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Food captures the spirit of a destination. We’ve partnered with Susan Lanier-Graham of Wander With Wonder, who believes one of the best ways to discover culture and community when you travel is to enjoy the local food. Come along and uncover American foodie gems by booking a food tour.

I love a great food tour. The best ones combine a leisurely stroll through the community with a bit of history and some homegrown stories and legend. Here are a few of my favorite foodie tours from across the USA.

C’est Si Bon Food Tour, Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana is all about the food. I love that unique blend of Cajun and Creole that means flavors unlike those you’ll find any other place on Earth. Baton Rouge Food Tours serves up local food and hospitality on its “C’est Si Bon Food Tour.” This guided walking tour takes about 2.5 hours and is led by Baton Rouge native Kim Harper or one of her team members.

Baton Rouge Food Tour - Poor Boy Lloyd's

Baton Rouge Food Tours

The walking tour is limited to just a dozen hungry people, so you have a chance to ask questions, stop for photos, and find out all the details on what you sample. This is well worth its price at $45. The tours take place twice a day on Thursday or Friday and happen rain or shine.

Dining - Beignets at Coffee Call

Photo courtesy Baton Rouge CVB

The particular spots you dine might change, but you can always count on the taste of Louisiana on the tours — a classic Po’ Boy, shrimp and grits, gumbo with that tangy Andouille sausage, a warm beignet with powdered sugar. I had some amazing little bites on this tour and discovered a fun, eclectic downtown filled with energy and Southern hospitality.

Classic Carmel Food Tour, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Carmel-By-The-Sea is a charming seaside village that offers the best of the Central California coast. Exploring that charm— the food, the architecture, and the ocean views — with Carmel Food Tours’ Staci Giovino is unforgettable. Staci loves her adopted town and hearing about the fun history, celebrities who frequent the area, and little quirks of this seaside town is part of the allure of this tour.

Carmel Food Tours

Carmel Food Tours. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

The Carmel Food Tour Classic Food Tour lasts about three hours and Staci walks you through little pathways, down hillsides, past historic cottages, and into a selection of locally owned restaurants, wineries, and even a chocolate shop. The entire 3-hour tour covers about 1.3 miles.

Sparkling Brut Rose from Caraccioli

Carmel Food Tours. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

For $79, you get more food than you can eat, a wine tasting, and a better look at Carmel than most visitors ever see. My favorite bites on this one were little gnocchi in an amazing cheese sauce, the sparkling rosé from Caracciola Cellars, and the chocolates from Lula’s Chocolates.

Lulas Chocolates

Carmel Food Tours. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Avital Mission District Tour, San Francisco

After living in France for a while, attending UCLA to study art history and Chinese, and then living in China, Avital Ungar knew she had to turn her passion for food and art into a career. And there was no better place than her hometown of San Francisco, CA to create Avital Tours.

Mission District Art

Avital Tours in San Francisco’s Mission Tour. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Avital and her guides take locals and visitors alike on a culinary exploration of the various neighborhoods in the Bay City. There are several different tours available: Mission District, Haight-Ashbury, North Beach and Union Square. There is also a tour that focuses on craft cocktails. Recently, Avital Tours opened up in Los Angeles with even more great ways to discover the culinary treasures of California.

I took the Mission District tour, which highlights some of why San Francisco is like no other city in the USA. Not only do you have an opportunity to experience some great food—the ice cream at Bi Rite Creamery is an experience that dozens of locals line up for daily — you’ll get a look at the quirky lifestyle of the Mission District.

Guests on the walking tour have a chance to learn about the history of the area and see some of the district’s creative street art. You’ll take a stroll down Clarion Alley, known for its ever-changing street art in brilliant colors.

Clarion Alley

Avital Tours of the Mission District. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

You will walk past funky galleries, second-hand stores, parks, and markets as you explore the area with Avital or one of her guides expertly weaving stories into your bites along the way. Be sure to try a couple varieties of handmade empanadas at Venga Empanadas and down a fresh-from-the-ocean oyster at Hog & Rocks.

AvitalTours_GammaNine-8544

Oysters at Hog & Rocks by Gamma Nine for Avital Tours

The Savory Faire Food & Wine Tasting Tour, St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States and exploring its colorful history through a walking foodie tour is the best way to experience this Old World gem right in the USA. The Savory Faire Food & Wine Tasting Tour is offered daily for just $59 and you can add wine pairing for $19.

St. Augustine 065

St. Augustine Florida. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

During your tour, you explore at least five different area restaurants, including at least one sweet stop. You sample the cornucopia of international food that makes up St. Augustine today, from flaming Greek cheese to Florida oysters and seafood chowders to some of the best chocolates ever. With it all woven beautifully into St. Augustine’s history of pirates, conquests, and dreams, you’ll be ready to book one of the company’s other tours that cover ghosts, murder, mayhem, and pirates.

Susan Lanier-Graham is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads visit travelocitygnomads.com.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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