What better way to immerse and indulge yourself when on holiday than eating like a local? But good and off-the-beaten-track restaurants may be hard to find without inside information, so here’s a list of 10 tours to take travellers to quaint neighbourhoods and favoured local joints. The spatially challenged have no need to fear – these guided tours will get you there by bus, bicycle or Segway, meaning you’ll never get lost.
1. Delhi’s Night Food Tour Bus, Delhi, India
Take in the sights, sounds and tastes of India’s capital on this night tour by Seek Sherpa. The three-hour programme promises to show travellers the foods that “define Delhi’s underbelly” at four to five lesser-known joints in the city where locals hang out, led by a food expert. Included in the cost of the tour are a dish at each stop, air-conditioned tour bus, water, sanitiser, tissues and guide fee. No alcohol is permitted on this tour.
2. The Best of Brooklyn, New York, USA
Bite into the Big Apple and visit some of its most renowned residential neighbourhoods with this half-day food and culture tour, which brings visitors from neighbourhood to neighbourhood by bus to sample the best chow each has to offer. The city’s melting pot demography means travellers will find different cuisines, from Italian pizzas to Polish pierogies and hipster street foods.
3. Delicious Segway Tour, Lisbon, Portugal
Get lost in the flavours of Portugal’s cuisine as you zip around the coastal capital of Lisbon on a Segway. With the help of a guide on this 2.5-hour tour, travellers explore typical neighbourhoods and traditional taverns for an authentic experience of Portuguese food as well as some of its best locations for sightseeing.
4. Makan Bus, Singapore
Travel, explore and eat at your own pace with this new travel service in Singapore that takes tourists into the heartlands to eat like a local. The 10-stop circuit, which starts at Orchard Gateway shopping mall, combines stops at well-established food havens and hidden gems of local cuisine, mostly hawker stalls. Children under 12 years of age ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
5. The Foodie, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
No pho, banh mi sandwiches or spring rolls, and no bugs or offal either – the aptly named The Foodie is for the gourmand who wants to see what real Vietnamese people eat while touring Ho Chi Minh city on one of the capital’s ubiquitous motorcycles. The tour covers trips to popular haunts and hidden alleyways where locals congregate to see a different side of Vietnam.
6. Evening Food Tour in Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Cycle around the Prenzlauer Berg, a popular residential neighbourhood in Berlin where residents hang out at myriad cafes, independent boutiques and heritage buildings. This tour includes stops at the city’s must-see attractions, including the Berlin Wall Memorial, during its 4.5-hour course, but the focus is really on the locally owned eateries and their fantastic flavours.
7. Food Carts Tour, Portland, USA
Chase down some of Portland’s tastiest food carts on a bicycle with this guided tour, which goes through local neighbourhoods in pursuit of good grub. Tourists will enjoy visiting some of Portlandians’ favourite haunts and taking in the scenic views of the city.
8. The Mandalay Tea Shop Foodies Tour, Mandalay, Myanmar
Little is known about Myanmar cuisine internationally, so why not venture into unknown territory in the former royal capital of Mandalay? Travellers sit comfortably in a classic Mandalay rickshaw (where a driver does the pedalling) during this tour which covers a cornerstone of Myanmar social life – the tea shops where locals gather, eat and share news. Try the customary breakfast noodle dish mohinga, as well as the Mandalay salad and local versions of pancakes and samosa.
9. Athens Food Tour with Electric Bikes, Athens, Greece
Get an education in Mediterranean cuisine without the hassle of cycling on this Viator-exclusive tour, which equips travellers with electric bicycles. Lined up during this four-hour course are visits to hole-in-the-wall eateries and shops often overlooked by other tours of the cities, places where chefs honour family and cultural traditions with the most authentic Greek foods.
– TEXT BY HANNAH KOH
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.