Food on Foot Tours
Is anyone familiar with "Food on Foot Tours"?
A few hours ago, I walked over to a casual, low/mid-range, "good food for the price" restaurant in my neighborhood. I've never previously seen more than two or three tables occupied but was shocked to find that every table was full, with a number of people lining up to place their order.
I left, walked around for about 15 minutes in search of an alternative, and then walked by the place again and saw that it had largely emptied out, but now had a large crowd of people outside. I went inside and asked the man behind the counter if the crowd was a tour group. He indicated that they are, and told me it was called "Food on Foot Tours." He said they come there once or twice a week.
I'm always interested in learning about walking tours in general and foodie walking tours in particular, so I hopped online and checked it out. The site lists a number of interesting-looking tours, but doesn't really provide descriptions of the tours, so I wonder whether it's worth the money. Frankly, while I like the restaurant that the tour stopped at and go there once every week or two, I don't think I'd go out of my way for it and kind of feel like its presence as a regular stop on the food tour probably doesn't speak well of the tour group.
Still, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with them and can offer any thoughts. Thanks!
I checked out their site and it is odd that they don't mention one place they visit on their tours.
I did a food tour of Boston's North end last October (not with Food on Foot). While it was interesting and the docent was passionate about the subject, I could tell right off the bat that the tour was "less about food quality and more about striking deals with local businesses" as squid kun stated. Based on your observation about the restaurant you frequent Garlic Guy, I'd say this is how Food on Foot operates.
Thanks for asking about us. We are a non-gourmet tour of mostly smaller items in non-tourist neighborhoods. Most of our guests are from around the world and when locals take the tour they feel like they are on vacation in their own city for a few hours. Since we are a non-gourmet smaller item tour we would have been at the stop you saw us at for one or two special items and not the entire restaurant menu. We choose an item or two that a place does well and unlike many tours (as mentioned previously in this thread) we DO NOT cut deals with anyone.
All items are based on our opinion. The reason we do not list our stops on our website is because all of our tours are surprise tours. We think it is a big part of the fun of our tours.
We recommend that locals only take tours in neighborhoods they are not familiar with but sometimes we are very surprised when someone doesn't know places in their own area.
(Not everyone reads these boards). We are not a food history or food prep tour, with us it is all about the eating which is why you saw us in a small neighborhood place and not a full restaurant. We are providing a service that travelers coming into town value. Thanks to Garlic Guy for asking and to ttoommyy this just proves it is not always safe to assume things. Just having some fun with you and thanks for writing.
Food On Foot Tours
Can't speak to Food on Foot, but I've observed tour outfits in several places where I've lived whose model was less about food quality and more about striking deals with local businesses. The restaurants cut the tour operator a break in exchange for more or less guaranteed traffic. I'd trust your impression of the restaurant you mentioned.