What better way to explore the city than to eat your way through it? As you’re introduced to famous and tucked-away spots, and as you hear new tales of London’s past, you can sample local fare along the way. Plus, you get to discover places you didn’t knew existed, and find new foodie joints to take your friends to. Here are some of London’s best foodie tours. Big tip: go hungry.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth… The Cupcake & Macaron Tour of London
Bar crawls are so last year – cake crawls are what it’s all about now. Life is sweet on the Cupcake & Macaron Tour, with scheduled stops at a variety of bakeries and treat-makers including French macaron brand Ladurée and Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant Yauatcha. Mix the food stops with an intriguing history of the Covent Garden, Soho and Mayfair areas – and the chance to discover a ‘secret’ street – and you’ve got a recipe for informative, tasty fun. Opt for an alternative Great British Food Tour or Chocolate Tour if cakes and macarons don’t tickle your fancy.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Food factor: Seven tastings
Area: Covent Garden, Soho, Mayfair
If you’re a stranger to East London… Eating London Tours
This tour lets you taste local East End delicacies, fused with insightful commentary about the varied streets, religions and culture. Includes stops for an award-winning bacon sarnie, delectable Bangladeshi Brick Lane curry, traditional English pudding, Jewish bagel and more.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Food factor: Includes eight tastings
Area: Spitalfields, Shoreditch, Whitechapel
If you want to go to chocolate heaven… Chocolate Ecstasy Tours
Discover the best spots for choccies in London as you learn all about the art of chocolate making, and gain practical tips on how to taste and recognise the ingredients in the brown stuff. You’ll also pick up a history of the area you’re touring as you indulge. Prepare to scoff a variety of yummy, quality chocolates, and experiment with unusual flavours – like gin, chai tea and peppercorn.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Food factor: Six tastings
Area: Various including Mayfair, Notting Hill and Chelsea
If you’re a die-hard meat eater… Walk.Eat.Talk.Eat Urban Carnivore tour
Roast chicken, mega sausage rolls, sliders, slow-roast pork – and something sweet to round off. There’s tons of meat on the menu for this tour: it’s fit for a beast. And as you chow down and venture from swanky hotel to bakery to pub you’ll learn about the history of the east. Mission complete.
Duration: 4 hours
Food factor: Five tastings
Area: Old Street, Liverpool Street
If you think Camden’s just about the markets… Eat Your Way Through Camden with Fox and Squirrel
This culinary stroll through Camden will convince you that there’s more to the dining scene of Camden Town than the sprawling market stalls around the Lock and Gilgamesh. The menu for the day celebrates the diverse ethnicities of the area, with coffee roasting, Italian pizza tasting, Cypriot meze, Turkish delicacies, Portuguese pastries, and more. The eclectic story of Camden is intriguing, too.
Duration: 2 hours
Food factor: 5 tastings
Area: Camden Town
If you never venture south of the river… Mind the Gap Eat London Tour
Starting in bustling Brixton market, first you’ll sample Caribbean and Portuguese flavours and get a feel for the area’s rich heritage and more recent boutique restaurants. You then jump on a bus (remember to take your Oyster card) down to the city’s oldest and most renowned market, Borough Market, where you’re in line for some ‘gourmet’ food tasting.
Duration: 4 hours
Food factor: From 6 tastings
Area: Brixton, Borough
This post is also published on Londonist.com.