ROME. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a wanderlust veteran, how often have you asked someone if they know a really good place where locals go to eat in another city? Dining is an important part of a travel experience. When you return home, your culinary knowledge becomes a useful personal status symbol. Recommending some undiscovered treasure to your friends makes you sound worldly. At the same time, has the personal satisfaction of enjoying a discovery that becomes all your own. Which is where Eating Europe comes in.
Eating Europe. Can we do that?
Many people today prefer independent travel. Others seek the security of a complete tour that includes meals, sightseeing and, well, everything else. But most importantly, a truly complete tour package includes an English-speaking escort. His or her presence will help alleviate any apprehensions a tourist might have regarding cultural differences in another country.
For those who opt for independence, here’s one way to satisfy the curiosity of exploration without the hassles of spinning your wheels in search of local knowledge. It’s called Eating Europe. This relatively new travel concept is a fascinating way to sample delightful culinary adventures in six major cities on the continent.
Eating Europe is, in essence, a “living” guidebook. Eating Europe tours boast experts guides who delve into the nooks and crannies of a city. The goal is to help you meet locals, visit markets and share food related experiences that often happen only by chance.
Tours generally range between 3 and 4 hours. During that time, free-spirited travelers can enjoy delightful “insider’s” exposure to a destination without committing all their independence to the cookie-cutter world of a standard tour operator’s itinerary.
So where are these Eating Europe tours happening?
With tours in Rome, London, Florence, Prague, Amsterdam and, most recently, Paris, Eating Europe
“shares the best local foods at favorite places and introduces them to all the wonderful people and fascinating stories that lie behind their iconic dishes.”
The concept is that simple. That’s because Eating Europe’s philosophy focuses on three uncomplicated straightforward principles: Customers, Merchants and Employees.
What’s the focus of these tours?
First and foremost, Eating Europe recognizes that every city in the world has its own individual character. Europe is a cornucopia of dining delights. So naturally, Eating Europe’s clients “experience a unique opportunity to have a taste of local life by connecting with the city’s personality, cuisine and culture in an unforgettable way.”
Next, think about a favorite place in your home town that you would recommend to visitors. Since you’re a “regular,” chances are you personally know the waitstaff and management. That relationship only serves to enhance the experience for your guests. And that’s magic of Eating Europe.
Finally, Eating Europe’s staff consists of locals who know their city and proudly share its unique culinary traditions. Guides have a passion for food as well as with people who enjoy fine cuisine. So, by serving as good-will ambassadors, they are committed to making each outing a memorable experience rather than simply another cookie-cutter tour.
Founded in Rome by American Kenny Dunn in 2011, Eating Europe follows guidelines that allow visitors to immerse themselves into the fabric of a community by creating personal relationships with restaurateurs and business owners in real neighborhoods.
Every city has a distinct living – and dining – personality
Just as every city has a personality, so, too, do many of its districts. Chinatown in New York, San Francisco or Vancouver reflect vibrant cultures that cannot experience in any other part of those cities.
When in Rome…
In Rome, for example, ask a Roman the best place to meet locals and enjoy great food. You might be surprised that many will say “Trastevere.”
Many visitors never see Trastervere because it’s situated on the opposite side of the Tiber River away from most of the familiar sights people go to see. In fact, in English, trastevere literally means “beyond the Tiber.”
With ivy-covered walls, cobblestone streets and the amber glow of romantic streetlights, Trastevere is clearly the spot where Romans themselves choose to dine. Families gather on Sundays, while young people make it a lively scene throughout the week.
You might compare Trastevere to New York’s Greenwich Village or the Left Bank in Paris. For that simple reason it’s definitely best to explore it by night.
Eating Europe’s 4-hour guided walking food tour does just that. It explores the neighborhood while sampling a sumptuous blend of Italian classics. These include pizza and pasta; real Roman street food; lesser known meats and cheeses; and amazing wine hidden away in a secret cellar with a history that will blow you away. Few activities in Rome deliver as many concentrated hidden surprises and enchanting moments as Eating Europe’s tour of one of the city’s best kept secrets.
We love Paris…
In June of 2018, Eating Europe added Paris to its growing list of cuisines and cultures. The French capital has always been a vibrant culinary destination. But currently, the food scene in the City of Lights feels positively electric, boasting influences from around the world that make their impact on a daily basis.
As Kenny Dunn, Managing Director of Eating Europe, points out,
“We’ve had our hearts set on France for a long time and are thrilled to finally offer an immersive experience which helps our guests discover local life in this fascinating food capital.”
The tour’s early afternoon Parisian experience offers a mix of French staples like Croque Monsieur, rare cheeses and gorgeous pastries combined with local trends from neo-bistros to refined pastries. Guests also visit unique venues. These include a hidden Moroccan food stand and a 17th-century cellar ofering an immersive wine and cheese pairing session.
A literal taste of the Old World
As modern travelers are increasingly discerning, Eating Europe offers a taste of Old World culinary charm that is difficult to duplicate on their own. But one word of caution. Do not expect to become an expert in any aspect of your travels in a four hour tour. It cannot be done. Particularly when it comes to national and local cuisine.
So instead, just follow the acronym (E)xperience, (A)dventure, (T)aste and (S)avor. You’ll savor – and long remember – the delicious outcome.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up