What To Expect On a Boston Food Tour
Although culinary tourism is growing, it's still a relatively new industry. Most of our guests say: food and tours, what's not to love?
In Boston specifically, there's always been a sense that the North End restaurants are frequented by tourists so the idea of a food tour, and specifically a North End Food Tour which has existed for a long time, is often associated with guests from out of town who are going to tourist traps that no locals frequent. And the people giving the tour do not always live in the area so provide a fake and not authentic viewpoint of the neighborhood that's been scripted to paint an image to tourists kind of like a Duck Tour. Well we are here to break the mold! Our company is different, and we are constantly thinking of new ways to delight our guests. Thank you for taking a chance on us. Here's what to expect:
At Off The Beaten Path Food Tours, we pride ourselves on providing a well-balanced taste of the neighborhoods we frequent. We aren't shy about covering what may be controversial subjects that the neighborhoods are tackling like Lowell's community effort to reimagine their city and shed a history of gang violence that used to pervade the city decades ago. In Somerville, we share information about the rising rents and tensions between the 'Villens who have lived here for decades and the new wave of start-ups, high rents, and pricy restaurants. In Central Square, we grapple with the importance of art and how the new murals are bridging gaps around diversity and representation. Our guides are as excited to share modern happenings and what they love about the neighborhoods as well as stories of yester-year.
2. Lots of Stories and Information
Our guides are super smart. We like to think they're the smartest tour guides in town, each with their own point of view and personality. In fact, our guests are often surprised to learn the depth that we go to in our tours to present an interesting and fact-filled perspective on the neighborhoods. The Boston walking tour guides have a balance of innate knowledge of the neighborhoods as well as have studied them extensively and are constantly learning. From the area's most famous residents to how it got its name to how buildings and populations have evolved over time and area trivia, you'll walk away with a new appreciation of what could be your own backyard.
3. Tours are for Local and Tourists Alike
We aren't your typical Boston tour company in that the majority of our guests are locals to New England or even Massachusetts. Since you'll be visiting up to 7 best restaurants on each tour and the guide will point out a bunch more local restaurants and other cultural venues and things to do in Boston, you'll have a chance to be acquainted with so many new spots. As a testament to the power of being a local, one of our guests had lived in Davis Square in Somerville for 8 whole years, and they had never visited 5 out of 7 of the spots that we visited on the tour. "I've always meant to go in here," they exclaimed, "I've even passed by this spot every day for the past year and never came in." Plus you'll get to know the owners or managers at a lot of our local restaurants which makes the neighborhood feel more friendly and close-knit so that you can feel good about returning there and exploring more.
4. Be Prepared to Eat
A common myth is that the restaurants are giving us the food for free, which we definitely appreciate if they share our vision, but often we are paying the restaurants and therefore have to carefully balance what we can serve with what's possible from an operational standpoint on their end. As much as possible, we try to establish a relationship with the restaurant partner so that we can pre-order the food and cut the line. However, that's not always allowed. We also try to maximize the value of each stop to provide guests as often as possible a) a lot of food and b) the ability to choose their own flavor. We like to talk to the owners or managers and also go behind the scenes to have unique experiences. Like our restaurant partners, we care deeply about any dietary restrictions or preferences, so we are often able to substitute food and beverage items to meet the dietary needs of each guest. In addition, we don't visit that many chains and if we do it would be a small, local chain that's still entrepreneurial. We have given a lot of thought to making sure our stops are interesting and robust and take this aspect of the tour very seriously.
5. Reviews Matter
Our company is designed to support small businesses, and we are a small business ourselves! So we definitely have limitations on getting the word out there about our food tours. We truly love it when guests take more than one tour with us, and so we encourage guests who did enjoy the tour to review us on TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, Yelp, and even just tell a friend who may be interested in joining a future tour. We also love to donate tickets to local causes such as silent auctions and raffles that support worthy Boston non-profits. Overall, supporting small local businesses is our passion and mission!
6. When In Doubt Email Us
Sam and Lizzie, the founders, are always corresponding with guests, so please email us or message us on Messenger if there's a group tour you'd like to book, a tour that you want to book that appears to be full or if you want to schedule a tour off-schedule. Since our guides sometimes have flexible schedules, we can accommodate many different situations. We promise to get back to you within 48 hours if not sooner. We love corporate tours and team bonding as well as bachelorette parties and bachelor parties, birthday parties, and other group events. We can accommodate up to 15 guests on most tours but have some tours that can accommodate up to 25 guests or can run multiple tours at once. So the sky is the limit!
Book a tour today via offthebeatenpathfoodtours.com. Thanks for supporting small, local businesses.