Boston Food Tour

Old Jun 21st, 2017, 08:47 AM
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Boston Food Tour

One of my favorite things to do in a new city is a food / walking tour. I was just about to book a food tour for during our August family trip and thought I'd check with the expert Fodorites first . We will have our two kids with us - 12 and 8 - and I think the North End tours appeal most . I think with the Boston history (my 12 year old should remember some from school) and the Italian food my 8 year old is a fan), it should be a lot of fun.

Anyone done any of these tours and recommend one operator over another ?
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Old Jun 21st, 2017, 11:07 AM
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I have taken the one from website bostonfoodtours.com - company is Michele Topar. But it is all about the guide. The guy who lead mine was great. I live in Boston area and learned things.

They also do a Chinatown tour. It ends with dim sum at a local restaurant - it was also good, but since I enjoy and cook Italian food more often, I liked North End one more.
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Old Jun 21st, 2017, 11:41 AM
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I've done both tours. My husband went with me for the Chinatown tour and loved it even though I had to drag him to visit Boston. I think ages 8 and 12 will appreciate the North End history more and the food might be more familiar to them. The herb shop also had lemon slushies if I remember correctly whereas the herb shop in Chinatown was a little strange. Everyone will love the pastry samples.

You can do a few things in Chinatown on your own, such as have a dim sum lunch which I think is a fun experience if you don't mind trying food you might never have seen before. I love Chinese bakeries so you can visit one on your own and buy whatever looks good. We went several years ago and at that time there was only one guide fro Chinatown and the tour was only on Fridays.

Had Michele herself for the North End Tour so it was great.
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Old Jun 21st, 2017, 01:17 PM
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Agree with above. The kids would enjoy a walk through Chinatown if they have not experienced something similar. Live poultry in shops - explain they are killed on order, entire food animals hanging in windows and rows and rows of little dried squid and fish.
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Old Jun 21st, 2017, 02:00 PM
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Ok, thank you! Think we will do a north end tour (food is more appealing to the kids) and we will go on our own through chinatown.
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Old Jun 21st, 2017, 09:39 PM
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I've encountered the tours when I lived in Boston. I wouldn't pay for them.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2017, 12:04 AM
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I have gone on food tours in Chicago, Portland ME, Boston and NYC. I thought both Boston tours were the best. We only worked in Boston for 2 years and did a little bit of exploring in the North End and Chinatown at the time but tours talked about the history of the "neighborhoods" that I had not encountered before.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2017, 12:44 AM
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Some suggestions. Where flat comfortable shoes - there are still uneven pavements and cobblestones in North End. Try everything. They will encourage you to shop after the tour rather than hold up the entire tour buying things. In August, bring some water - it could be hot.

I again agree with dfrost in saying this is one of the best - I try to do a food tour in every city I visit. It is an eclectic mix of people, the walking is comfortable, and it is a good mix of history and food. The only one that came close was in San Juan, PR.

Tour is a few hours and the location fits perfectly with spending the rest of the day on a short Boston Harbor cruise, walk along Rose Kennedy Greenway and even returning to North End for lunch or dinner.

And in case you are wondering, when I went about half the participants appeared to tip the guide, but no one was pushy about it.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2017, 02:04 AM
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Thank you. I love food tours - find them a great way to learn more interesting tidbits about the neighborhoods and get a nice meal in (I've never left one and needed more food for hours).

And yes tipping for sure! Always tip a great guide !

The Boston tours have Monmouth watering!
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