food tours aren’t always based in the buzzy tourist district. Some foods are more likely to direct you to restaurants and shops in small areas that are popular with locals. Strolling the streets off the beaten path can be exciting and always provide a sense of authenticity.

Get to Know Other Foodies

As the wonderful Julia Child once said, “people who love to eat are always the best people.”

Meeting other travelers isn’t easy if traveling alone. One of the primary advantages of culinary tours is that they are confined to small groups, allowing you to easily interact with other like-minded visitors and locals. Meeting new people is a breeze on culinary excursions since you have the perfect conversation starter—food! It’s a great opportunity to swap travel tips about the city as well.

Sample New Flavors

Have you ever been curious about trying a new restaurant or meal but are afraid of wasting time or money? Or perhaps you’re worried that, despite your best efforts, you’ll land yourself in a tourist trap that is neither real nor local? Food tours eliminate this apprehension.

First, you’ll sample a variety of foods. You may even discover a new favorite flavor you never had the opportunity to try before.

Second, tours will take you to local cafes, restaurants, and shops popular with locals. Our objective as a local food tour company is to give you a flavor of the local cuisine!


Food tours will take you on a restaurant-hopping adventure, challenging you to leap outside of your culinary comfort zone and discover new flavors. It’s never easy visiting a brand-new city for the first time, but food tours help to make the journey fun and educational. You appreciate a region’s culture and tradition in a unique way, helping out local businesses and making some like-minded foodie friends along the way.

What to Expect When You Join a Triangle Food tour!

At Triangle Food Tours, our tours generally run for 3 hours. We meet at a predetermined location and set out on foot to explore the rich history, culture, and architecture of the city. Throughout the tour, we stop at shops, cafes, and restaurants for tasting experiences that are not only delicious, but are also representative of the city’s unique history and culture. Our tours enable you to experience the distinct food culture in each downtown district. You have the option to add on a drink package on many tours. Come hungry and leave full!

We offer private or public year-round tours of:

  • Downtown Raleigh
    This tour will immerse you in Raleigh’s rich food culture and history. This 3-hour walking tour is a curated culinary experience, giving you special access to a cross-section of some of Raleigh’s best locally-owned restaurants and specialty stores. You can choose from the Historic Oakwood or Boylan Heights areas of Downtown.

We offer a public seasonal tour of:

  • Downtown Chapel Hill & Carrboro
    In addition to their historic architecture, funky arts scene, and natural beauty, these small towns offer an array of excellent restaurants. On our 3-hour tour, we experience the vibrant downtowns of Chapel Hill & Carrboro through their unique food culture.
  • Downtown Cary
    Often overlooked by visitors to the Triangle (and even by local residents), downtown Cary is a culinary hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. Join us as we sample some of the best that Cary has to offer.

We offer private year-round tours of:

  • Downtown Durham
    Named Bon Appetit magazine’s “America’s Foodiest Small Town”, Durham has a lot to offer in its food scene. In this tour, guests learn about the city’s blue-collar roots and the tobacco and textile mills that laid the foundation for this diverse and thriving area know as the Bull City.

Why Choose Triangle Food Tours?

  • We keep our public tour groups small
    We limit our tour groups to 10-12 guests. This makes for a more intimate, meaningful guest experience and ensures that guests can easily interact with their guide and each other.
  • We go beyond a typical food tour
    We not only offer food tours of cities in the Triangle region, but we also offer culinary outings in and around the Triangle coming in 2023. We call these our Delicious Destination Tours. Food and adventure…what’s not to love!
  • Our customer satisfaction is unsurpassed
    We have a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and are #2 on their top Food & Drink experiences in Raleigh. Our guests have been consistently pleased with their tours and we have received very positive feedback.
  • Media recognition
    Triangle Food Tours has been mentioned in numerous local media outlets from local tv coverage to magazine write-ups