Typical tourist activities can be fun; however they can also be overrated, crowded, and underwhelming. Most people would agree that the best way to experience a destination, is to do so with insight from a local. Unfortunately, not all of us have a friend in every single destination on our bucket list. So, we often get sucked into the tourist traps and wind up engaging in the “same old same old” “been there done that” activities. For those of us who want to experience a place by spending time “living like a local,” a food tour could be the perfect thing to do when kicking off your holiday.
Food is more than just fuel for the human body. Food is an art. Food tells a story. A country/city/region’s food is a wonderful tool to use to gain a deeper understanding of a place. Starting a holiday with a food tour can set you up for a more comfortable, contextual, and delicious trip. You will know more about the local lifestyle, hidden gems, get some insider tips, and find out your favorite dishes to order again and again!
The following 6 reasons are why we love kicking off a holiday with a food tour
1. GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH
A food tour will take you to places that you may not have discovered on your own. You’ll get to try local specialties and hidden gems that are not necessarily in the guidebooks. You will typically be avoiding large crowds and long lines as well and get to interact with more authentic establishments.
2. SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS AND INTERACT WITH LOCALS
Many food tours prioritize locally sourced foods. By showcasing and promoting these products, food tours can help to support local farmers, producers, and other small businesses. A food tour can help to boost the business of local restaurants and food establishments too. By bringing in groups of visitors, food tours can help to increase foot traffic and generate revenue for these businesses that can be multi-generational, family oriented, socially responsible, rooted in passion and art…. etc
3. TRY NEW THINGS
A food tour will typically include several stops, where you’ll get to taste a variety of dishes. This is a great way to sample a range of flavours and ingredients, and to find new foods that you may not have tried before. You will get the chance to indulge in things you may not have been brave enough to try on your own. Odds are, for a lot of dishes, you may never have known they ever even existed!
4. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME ON A DUD
A food tour can save you time AND money by taking you to only the best food spots. Additionally, it gives you the ability to try many different types of dishes in one experience. This makes it much more cost effective to try new things without having to order a full portion of each dish. You won’t waste your time waiting in line for an overrated place, or get stuck with a full serving of a food that you’re not the most keen on!
5. LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY
Cuisine can tell a lot about a place’s history. Fort example, the origins of certain ingredients or types of cooking techniques and how they have evolved over time. Or where, why, and how fusion dishes became one. Understanding the history behind the foods can provide insight into the people, events, and cultural influences that have shaped the region.
6. EMBRACE THE CULTURE
Taking a food tour in destinations foreign to ourselves is a wonderful way to experience a new culture. There are so many elements of daily life that surround food and eating. Many stories and rituals surrounding food can be overlooked if attention is not given. By learning the local manners and behaviors regarding food and dining, you will not only be respecting the community hosting you, but also enriching your experience, and avoiding looking like an ignorant tourist 😉
So, whether you’re a food enthusiast or just looking for an interesting and unique way to discover a new place, a food tour is an immersive and enriching option for your next holiday. You can learn a lot about the culture and history, discover amazing new flavours, and make new friends along the way!
Check out Hungry Birds Street Food Tours on your next trip to Amsterdam and enjoy the best that Dutch street food has to offer!